Some people may wonder what the big deal is that RadioShack is closing many of its stores. Just recently for an Internet of Things (IoT) prototyping project I'm working on here at Oracle, I needed to connect an IoT-enabled Wi-Fi smart thermostat to our Oracle IoT Cloud Service. The Ecobee3 SmartThermostat is a great little device that can easily connect to our Oracle IoT CS, but it typically needs to be hooked into a home heating/cooling circuit to power it up.
Instead of doing that, I drove over to the local RadioShack and picked up a RadioShack Item #273-331, Enercell 24 VAC power adapter and connected it to run on my table top. Just being able to do that without waiting for an Internet shipment to arrive in 2-3 days, is one of the coolest things.
Going from my poor little Ecobee3 SmartThermostat just sitting there, dead in its box, to connecting it up with a couple simple wires from the correct type of low-voltage AC adapter (not found in most stores)...
and having it power up fine for testing and development with Java SE Embedded on my IoT Gateway and talking to my Oracle IoT Cloud Service, all in the same day without having to hunt around the Web searching for the right part, then waiting for it to ship...
is one of the greatest things about the few RadioShack stores that will remain open locally as Sprint stores. I hope the downsized company is able to stick around, at least a little while longer. IoT needs RadioShack, or at least the ones around here in the Silicon Valley.