Monday, February 16, 2015

radio shut

I sure didn't lift any fingers to prevent the closure of Radio Shack. Back when I was young, in the salad days of Silicon Valley, I wasn't a techy, so I never went shopping for diodes. By the time I was in the market for a home computer, in the mid 80s, my hardware guru, Big Harold (known to some of my readers), sent me to Fry's, previously unknown to me, then a single store already far larger and richer than Radio Shack in its provision of everything that its customer base wanted and nothing more (including the following non-techy essentials for the early Silicon Valley male techy life: 1) soda, 2) potato chips, 3) men's girly magazines).

Fry's has changed a lot since then too, but for a long time it was the one vital spot for anything electronic or electric that you'd want. Some time in, I think, the early 90s, a couple of friends of mine who ran computer systems for a living were in town for a conference. They didn't have a car, so when I came to take them out for dinner, they asked if we could stop by Radio Shack or CompUSA for some parts they needed for something. (I think they were planning to hack their hotel room phone.) I took them to Fry's instead. They were very happy.

On the rare occasions I did go to Radio Shack, I found that they wouldn't sell me anything, even for cash, without demanding my phone number for their records. I found this off-putting, so I didn't go back.

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