That's an awful lot of trash-80

Trash on School Street in Boston

Andy Primeau photographed the garbage bags in front of the School Street Radio Shack this morning. Probably just contains the remains of a recent cleanup rather than thousands of spoiled capacitors found in the basement, but you never know.

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    I think you mean, "The Shack.

    I think you mean, "The Shack."

    I only visit Radio Shack out of desperation. The last time I was in there was to buy a charger that I had forgotten to bring with me on a business trip and I didn't have time to hunt around for an alternative. I asked the clerk if what he was selling me was dual voltage, and you could tell that he had no idea what I was asking. He answered, "Yes" anyway. Maybe he thought "dual voltage" was another way of saying "requires electricity." Anyway, turns out that the item wasn't dual voltage (I had a good hunch it wasn't, give the price, but I was hoping) but I only learned that because I looked at the packaging more closely.

    You can't go to one of these stores expecting to get good advice anymore (I remember my Dad would go to Radio Shack and spend 20 minutes talking with the clerk there about strategies for wiring up whatever project he was working on,) so without that edge, you're better off doing your research on the internet, and ordering what you need online.

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    You-do-it in needham has

    You-do-it in needham has replaced my needs for electronic stuff if I need it. Unfortunately that requires getting to Needham where ratshacks stocked with components used to be everywhere.

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    I'm not sure I would have asked for a dual voltage charger.

    For a Radio Shack clerk, it's too open to interpretation. This could mean it's capable of taking in two voltages and outputting one, or it can take in one voltage, and put out two, like this:
    http://za.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Cincon/TR25D-02Y-14A03/?qs=sGAEpiMZZM...

    I find it's best to ask simple, non technical questions when shopping at the Shack. A few weeks ago I walked into the Boylston Street store. A young woman approached me and asked if I needed help. When I told her I was looking for a piece of clad and a potentiometer, she walked me right over to the DIY rack, and pointed out everything I had asked for. I think she's above the typical Shack employee.

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    The final straw for me in dealing with Radio Shack's

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    "customer service" nonsense was about two years ago when I went to purchase some non-standard audio cables - which nobody but RadioShack seems to carry - and the cashier tried to gouge me for an extra $1.00 "cable replacement warranty" for each cable.

    Despite politely saying to him "No, I'm not interested.", he continued to try to get me to pay the extra $1.00 per cable. I then very sternely stated "Look, what don't you understand about NO! I've bought cables here in years past and have never had any problems with them. So please don't try to force your sham of a warranty down my throat."

    His response to that was "Well, Corporate makes us do this stuff - I have no control." And then he continued to try to get me to pay the extra buck per cable.

    At that point, I left the merchandise on the counter and walked out of the store. And I haven't been into a RadioShack since.

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    With me it wasn't warranty, but a cell phone pitch

    i went in to buy something miniscule...like a cable or battery adapter or something. The guy at the counter wouldn't shut the hell up about the cell phone carrier plan they were selling. No thanks, not interested, I'm already in a contract. "yeah but our contract is better". No it's not. I'm not interested in breaking the contract with a carrier I am happier with, because you're doing the hard sell on it. No thanks.. Now ring up my purchase so I can leave here and never come back again.

    I now shop at Best Buy for all my little cable/adapter needs. Not that I love them either but at least they are less bothersome.

    Best buy employees don't earn commission

    But are required to offer you a warrantee for everything you buy.

    On a similar note, the state of Maine has consumer warrantee protection for everything except for used cars I believe. (Meaning if something you buys breaks, the consumer by law has to get a refund or the same product again, so you don't need to pay for a warentee)

    Sounds like the experience I had

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    Usually the battery on my phone last all throughout my work day. However, one time, maybe I left an app open or something, but the battery was completely drained. Out of desperation I headed to one of the RS locations in DTX and picked up a charger for around $20. The guy behind the counter tries to sell me a warranty for an addition eight bucks stating "if the cable breaks you can always return it for a free replacement." I politely declined, but in my mind I was saying "seriously, you're trying to sell me a warranty for nearly half the cost of the product itself? Also what are the odds of something going wrong with a charger?"
    This blog post pretty much sums it up about RS
    http://www.retaildoc.com/blog/the-key-to-selling-extended-warranties-in-...

    "I remember my Dad would go

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    "I remember my Dad would go to Radio Shack and spend 20 minutes talking with the clerk there about strategies for wiring up whatever project he was working on,"
    And a lot of people would also say the same thing about Sears. How one could walk into the hardware department and talk to a knowledgeable, experienced sales person. That was until the bean counters took over and it was all about pleasing the shareholders. As a result the experienced (read expensive) associates were given the boot and replaced by just anybody off the street.

    Renovation

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    They just renovated that store. The trash bags were what they were throwing out during or immediately after the renovation. So the School St. store won't be one of the ones they close. But I'll bet they'll close either the Summer St. or the Winter St. store, both of which are just a few blocks from this store and from each other.

    I had the laptop version

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    of the TRS-80. For its time, it was actually a pretty decent computer for the price. And it's the only laptop I've ever seen that could also run off of AA batteries instead of the propeitary battery pack supplied with it.

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    trs-80 was A Luxury

    when I was a boy, we dreamed of having a trs-80, we had to plug in our timex-sinclair's (data cassette) half an hour before we typed run.

    sorry for lame monty python riff, could not help

    At work ...

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    Those of us young cub reporters out in the hinterlands of what would eventually become MetroWest used either the desktop TRS-80s (with a floppy drive) or the Model 100s. The statute of limitations has long passed, so I can admit I spent some time on the desktop unit typing in games in Basic. The model 100s were great, except the acoustic couplers you needed to file a story would typically break roughly 15 minutes after you got them at the store (thanks to connector cables that were roughly one micron thick).. Also, as one reporter found out, if you happened to put one on the roof of your car while you fished out your keys, then forgot about the computer, then drove off, well, not much of any value would be left when you suddenly realized what had happened and rushed back to the parking lot (no, this was not me, I was saving up my computer-destroying abilities for later laptops).

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