02-18-15 01:43 PM
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  1. early2bed's Avatar
    If you aren't in your mid-forties or older then this might not mean very much to you but Radio Shack is finally going out of business. For many of us, electronics and then personal computers started at Radio Shack. Believe it or not, you used to have to go Radio Shack if you wanted to get anything electronic like a CB Radio, Scanner, Headphones, video games, or, eventually, a computer.

    Bill Gates himself wrote the operating system for the original TRS-80. A teenage Michael Dell saw his first PC in the RadioShack that happened to be stationed between his home and school. Steve Wozniak , who more or less single-handedly designed the Apple I and II, was intensely devoted to RadioShack, and relied on it for parts.
    RadioShack Suffered as Free Time Evaporated - WSJ

    Here's to all the people who worked at these stores over the decades that let kids like me wander around and try their gadgets.
    Last edited by early2bed; 02-09-15 at 09:16 AM.
    02-09-15 07:56 AM
  2. bobby1966's Avatar
    I spent many a Saturday afternoon in our local Radio Shack. They had everything electronic you could want.

    Good times.

    Posted via my BlackBerry Z30
    02-09-15 08:07 AM
  3. SirJes's Avatar
    Someone copy and paste the article?


    Posted via CB10
    02-09-15 08:13 AM
  4. Gatmyer's Avatar
    Someone copy and paste the article?


    Posted via CB10
    I know many people do that but isn't it against the forum rules?

    Posted via CB10
    02-09-15 08:15 AM
  5. blueyestm's Avatar
    You have to have a subscription to read anything on WSJ. I also believe that Sprint bought some of the Radio Shack stores.
    02-09-15 08:19 AM
  6. eldricho's Avatar
    Too bad, a brand I grew up seeing everyday
    They just opened their second store on the island about a half year ago

    Posted via CB10
    02-09-15 08:19 AM
  7. SirJes's Avatar
    I know many people do that but isn't it against the forum rules?

    Posted via CB10
    Is it? I didn't know lol

    Posted via CB10
    02-09-15 08:20 AM
  8. early2bed's Avatar
    Something that the article points out is that people don't have as much free time to tinker with stuff compared to the 1970's.

    My parents bought me the first TRS-80 when I was in junior high school. It had 4K of memory and cassette tape storage. My first games were BASIC games like text adventures and tic tac toe that were printed in a book in pages of code that I not only had to type in line by line but the CP/M BASIC wasn't exactly the same so there were functions that it couldn't use. I wouldn't find out about it until after I had spent 2 days typing in the code.

    When I was in high school, I ran a BBS on a TRS-80 Model III. People would dial in on a modem to read and post message - mostly about hacking. Only one user could get on at a time. Users would run a program that would dial the number over and over again while it was busy until it could get through.


    RadioShack Suffered as Free Time Evaporated

    At its peak, RadioShack operated 7,000 stores. Shown, a company location in Miami earlier this month. ENLARGE
    At its peak, RadioShack operated 7,000 stores. Shown, a company location in Miami earlier this month. Photo: Getty Images

    By
    Christopher Mims
    Feb. 8, 2015 7:30 p.m. ET
    In 1963, the year his company bought a nine-store chain then known by the two-word name Radio Shack, Charles D. Tandy explained to the New York Times why it made perfect sense for a retailer of do-it-yourself leather handicrafts to buy an electronics distributor.

    “Leisure time is opening markets to us,” he told the Times. “The shorter workweek, human curiosity, idle hands—all offer opportunities in this business. Everyone’s spare time is our challenge.”

    What Mr. Tandy couldn’t know was that the real challenge his company would eventually face was the slow erosion of the very leisure time his company profited from by filling. The company, now known as RadioShack , filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

    It’s hard to believe this now, but according to “The Overworked American,” by Boston College professor of sociology Juliet Schor, in the 1950s the shrinking workweek meant universities sprouted departments of leisure studies, to figure out what Americans would soon be doing with their ever-expanding supply of free time.

    Then, in about 1970, the trend reversed, and the workweek of the average American began to grow longer.

    Photos: Radio Days

    RadioShack’s Transformation From a Boston Seller of Radio Gear Into a Nationwide Retailer Tracks the Personal-Technology Revolution. Here’s a Look at Its 94 Years in Business.

    Next
    1 of 7 fullscreen
    A radio operator and observer in a radio shack at Ivalo, almost 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, about 1950. Two brothers opened a store in Boston in 1921 catering to the ham ...

    In 1977, RadioShack introduced the TRS-80, the first pre-assembled small computer on the market. The computer ran on the Level II BASIC operating system designed by Bill Gates. It came with 4k RAM, a monitor, a cassette and all cables and adaptors needed, and it sold for $599.95. SSPL/Getty Images

    RadioShack salesman Steven Carlozzi, right, of Brockton, Mass., demonstrates the TRS-80 at the Boston Computer Show in August 1977. Over the next 10 years, RadioShack introduced a laptop, the Model 100, and started selling mobile phones. Associated Press

    A Tandy PC-8 Pocket Computer. RadioShack enjoyed widespread popularity in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s as its products were considered cutting edge. Its sales weakened in recent years as the electronics business became more competitive, and the chain’s offerings failed to adapt. Keith D. Tyler

    In a 2014 Super Bowl ad, RadioShack enlisted well-known 1980s personalities to poke fun at its outdated image. The company promised a new look, but it didn’t redesign enough stores and the effort fell flat. RadioShack

    RadioShack's stock closed below $1 a share for the first time in its history on June 20, 2014, reflecting investors' concern about the future of the long-struggling chain. Richard Drew/Associated Press

    RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 5, 2015 after reaching a deal to sell as many as 2,400 of its stores to hedge fund Standard General. Craig Warga/Bloomberg

    In 1979 the average worker put in 1,687 hours a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute, and by 2007 that number was 1,868. The net difference, 181 hours a year, represents more than a month of extra work every year.

    Not coincidentally, the 1970s were RadioShack’s biggest decade, and at one point the chain was opening three stores a week. At its peak, it had 7,000 stores. That success was built primarily on the back of citizens’ band radio hobbyists, who bought components from the store and relied on the knowledge of its staff, many of whom were franchisees and devoted hobbyists themselves.

    It wasn’t just radios, though. RadioShack sold its own brand of just about anything you might need, from phonograph accessories and smoke detectors to a $15 lie-detector kit.

    RadioShack was also the place hobbyists returned to when they needed to repair these goods when they broke. A generation grew up on RadioShack’s “150 in One Electronic Project Kit.”

    Related
    The story of RadioShack over the past 50 years shows how Americans fell in love with personal electronics. (Originally published Sept. 16)
    The average RadioShack customer of the 1980s, on the other hand, came in for a very different reason: the personal computer. It’s easy to forget that RadioShack was once the equal of Apple Computer , having released its TRS-80 in 1977, the same year Apple incorporated. RadioShack unwisely decided only to offer its own software on its earliest PCs, and so it was soon eclipsed by Apple and then the IBM PC.

    Those PCs marked the point at which RadioShack adopted a new strategy. Forced to create IBM-compatible PCs, RadioShack began a slow transition from a home for tinkerers and hobbyists to a straightforward retailer of the kind of consumer electronics we have now—the sort that are cheaper to replace than repair.

    Bill Gates himself wrote the operating system for the original TRS-80. A teenage Michael Dell saw his first PC in the RadioShack that happened to be stationed between his home and school. Steve Wozniak , who more or less single-handedly designed the Apple I and II, was intensely devoted to RadioShack, and relied on it for parts.

    But the PCs these pioneers created and popularized replaced weekend hardware projects with basement coding sessions. These still required time, but were mostly the domain of those young enough to still have some claim to leisure. The influence of technology spread, but not, in the same proportion, the priesthood of hardware hackers who made it possible.

    As the business of selling parts to hobbyists declined, sales of PCs, and later phones, began to fill the breach. In 1984, RadioShack sold its first mobile phone. And as anyone who walked into one of the company’s stores in the past decade knows, by the end mobile phones felt like the only thing any of RadioShack’s salespeople were incentivized to sell.

    RadioShack had an incredible asset in its portfolio of real estate, allowing the company to limp along for decades with lower per-square-foot sales than comparable retailers. But that asset could only delay the inevitable.

    RadioShack was once a cultural phenomenon—a place with a unique geographic but also psychological reach, a hub of one of the many leisure-time activities Americans once enjoyed to a degree it’s hard to fathom now, in a time when apps allow those of us with more money than time to outsource even the minutest details of our lives. RadioShack, in turn, had no choice but to become a retailer, a place that sold electronics devoted primarily to consumption.

    It’s also true that the hobbyist wares that were the heart of RadioShack are now available on the infinite catalog known as the Internet. But the modern incarnation of the RadioShack hobbyist—the so-called maker—has remained a niche phenomenon in the U.S.

    Make magazine, the movement’s bible, has a circulation of only 125,000, whereas RadioShack’s instructional manuals, sold in every store, were printed by the millions when America’s population was about two-thirds what it is now. Just before RadioShack announced its bankruptcy-court filing, it became partners with companies such as Make and LittleBits to sell electronics and robotics kits that felt like a modern revival of what RadioShack once represented, but in 2015 there isn’t enough interest in—or time for—such pastimes to sustain a company the size of RadioShack.

    Dale Dougherty, who founded Make magazine, told me that many in the maker movement can’t comprehend why their beloved RadioShack is failing.

    “To see it go away is almost to potentially extinguish something that allowed people in almost any place in America to build or repair something,” says Mr. Dougherty.

    But that’s the crucial question: How did we arrive at a culture of disposable everything? The simplest answer is that we no longer have time for anything else.

    —Follow Christopher Mims on Twitter @Mims or write to him at christopher.mims@wsj.com.
    Last edited by early2bed; 02-09-15 at 08:40 AM.
    anon(8063781) likes this.
    02-09-15 08:29 AM
  9. zjdyshop's Avatar
    That is great!
    02-09-15 08:32 AM
  10. anon(8063781)'s Avatar
    Once a month. Always 9v.

    R.I.P. Radio Shack-battery_club.jpg

    If you need your catalogue fix: http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/
    last_attempt likes this.
    02-09-15 09:53 AM
  11. Paul86's Avatar
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/radiosha...ted-1423441817

    Google gave me this link with the full article, for anyone interested

    Posted via CB10
    02-09-15 10:00 AM
  12. jmo712's Avatar
    There goes what's left of the 80's..sadly. But then again there is still a place 10x the size of Radio Shack and 3x's cheaper...and they said they "can't comprehend why they are failing"...its a store called Fry's! I spend just as much time in there if not more than I did in Radio Shack back in the day!
    I went in RadioShack about a year ago for a cell phone battery and turned right around and walked out when they said $82!!! The same battery was $20 in Frys and $8 on Amazon...hence the reason why Radio Shack is failing!

    Posted on my New BlackBerry Classic
    02-16-15 01:21 PM
  13. co4nd's Avatar
    In the 80's when you needed some kind of cable or adapter for you could find it at Radio Shack. For the more advanced tinkers you could find all kinds of electronic parts. I think the fact that you can now buy them all online for 1/8th the price is the nail in their coffin.
    anon(8063781) likes this.
    02-16-15 01:29 PM
  14. anon(8063781)'s Avatar
    I went in RadioShack about a year ago for a cell phone battery and turned right around and walked out when they said $82!!! The same battery was $20 in Frys and $8 on Amazon...hence the reason why Radio Shack is failing!

    Posted on my New BlackBerry Classic
    Our Radio Shacks in Canada became "thesource" several years ago, but they still try to sell you a $10 insurance plan on a $5 coin cell. Go figure.
    rebroker2009 likes this.
    02-16-15 03:32 PM
  15. last_attempt's Avatar
    Once a month. Always 9v.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	battery_club.jpg 
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    If you need your catalogue fix: http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/
    Thanks for the link, I use to spend hours going over them!
    02-17-15 07:12 PM
  16. onlybuggin's Avatar
    Just one more retailer who ventured too far from their own core and became something irrelevant and unrecognizable.

    Radio Shack used to be the go to place for a lot of stuff; growing up in a rural area, radio shack was the place for aerial antennae. In the 80's RS was probably the most relevant computer retailer. At Christmas RS had the best remote control toys. From batteries and flash lights to stereos and tvs, RS generally had a decent and relevant options and remained a destination for many shoppers. And radio shack always had that electronic do-dad you needed for whatever contraption a person was building.

    The last time I was in a RS it was overrun with iPhone and galaxy accessories. The electronic doodads were hidden away in a cabinet that I needed a catalog to identify and then find my part. And then Bluetooth headset selection was woeful even by prior RS standards.

    It is sad and I will miss them but there's is a road many retailers have traveled and unfortunately many more will.

    Posted via CB10
    AnimalPak200 likes this.
    02-17-15 07:44 PM
  17. reeneebob's Avatar
    Our Radio Shacks in Canada became "thesource" several years ago, but they still try to sell you a $10 insurance plan on a $5 coin cell. Go figure.
    $1.99 on a button cell. $2.99 on a two pack button cell. And in the age of auto starts they sell quite nicely, thank you.

    Just saying. Go figure. ;-)


    Sent from my iPad Air using Tapatalk
    02-17-15 07:50 PM
  18. tjseaman's Avatar
    My first computer was a Tandy. I always remember checking out Radio Shack when I went to the mall but sadly they've been already gone for years in Canada.

    Posted via CB10 - Z10 'Powered by BlackBerry'
    02-17-15 07:58 PM
  19. anon(8063781)'s Avatar
    $1.99 on a button cell. $2.99 on a two pack button cell. And in the age of auto starts they sell quite nicely, thank you.

    Just saying. Go figure. ;-)


    Sent from my iPad Air using Tapatalk
    lol. Touche.
    reeneebob likes this.
    02-17-15 09:00 PM
  20. anon(8063781)'s Avatar
    Thanks for the link, I use to spend hours going over them!
    Me too. Life before the 'net.
    02-17-15 10:28 PM
  21. reeneebob's Avatar
    Me too. Life before the 'net.
    When my Source was being renovated last year, we ripped out one of the old wing walls (you know the ones, where all the project boxes, fuses, connectors were kept) and came across one of the old centrios 200 in 1 science project kits that had fallen in behind probably 15 years ago. You remember those, where you could build a radio, a light socket etc etc etc...

    Talk about a blast from the past...


    Sent from my iPad Air using Tapatalk
    anon(8063781) likes this.
    02-17-15 10:35 PM
  22. last_attempt's Avatar
    If your in Canada (Ontario at least) Sayal electronics has tons of electrical and electronic parts, gadgets and kits.
    anon(8063781) likes this.
    02-17-15 10:51 PM
  23. anon(8063781)'s Avatar
    Talk about a blast from the past...
    A few years ago, there was an anniversary for the TRS-80 model 100, and I ran across this: Virtual T. Brought back a lot of memories.
    reeneebob likes this.
    02-17-15 10:54 PM
  24. anon(8063781)'s Avatar
    If your in Canada (Ontario at least) Sayal electronics has tons of electrical and electronic parts, gadgets and kits.
    That place is sooooo 1980s RadioShack!
    02-17-15 10:58 PM
  25. conite's Avatar
    My first computer was the TRS-80 Model I level 2. 16KB of ram (level 1 had only 4KB). Spent a whole day to program a dot to bounce across the screen.

    Z30STA100-5/10.3.1.2267
    02-17-15 11:23 PM
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