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Because this headline demands a cynical response - this isn't cooler than Apple, its cooler than RadioShack.

Also, why the couch? Unless there are some coding camps at the location, I can't imagine someone (even a parent) coming in and needing to sit down. Maybe an experienced sales associate that maps out the types of activities that can be done, but I doubt that as well.






> this isn't cooler than Apple, its cooler than RadioShack.

Arguably it could be cooler than both. You’re making an arbitrary distinction where one isn’t needed. Plus we never even had RadioShack in the UK (maybe Maplins might have been more apt? But I think the Apple comparison serves the authors point quite fine).

> Also, why the couch?

Plenty of shops in the UK have seating. It isn’t that weird at all.

> Because this headline demands a cynical response

No, it really doesn’t. You just chose to be negative for your own personal reasons.


"we never even had RadioShack in the UK"

We did kind of.

Tandy was basically RadioShack, they even sold RadioShack branded products.

I would like to say that it rebranded as RadioShack towards the end, but I cant find any evidence of that. So that's probably just my failing memory.


> I would like to say that it rebranded as RadioShack towards the end, but I cant find any evidence of that. So that's probably just my failing memory.

Many of them became Carphone Warehouse circa 2000 [0]. By 2001 the brand had been killed off. My last memory of Tandy was buying a RadioShack 14in TV. It didn't disappoint: it came with the schematic.

But, I definitely remember seeing a shop with RadioShack written on it in Boston, Lincolnshire around 2004 – and that was a town that I don't think ever had a Tandy. I never checked it out as my component needs were satisfied by an independent electronics shop in Lincoln.

I'm speculating that, after Tandy went, independent distributors of RadioShack products sprung up. There does appear to be a shop in Lancashire using the RadioShack logo.[1] Though unless they've got incredible warehousing, they can't sell much RadioShack stuff any more.

[0] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/01/03/tandy_is_dead_long_...

[1] https://www.yell.com/biz/radio-shack-lytham-st-annes-2879625...


There used to be a random electronics junk and appliances shop in Fareham (I forget the name now, it was late 90's/early 00's) which took on a role as a radio shack disti. I don't know if the town had a tandy when they were around as the chain was deep sixed before I lived there. However the Tandy's I did know as a kid were just like radio shacks in the states - same Archer branded parts, same computers (ever wonder what TRS in TRS-80 stood for? I'm guessing Tandy Radio Shack.) They had the classic radio shack logo as it became and had the catalog to order stuff from. unfortunately the shop closed down and a regular white goods appliance shop appeared in its place. it was a genuinely interesting place to go, they had baskets full of random cables and pieces of VCR's. it was a personal mecca for me for a while. I just wish I could have nabbed a few old computers they had before they went...

I remember this shop very fondly, I used to walk home from school, and pick up quite a few components for various electronics projects, but while I was away at uni it closed, I was very disappointed when I went back to my parents.

I can't remember what it was called. But I had a friend who worked there many years ago.


I FOUND IT! It was called Techno Trade street view was only good back to 2008 and it was already something else but a search on the address came up with: https://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/techno-trade-fareham

> ever wonder what TRS in TRS-80 stood for? I'm guessing Tandy Radio Shack

Good guess!

> The name is an abbreviation of Tandy/Radio Shack, Z-80 microprocessor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS-80


It’s funny you mention Carphone Warehouse because just last week I thinking how that name has also become a relic of the past due to the miniaturisation of handsets. I mean I know Carphone Warehouse doesn’t sell actual car phones anymore but the name of it’s store does amuse me as a reminder of a bygone era.

Tandy and Radio Shack are the same company. On this side of the pond, Tandy was the brand for a leatherworking hobby shop run by the company, while Radio Shack was electronics; you'd usually find a Radio Shack and a Tandy store next door to each other in the sixties and seventies.

And into the 80s! I remember them. I miss Radio Shack -- not the cell phone store they became, but what they were in the 80s.

They had to rebrand as Tandy as in UK if you said RS you meant RS Components - basically the biggest electronics supplier in the country.

at my first job the electronics shop had a standing account so if you needed anything electronic you just got it added to that's weeks order


When Maplins was just a Southampton mail order outfit advertised in the back of electronics magazines, Tandy (Radio Shack) was very much a thing in the UK. The shops were always Tandy, the products always Radio Shack prepacked from the US. They spread pretty wide as even small towns often had a shop.

It was the place to buy a pack of 3 resistors, or 2 spade connectors or fuses for your car for 10 to 50 times a reasonable price. It was an OK place to buy books though, as we still had the net book agreement so UK books had the price pre-printed. The US Radio Shack branded books they carried were much more expensive, and always shrink wrapped.

Maplins when they arrived were super cheap by comparison. RS and Farnell had minimum orders and needed a business account.


I do remember Tandy. In fact I Nearly included them in my previous post but declined to because of how long ago they closed. However I hadn’t realised they were the same parent company as RadioShack.

> Also, why the couch?

I love shops with couches or comfy chairs. And every shopping mall should have them, spread around. If I can't sit down now and then I don't stay there for very long - I need to get out of there. Another poster mentioned that he never shopped together with his SO - he goes to his shops, she goes to her shops. That's fine when you're in your own town. That doesn't work so well when you're visitors to an unfamiliar city. And I hope to go to Cambridge reasonably soon. With my wife.


You’ve never gone clothes shopping with your SO? Remember the chairs by the changing room?

These are the changing room chairs for the other half.


That's one of their uses... I had a chat with a couple of people sat down and they were just waiting for their SOs to finish browsing. So I gave them a MagPi and Hackspace magazine to read while waiting.

I noticed that they bought the Hackspace!

:)


Its also why the mothership Games Workshop in Nottingham has such a nice café/bar.

They also did a nice GW branded bitter


I've always found this situation weird. When my wife and I go shopping, we don't really do it together. I go to my stores. She goes to hers. No need for chairs.

I can certainly understand why someone might shop with an SO, but it's never been a requirement for us.


When I rarely go clothes shopping it does seem to be pretty normal for couples to shop together.

How does that work? You go into the shop, see shirt, check size, buy it, bam, done. Spend 30 minutes ogling PCs, Cars, Bikes, (pick your poison), before going to to find your partner who is still in the first shop with 50 rejected tops outside the changing room. So you find a seat.....

(This is a therapy session right?)


I think it's cooler for people who actually create and hack hardware. There's a level of play and tinkering that you probably never ever experience in an apple store.

The problem is core CS subjects don’t train you enough to do that. You would have to learn that from somebody who already is an expert and that maybe a little out of reach for a lot of people. I have been wanting to hack hardware but I haven’t had any guidance yet about what/how to proceed and debug. Looks like abstractions have gotten complicated enough for somebody to necessarily ignore how it works under the hood lest modifying the behaviour.

Why would a CS course teach you any of this? You want an EE degree to learn this, not CS

There are exceptions, but neither really teaches these things in most universities. My EE classes were about the skills needed to design a RasPi, not use one, which was "electronics technician stuff", not "serious electrical engineering". And CS is about lofty concepts of algorithms and type theory, where mere "programming" is a dirty business that sometimes can't be avoided. Hardware in CS? Oh, dear.... (Clutching my pearls, heading for my swooning couch.)

Using a RasPi is in that middle ground of intellectual disrepute where hobbyists teach each other and have lots of fun. It's what you do after school.


CS must teach at least some hardware, no?

Not really. Hardware and machines that actually run algorithms are just an implementation detail. :)

Anecdata: Mine did (CS, Manchester, 92-95). First year a certain amount of hardware was mandatory, second and onwards was optional (and I opted out.)

(Many people opted in because it gave you a chance to be lectured by Steve Furber and later work with him on 3rd year projects, IIRC.)


Also for years only Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and UMIST where considered the truly good CS degrees.

Manchester Uni CS certainly was partially hardware-based up until '97 or so.

Was doing CS, but plenty of hardware topics were available, such as creating your own processor on an FPGA, etc.

How can you possibly write good software without an appreciation of hardware??


Certainly did in my program. Computer Org & Design has been a canonical part of CS for a long time.

Doubt.

Do they have a LM7812? And a LM117Z for a fan? Do they have a NTC 100K with a beta of 3950? I'll also need a 40x40x20 fan at 24V, 3 pin. Plus some DIN562 M3 nuts, but it needs to be stainless steel.

And I expect no to pay more than $10 for all of that.

Not cool.


Call me crazy but sometimes it's nice to sit down.

> why the couch

Are you American? Do your stores not have seating?


I'm not OP but I'm Dutch, our stores don't have seating.

It does have a "Steve Jobs designs RadioShack" vibe to it.

> " its cooler than RadioShack."

Such a headline would probably be misinterpreted as criticism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damning_with_faint_praise




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