Jeff Reifman writes a lovely memoir of being raised by his local Radio Shack outlets:
Beginning at age 11, I spent a lot of time hanging out at two different Radio Shack stores.
There, I discovered Leo Christopherson's Dancing Demon and his later gems Duel-n-Droids and Voyage of the Valkyrie.
I used to live for each year's Radio Shack computer catalog.
Eventually, I parlayed $600 in horse race winnings (my Dad picked and placed a good exacta bet for me at Hollywood Park) and about $600 in sales from my entire baseball card collection to upgrade my computer to have a 5 1/4" floppy drive. Yes, $1200 for an internal floppy drive.
At one point, a Radio Shack manager paid me $10/hr (a fortune) to manually re-type the entire contents of private investigator Gavin De Becker's client database. He set up two Model II computers side by side and I manually moved his entire database from (I think) Profile Plus to (I think) DBase. Basically, it was a catalog of all the psychos tracking his clients such as President Reagan (prior to his election) as well as a lot of code names, e.g. I think Reagan's was Pigskin.
Another fellow traveler hanging out at Chuck's store was the child star, Josh Milrad, from Beastmaster. I was impressed with his filmography but couldn't take him seriously because he had a Color Computer.
I took assembly language classes at Radio Shack and later earned first place in my age category in 80 Micro's Young Programmer's Contest.
Radio Shack and its salespeople launched my computing career.
Me too. I wasn't a TRS-80 guy, but everything else came from the Shack. I still have a battery club-card somewhere from my early DC motor experiments, which went through D-cells like crazy.
Raised, in part, by Radio Shack
(Image: Science Fair 160 in ONE Electronic Project Kit, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from mightyohm's photostream)
On the left: a Colby Walkmac, “the first battery-operated Macintosh computer and first portable Mac with a LCD display.”
Media artist Michael Naimark writes: In 1990, right as the first VR wave was swelling, Stewart Brand and Grateful Dead manager Jon Mcintyre concocted a scheme to produce an invitation-only 24-hour VR event modeled after the Electric Cool-Aid Acid test. They convinced Colossal Pictures, the largest soundstage in San Francisco, to host it. Dozens of […]
In Wired, BB pal Kevin Kelly wrote a definitive feature about the current (and future?) state of virtual reality, technology that many of us first tried in the late 1980s but took nearly thirty years to be ready for prime time. I first put my head into virtual reality in 1989. Before even the web […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]
Unless you’re a programmer or webmaster, the term SQL probably doesn’t mean much to you. But for those looking to understand more about how and why the web works the way that it does, know this – SQL and its process of managing and presenting large data sets is everywhere…and it’s the most in-demand programming […]