Radio Shack also made one that could be used, it was a collapsible antenna with a coil built into it, made for scanner use. It could be used for VHF transceivers as well--with a little common sense. I don't know if its still available there.
I've used that antenna on HTs in the past, just because I didn't know better at the time. It did work provided you adjusted the length.
When I was setting up the shack after moving I tried to connect it to my FT-897d using adapters for a quick check-in on the local Sunday repeater net. When I keyed up the transmitter it completely locked up the radio (on transmit). I had to pull the power to reset it. This was with power set to 5 Watts. I then set up a 1/2 wave mobile on a shelf about 5 feet away. Same thing. Once I got my colinear set up in the attic (on the other side of the apartment) I could finally transmit without locking up the radio. so, keep in mind your desktop radio may not be able to handle having the antenna directly attached.