Sam Trenholme's webpage
This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Re: Is your Radio Shack like this?

Article: 7960 of alt.hackers
From: (Dave Mays)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Re: Is your Radio Shack like this?
Followup-To: alt.hackers
Date: 4 Jun 1995 03:41:33 GMT
Organization: Drexel University
Lines: 78
Approved: You're_damn_right_it_is!
Status: RO (Johannes Schwabe) wrote:

> Very many (not all) sales persons are so INCREDIBLY stupid... they
don't know
> about the things they sell. Sell tech like toasters.. The typical
> attitude of a suit. Guess hackers' typical attitude to suits... >-)

> The canonical example is a salesperson, asked about a cheap mini-stereo or
> something. "Frequency Range? It hasn't got one!"

Well, having worked in the Rat Shack for 3 years I have a few things to say
about this.  Over the 'Net' Rat Shack/Radio Snack/Rat Hack/etc... always
seems to receive a lot of complaints, and I realize this is not probably
the place for this post, but I don't think theres' a or any such thing, so this is the 'next best' I
suppose.  You have to realize that when a RS employee goes to work, he has
to become very cynical, because the people that we have to deal with all
day long really suck, for the most part.  There are so many that come in
and ask nonsense questions, thinking they know so much shit, and we *hate*
it.  It gets to a point where you can't win.  If you talk to somebody
intelligently, they think you're talking down to them because they can't
understand you, but if you talk in more simple terms to people they think
you're being condescending and complain to the manager.  This was always
happening to me, and it's one of the main reasons that I left the retail
business.  Other than the fact that it takes over your life after a while.
3 years is a long time to work for the same company when you're young, you
know.  I dunno, I guess it's just that nobody who complains about RS stuff
really understands that you don't have to be a genius to get hired there,
you just have to be honest and hard-working (Sometimes not even the
latter...) and they will take you.  They do make a good attempt to train
the employees, and actually have product certifications in all areas of the
store, but they're really easy, and some managers just give the answers to
the employees so that they'll pass and be able to keep working, 'cause if
you don't pass they will actually suspend you in some cases.  It's a wierd
company in some respects.  I could go on all day about this, but I think
I've basically made my point and it's time to move on.

> ObHiFiHack: building pseudo-quadrophony with a stereo set. 2 extra (back)
> speakers, wired as follows:
>                         [+]
> ----------R+>-------+-----------------------------------+         [+]
> AMPLIFIER   !  !Right_Main_Speaker!             !back_right_speaker!
> ----------0->-------+                                   |
>             !  !Left_Main_Speaker_!             !back_left_speaker_!
> ----------L+>-------+-----------------------------------+         [+]
>                         [+]
> The [+] denotes the phase of the speakers.
> One can use lower-quality speakers as back speakers, and one must take
> care the amp does not burn up. Try at your own risk.

By the way.....

This above method pf 'pseudo-quadrophony' originated in the '70s I think.
They called it 'Matrix Surround'.  It basically is just that the back
speakers are outputting the difference between the channels, thereby giving
an actual thrid channel of sound.  It's kinda cool, and easy to build if
your amp is able to accomodate it.  DO NOT attempt this on any newer amps,
like after 1980.  They will most likely self-destruct.


Got one of those cool power strips from Radio Snack that has a 'control'
outlet, four 'switched' outlets, and one 'unswitched' outlet.  Hooked it up
to my Mac IIsi, putting the computer in the control outlet.  Now when I hit
the 'power key' onthe Mac, my whole desk-full of hard-drives, monitors and
other peripherals comes to life.  This was an improvement over the previous
arrangement where there was a power strip plugged into the switched outlet
on the back of the computer.  That was putting too much strain on the
internal power supply.  Not a huge hack, but my fingers are tired......

| My opinions are not yours.      |                            |
|                                 |                            |
|                                 |                            |
| Dave Mays                       |   |

Back to index