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Author Topic: Smartphone vs 1991 Radio Shack ad  (Read 3445 times)
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 387




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« on: July 26, 2014, 10:47:53 AM »

http://blog.sfgate.com/mindyourbusiness/2014/07/25/smartphones-can-really-do-anything-much-to-the-dismay-of-radioshack/

This 1991 Presidents Day ad from Radio Shack was posted to Twitter recently, with the notation that a single smartphone can do all of this. (Click on the ad pic for a full scale, readable version.) Some commenters on SFGate noted that there are a couple technologies in the RS ad that would be considered obsolete or semi-obsolete today, such as a CB radio and a shortwave radio. Otherwise, ALMOST everything in this ad can be done with a smartphone, and that Tandy PC couldn't connect to the internet-the internet wasn't opened to the public until 1994. Note the offer of financing-$1500 was quite a bit of money back then.
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WA2ISE
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 11:22:43 AM »

Well, I had a dial up account on Netcom back in 1993, for something like $20 a month.  Available to the public, well any member of the public that could work a UNIX shell.   Anyway, there did exist various dialup BBS networks, and services like Compu$erve were around.  No web back then, but on text based Internet usenews groups there were groups for posting binary files like small pictures and DOS programs.  I even posted small jpg files on packet (there was something called "7plus" to encode such files to be able to get thru ASCII limited systems) back then.  ALl fun, but primitive by todays standards.  And 20 years from now we will be laughing at today's stuff...  Grin  And still using SSB on HF. 
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KK6KOQ
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 11:29:23 AM »

What I see in an ad like this other than being able to do from a smart phone:

* Now more off shore support - wealth transfer out of US
* Now more production in china - wealth transfer out of US
* Prices as percent of income were higher - likely resulting in higher profits meaning higher dividends or reinvestment, more jobs and R&D investment in US firms
* Products were built to last longer although we were moving toward the throw away society

With all that wealth transfer out of the US - did they think the good times would last forever?
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ONAIR
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 06:52:10 PM »

http://blog.sfgate.com/mindyourbusiness/2014/07/25/smartphones-can-really-do-anything-much-to-the-dismay-of-radioshack/

This 1991 Presidents Day ad from Radio Shack was posted to Twitter recently, with the notation that a single smartphone can do all of this. (Click on the ad pic for a full scale, readable version.) Some commenters on SFGate noted that there are a couple technologies in the RS ad that would be considered obsolete or semi-obsolete today, such as a CB radio and a shortwave radio. Otherwise, ALMOST everything in this ad can be done with a smartphone, and that Tandy PC couldn't connect to the internet-the internet wasn't opened to the public until 1994. Note the offer of financing-$1500 was quite a bit of money back then.

   Smartphones can be used as a CB.  They just need to download an app:  http://www.cbradiochat.net
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K0JEG
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 11:08:55 AM »

What I see in an ad like this other than being able to do from a smart phone:

* Now more off shore support - wealth transfer out of US
* Now more production in china - wealth transfer out of US
* Prices as percent of income were higher - likely resulting in higher profits meaning higher dividends or reinvestment, more jobs and R&D investment in US firms
* Products were built to last longer although we were moving toward the throw away society

With all that wealth transfer out of the US - did they think the good times would last forever?

*Off shore support - minimal expense keeps more profit (wealth) in US
*Production in China - see above (but wealth is concentrated on owners and financiers)
*Prices were higher because component costs were higher, not due to percentage of income or other reasons
*Products become obsolete before they become non-functional... Unprotected glass phones an exception. Average lifespan of a PC has been increasing over the last 10 years or so as hardware is out in front of software. Phones and tablet hardware, if well designed, will last through several releases of operating system hardware, even when the vendor (Apple) decides to "end support" for the older hardware.

The wealth transfer out of the US is mostly going to the middle east, in the form of oil and bombs. Moving manufacturing to the Orient hasn't produced the middle class in China the way it did in the United States during the 1st industrial revolution. That says to me the wealth has been concentrating at the top, and the evidence that the gap is widening due to the gains made by the 1%ers, and not the backpedaling of the rest of us (except from inflation) is further proof.

But this discussion is better suited to a political or economic site, so I'll go away now...
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