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El Chuxter
08-15-2008, 12:42 PM
Apparently, Radio Shack is no longer in the business of selling all those random gadgets and electronic pieces they've always been associated with selling.

Mrs Chux has a new projector at school, but still (due to weird restrictions on budget expenses) has a computer from around 1999 or so. Both the monitor and the projector pug into a standard RGB/VGA jack on the computer. And the computer has one, with (as it's so old) no existing second type of video connection.

So, we decided to get a cheap splitter so she could use both. The first place to come to mind: Radio Shack. Everyone in the IT department at the school also recommended Radio Shack. After all, everyone knows that's where you find electronic stuff that's so unusual no one else carries it, right?

I walk in. I see iPods. I see computer keyboards--though, curiously, no computers. I see those cheap, carpy toys Radio Shack has always stocked (and I doubt ever actually sold). And I see more cell phones than I would've believed possible. But no splitters. Not just RGB splitters, but not even standard audio or video ones. No adapters of any sort. In fact, practically nothing else.

An employee finally asks if he can help. I tell him what I'm looking for, and he immediately says they don't sell them in stores, but have them online. Or I can check Best Buy, who should have them. (Always nice for a store to recommend its biggest competitor.)

So, a bit dumbfounded, we go to Best Buy. They have nothing, and recommend Radio Shack. I laughingly tell them what the guy at Radio Shack said, and they're kinda flabbergasted. The same happens at Circuit City, OfficeMax, Office Depot, and Staples.

Finally, we decide to go to a bigger Radio Shack, thinking maybe it was some weird issue with the first location. Same exact thing.

Sad thing is, she needs this next week or it's useless. I doubt any online retailer could get it here in the next day or so, without charging a major premium for shipping. No one has the damned thing. Radio Shack could've made $10, but now she's given up on the projector altogether.

And, worse, Radio Shack's website doesn't have it, or anything similar. Which makes me suspect that everyone who goes in thinking they can get random gadgets is given the same answer about their website.

I have to wonder, given how many places there are that sell iPods and cell phones these days, and do it more cheaply and efficiently than Radio Shack ever could, how long can Radio Shack last if it totally turns its back on what it's always been. Because no one buys "normal" stuff there. They only buy accessories and parts... which Radio Shack no longer stocks.

UKWildcat
08-15-2008, 01:47 PM
You mean something like this (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3032171&cp=&sr=1&origkw=vga+adapter&kw=vga+adapter&parentPage=search)?

El Chuxter
08-15-2008, 01:54 PM
I knew someone would find that one. :)

I'm actually referring to a much smaller non-powered splitter, which should run $10 or less.

However, I'm less concerned with finding one than I am just still a bit stunned that, apparently, the former "go-to" store for weird gadgets no longer keeps them in store. If I walk into a store looking for an electronic gadget, chances are I need it immediately.

Ando
08-15-2008, 02:54 PM
Chuxter, do you have a Fry's Electronics near you? They sell that kind of weird, random stuff.

Jargo
08-15-2008, 03:37 PM
the british arm of radio shack folded I think. to be replced by yet another cell phone shop. whenever any store closes you're guaranteed to find a cell phone store moving in. I'm convinced cell phones are devices created by aliens to enslave the human race. sub frequencies emitted from them turn people into illiterate zombies. they melt the brain man. I'm telling you. and the gub'ment is already under the aliens control. those cables and splitters interfere with the cellphones which is why you can't find them any more. it's all shhhhhhhhh though........

scruffziller
08-15-2008, 04:06 PM
Radio Shack brand electronics=crap

LTBasker
08-15-2008, 07:58 PM
Well, there's always the wonder that is newegg; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882339129

Maybe electronics stores aren't worried about the unusual and fascinating random things anymore due to newegg's popularity?

bobafrett
08-15-2008, 11:32 PM
I bought a replacement battery for my cordless phone from radio shack. Before, with the original battery that came with the phone, I could have countless hours of cordless conversation. With the RS battery, a half hour to maybe 45 minutes, before I have to put the handset back on the base, and switch to either speaker phone, or run and use the corded phone which limits me from slouching on the couch while talking with Josh, or other people who call me.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-16-2008, 12:22 AM
Yet another example of how the cell phone is destroying our society. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. :upset:

Businesses that try to "stay in business" by doing other things than what they specialize in won't last too long. "Radio Shack: don't just buy stuff, because we won't have that stuff." :(

Mad Slanted Powers
08-16-2008, 02:29 AM
Interesting. I'll have to take a look next time I'm at the mall. It's been a while since I've been to Radio Shack.

figrin bran
08-16-2008, 03:22 AM
Hmmm...I went into Radio Shack last year to get a 1/4" stereo jack and they did have them, albeit at a higher price than it should've been.

I don't own a cell phone nor do I ever plan to so at least I won't become enslaved by aliens. ;)

JediTricks
08-17-2008, 01:57 AM
Well, there's always the wonder that is newegg; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882339129

Maybe electronics stores aren't worried about the unusual and fascinating random things anymore due to newegg's popularity?Newegg is not such hot stuff, between their extra fees or membership costs and Fry's being kickass, you can always do this: http://shop3.frys.com/product/4464316
Half the price and I can drive there. Unfortunately for Chux, he lives a little far out to drive to Fry's.

Anyway, Radio Shack has always sucked, but up until Fry's they were the only game in town for goofy stuff like resistors and splitters and such, now they've gotten so deeply involved in the cellphone game that they have no time for anything else (and let's face it, their employees haven't been knowledgeable for decades, plus, cell phones are technically radios :p).



Actually, I hit Radio Shack a few months ago for parts, cables mostly, and they had comparable equipment, just too low-grade and overpriced for my needs, so I drove out to Fry's and got exactly what I needed for under twelve bucks.

bobafrett
08-17-2008, 06:24 PM
I thought about this place I used to frequent with a now ex girlfriend of mine. http://www.sciplus.com/

Blue2th
08-17-2008, 07:30 PM
Yet another example of how the cell phone is destroying our society. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. :upset:



With you on that one.

Besides the social implications, I'm just waiting for everybody to start dropping like flies from the brain cancer they may or may not be getting.

The only thing I've bought at Radio Shack in the last ten years was a little box of slo-blo fuses for my guitar amplifiers, that you can't find at the music stores. :rolleyes:

Jargo
08-17-2008, 09:30 PM
they should make cell phones the size they were originally. like military field telephones with a battery pack like a car battery size. people wouldn'tbe so keen to lug one of those around. should also create phone dead zones in public places like cinemas and theatres. and spaces you can't escape from like a train or bus or elevator.

another idea would be to not allow calls to be made unless the phone is connected via a short cable to a designated phone point. so like where call boxes are now you could have a phoneless stand with just a socket on it. you walk up plug the cable into your phone and the stand and bingo instantly connected. because you pay by credit card or whatever there's no cash involved. just a change in where phones can be used to be more sociable and respectful. keep all the phone points grouped together so only designated areas are noisy.

if you take away the percentage of broken call boxes, take the need to carry cash away, remove unwanted noise from places where the noise is most intrusive and each phone stand could have multiple cable connectors so there's less fighting over how long someone is taking and it's cheaper to repair a broken cable connection than it is to have to keep replacing and fixing standard telephones.

in essense cell phones are a good tool but their use needs regulating more.

CaptainSolo1138
08-17-2008, 10:47 PM
The Radio Shack nearest me has a whole wall o' gadgets and knick knacks.

JediTricks
08-19-2008, 12:45 AM
First off, you're all sounding like a bunch of old people, and many old folks DO use cellphones. :p

Secondly, the last thing I bought at Radio Shack was the Star Wars Lightsaber laser pointers and flashlights on clearance.

Blue2th
08-19-2008, 09:28 AM
they should make cell phones the size they were originally. like military field telephones



I might actually buy one of those if it were Gi Joe like. Man would I look important like I was calling in an airstrike. :)

NerfTW
08-19-2008, 09:55 AM
The reason radio shack is failing is because it's far cheaper to have a giant central warehouse that has all sorts of random crap that only 1 person a year will buy, and ship it out from there, then it is to have 1000 of these random crap items spread amongst limited shelf space at 1000 different stores.

Nobody wants to go all the way to radio shack and possibly not find the item they need (or employees that have a clue) when they can just hop online and order it from a "long tail" distributor.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-19-2008, 11:16 AM
First off, you're all sounding like a bunch of old people, and many old folks DO use cellphones. :p

Secondly, the last thing I bought at Radio Shack was the Star Wars Lightsaber laser pointers and flashlights on clearance.As a teacher, I see firsthand just about everyday the abuse and misuse of cell phones, which has probably infected my views on them. I am clearly seeing the irony of a reduction in the quality of communication as the quantity of communication devices increases.

I bought one or two of those sabers, too. Sale items rock!

Ando
08-19-2008, 11:30 AM
My wife bought me the MR Build Your Own Saber Kit from Radio Shack right before Christmas last year (on top of all the SW loot she got me!) and this summer I found a loose MR saber stand at a comic shop so I could properly display it.

I for one hate it cell phone users drive UNDER the speed limit and weave all over traffic, but in the end, for emergency use, I am glad we have them. I don't think we need more regulation as much as parents need to teach their children manners and etiquette.

Jargo
08-19-2008, 04:09 PM
Well, I AM old.

JimJamBonds
08-19-2008, 05:23 PM
Apparently, Radio Shack is no longer in the business of selling all those random gadgets and electronic pieces they've always been associated with selling.

I hope they still are in the business of asking for your phone number when you go to check out?

Mad Slanted Powers
08-19-2008, 08:01 PM
I hope they still are in the business of asking for your phone number when you go to check out?So, they are like TRU then?

JediTricks
08-20-2008, 12:54 AM
Schools shouldn't allow students to use cellphones on campus for any purpose other than emergency, I don't understand the ones that let kids use cells. As for language tampering, is it that prevalent? I would assume it's a few bad apples only, and they should be punished in their grades for using txting talk.

sith_killer_99
08-20-2008, 02:58 AM
So, they are like TRU then?

I have two standard answers to their question, they go like this:

Salesman: May I get your phone number with area code please?

Me: No!

Followed by a brief blank look of surprise


Salesgirl/woman: May I get your phone number with area code please?

Me: No, my wife dosen't want me giving my number to strange women?

Followed by either a little chuckle/coy laugh or the above mentioned blank pause.

Either way they will not get my number.:Pirate:

My favorite is "May I get your zip code"?

Answer: Nine Zero Two One Zero (90210). Okay, so it's a little "early ninety's" and maybe childish, but who cares.:p

CaptainSolo1138
08-20-2008, 08:41 AM
Schools shouldn't allow students to use cellphones on campus for any purpose other than emergency, I don't understand the ones that let kids use cells.Several school districts in Michigan passed rules this summer that allow for cellphones in school, but they cannot be used in the classroom. C'mon, how stupid are you? You mean to tell me that on top of everything else, now we have to watch out for kids who can just text the test question to a friend and get the answer back? Surely its been done before, but now they won't be as afraid to pull their phone out whenever they want, since its "technically" OK.

Blue2th
08-20-2008, 10:18 AM
So, they are like TRU then?

I would give out my phone number, because I knew I would be in their system as a customer, so they would send me cards for $10 off or $5 off.

Lately though they haven't been even asking for a phone number.

They might have switched to the online coupon that you can print out. I've used those quite often, and since they would only let you view the coupon once, I would make sure and print 2 to 3 copies at the initial viewing.

Mad Slanted Powers
08-20-2008, 11:40 AM
Since there hasn't been a TRU around here since April of 2006, I couldn't recall if they asked for phone number or zip code. I seem to recall giving my phone number, but I also seem to recall giving my zip code while at a TRU on one of my trips to MO or PA.

El Chuxter
08-20-2008, 12:23 PM
I think they totally cut that out a year or so ago. I know Radio Shack doesn't do it.

The difference was, Radio Shack at one point actually required setting up a profile in their database so you could track customers. Tracking info can be very useful (or very destructive, depending upon how it's used), but requiring phone numbers and addresses for someone buying a pack of batteries is a little excessive.

If TRU (or anyone else) asks for a phone number, simply tell them it's unlisted. They usually are so thrown off by someone not giving the number that they don't press any further.

This reminds me: Circuit City a couple of years ago started selling buyer protection plans on smaller purchases. A lot of places still do on larger stuff, or even on video games. Circuit City was trying to sell it on CDs and DVDs! You could buy a movie on sale for $4.99, and they'd offer you a warranty for $1 more! They quickly realized how stupid this is. But the funny thing is: next time you buy something there, watch the cashier's screen if you can see it. It still pops up telling them to try to sell the warranty. I've just not seen an employee do anything other than just click "No thanks" (or whatever the option is) and not even mention it.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-20-2008, 06:53 PM
Schools shouldn't allow students to use cellphones on campus for any purpose other than emergency, I don't understand the ones that let kids use cells. As for language tampering, is it that prevalent? I would assume it's a few bad apples only, and they should be punished in their grades for using txting talk.Well, here are some things that are illegal: drug use, speeding on the freeway, tax evasion, murder. Still, there need to be those who enforce those rules, and some of them have quite severe punishments. As a teacher, I can take the phone away (not big whoop) and take it to the office (inconvenient, but still not a big whoop), and if the student refuses to comply (now that's defiance, which has other consequences) I call security to escort the student out. All this takes away from class time; that's the problem I have.

As for cheating, see above. If a phone's out (even to "just check what time is was" as one student tried to say), I give one warning. Second time, it's gone (and I'll watch the warned ones more closely). As for bad grammer (yes, I wrote it that way), it's a "significant grammar error" in my rubric.

JediTricks
08-21-2008, 06:03 PM
Several school districts in Michigan passed rules this summer that allow for cellphones in school, but they cannot be used in the classroom. C'mon, how stupid are you? You mean to tell me that on top of everything else, now we have to watch out for kids who can just text the test question to a friend and get the answer back? Surely its been done before, but now they won't be as afraid to pull their phone out whenever they want, since its "technically" OK.Man, I thought I was sneaky using a calculator hidden in my sleeve in 9th grade Algebra. Cheating alone should make schools a phone-free zone. Pay attention to your schoolwork, not your communications.

I mean, it's one thing to have it in colleges where students have real-world concerns like bills and family they have to take care of, but high school and under folks should have 1 thing on their mind while they're there: school.



Well, here are some things that are illegal: drug use, speeding on the freeway, tax evasion, murder. Still, there need to be those who enforce those rules, and some of them have quite severe punishments. As a teacher, I can take the phone away (not big whoop) and take it to the office (inconvenient, but still not a big whoop), and if the student refuses to comply (now that's defiance, which has other consequences) I call security to escort the student out. All this takes away from class time; that's the problem I have.You have to check their spelling and communications skills either way, if they were inserting "-izzle" into every word you'd still have to dock them. We all spoke slang and shorthand when we were in school when it was to our chums (heh heh, this is the most old-guy sentence ever, "spoke slang", "chums") but the reality is we weren't stupid enough to use that communications medium in our schoolwork. This isn't like bad handwriting due to developing motor skills either, it's just about being taught the difference between communications methods that work in a school environment and those that don't. And as for kids having contraband, teachers took away our Micro Machines in the 5th grade, there's always some distracting toy that teachers have to deal with, they've been confiscating stuff for eons, that's no different then it was 70 years ago when my grandmother was in school.


As for cheating, see above. If a phone's out (even to "just check what time is was" as one student tried to say), I give one warning. Second time, it's gone (and I'll watch the warned ones more closely). As for bad grammer (yes, I wrote it that way), it's a "significant grammar error" in my rubric.Checking the time, like there's not a clock in every classroom.

CaptainSolo1138
08-21-2008, 07:40 PM
Man, I thought I was sneaky using a calculator hidden in my sleeve in 9th grade Algebra.My TI-87 is responsible for me passing chemistry.:yes: