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RadioShack R.I.P.

February 5, 2015

I felt that I needed to write a eulogy for Radio Shack, given its demise this week.  Radio Shack is one of the reasons I’m in computers today.  It started in 6th grade with a Science Fair 150-in-1 Electronic Project kit in the 70’s that my parents purchased for me on a whim.  After that Radio Shack became the cool place you went to when you wanted to build or create something that none of your friends had.  It had all the instruction manuals, tools, and electronic components to allow you to build a variety of great things. I remember that AM Radio transmitter I built from scratch that let me pretend to be a radio DJ one summer. I built my first “robot” after reading an article in OMNI Magazine (also dead today) from parts purchased at Radio Shack: a gutted remote control car that was hardwired with electronics to either follow a flash light automatically or to scurry away like a cockroach and hide in the dark once a light was turned upon it.  Then there was the Trash-80, as we affectionately called their CPM-based early microcomputer.  I learned that it was easier to change code than to modify circuits by wirewraping or soldering new components.  I’m sad.  Today we have the Rasberry PI and similar escapes; if we could only get our kids to look up from their thumbs blurring away texting, Instagraming, and Facebooking to take a glance at them…  Radio Shack R.I.P.

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From → Education, Personal

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