|Re: HP-32SII may be discontinued|
Message #7 Posted by Ellis Easley on 19 Feb 2002, 2:21 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Matthias Wehrli
A snip from the earlier story, about ACO closing:
"... HP has said that it is not exiting the calculator business all-together, and that they expect the calculator line to continue as good business for HP for some time."
This made me think of how Radio Shack used to carry a big range of parts, like a good portion of the 74 series TTL - at least a few dozen part numbers. Last time I looked they had narrowed it down to about 4-6 parts (I mean stocked in the store - they have a bunch in the new mail order catalog). Also they used to have the "FlavoRadios" - cheap AM radios in a variety of colors (BTW I thought they should have done that with the Color Computer, now Apple has done it with the IMac), a while back the Flavors had been pared down to "Blackberry" (black) and "Raspberry" (sort of a coral). Radio Shack puts great stock in statistics and I guess they are just trying to concentrate on the biggest sellers in a business that adds new product lines at an increasing rate.
When I worked for Tandy Corp. the buzz was about the need to change the name of Radio Shack because it connoted something cheap. Once in a speech to employees, John Roach (does anyone remember "the Chairman's thoughts" in the Radio Shack flyers? Am I the only one who thought of Chairman Mao?) explained for the benefit of newer employees the origin of the term "radio shack" - I knew ham operators used the term but I didn't know this - he explained that the first place where radio made a massive impact was on ships. And on a ship there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. So they had to build a shack on the deck for the radio. Therefore the term is indicative of an emerging technology. The new chairman of the company - who I swear used to act in Woody Allen movies - agreed, I guess, since he changed the name of the corporation to Radio Shack. In that speech, Roach made reference to the fact that Radio Shack carried some things that might be thought obsolete. He turned to the president of Radio Shack and asked, "How many tubes did we sell last year, Bernie?" At that time (mid 80's) they still had a small selection of TV and radio tubes in the catalog. Ten years before, when I was in high school, every store had a tube tester and a large number of types were stocked and they came with a lifetime guarantee. I think they still have a kit of five tubes that should let you get a lot of the old table radios working.
Speaking of which, there is a guy on Ebay selling lots of parts including tubes and at the top of his "boilerplate" text he says, "Don't hit the Back button when you see my location, Lithuania!" He's got a lot of Russian military surplus and he says he can ship things to the US for $3 - $5 airmail. I'm going to get some 100 kHz crystals mounted in an evacuated glass tube. I want to see if I can detect the motion of the surface when it is oscillating.