Unfortunately Radio Shack (which back in the day wasn't even close to LRE) continues down the path towards becoming just another cell phone store. I don't think it's the future they laid out decades ago, but more a matter of self preservation - they want to survive. They are even marketing themselves as "The Shack" in commercials. Lord, the price you pay to be cool. The other stuff we used to depend on them for (resistors, capacitors, bread boards, wire, solder, transistors, etc.) have all but disappeared completely from many Radio Shack stores. I have one close to me and it still has a few things that I can count on, for instance, resistors. I stopped there in search of a resistor to do the fan mod for an FT-100D, and found it. It wasn't easy to find, but it was there. I could have gone to FRY'S, which is only about two miles further, but I thought that if the local RS had it, I'd support them.-
If anyone subscribes to the magazine "WIRED", then check out the May issue. On page 076 they have a pretty good article on Radio Shack which starts off telling the tale of franchise owner Andy Cohen who has his store in California looking more like Lafayette Radio Electronics than Radio Shack. He and his manager stock a bunch of items for do-it-yourself solder heads like myself, and have a loyal customer base of local experimenters. The article is 5 pages, which seems like a lot considering what the "Shack" does now, but it does tell the story of a company trying to stay in business. It also led me to Mike D'Alessio's very cool website! Mike took almost 70 years of catalogs, scanned them, and put them online so with just a mouse-click you can pick one and start flipping pages (a link to the website can be found with my other favorite links on the right).
I've been busy with another project or two, and haven't kept any posts going, but after reading the article and Mikes' website I thought I'd jump over to the blog machine and let ya know about it -