RadioShack’s liquidation auction is both a sad coda and an odd treasure trove

Radioshack closing
RadioShack, the onetime consumer electronics giant that started out in 1921, was pretty much gutted in recent years when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If you want to relive its heyday, however, you can now do so courtesy of a massive estate sale that’s running through July 3.

Want to pick up the GRiDPad, the world’s first touchscreen tablet, which arrived 21 years before the iPad first shipped? How about a TRS-80 Model 100, a notebook-style computer with a liquid crystal display that dates all the way back to 1983? Maybe some Tandy computer software is more your thing? If that’s not enough, what about a bust of Charles Tandy himself, the Tandy Corporation founder who passed away in 1978? You might even want to cap it off with a massive RadioShack metal sign to hang over your desk?

If those are a little bit too obvious for you, you can also bid on your very own, lovingly painted portrait of George W. Bush (yes, really!), some framed magazine covers from 1995, your very own photo of a now-defunct RadioShack board of directors, or a mystery box of “historical artifacts” — which may or may not include pictures of ex-presidents, magazine covers, and RadioShack executive boards.

In essence, it’s the world’s geekiest flea market, full of assorted miscellanea that reminds you just how depressingly quickly things can sometimes move in the world of tech. Sure, some people are going to remember RadioShack as being the Blockbuster Video of electronic gadgetry, but nothing says “sad end to a once-respected company” like its possessions being sold off to the highest bidder by an auction house that specializes in business liquidation.

If you’ve got any nostalgia for the days in which we went into brick-and-mortar stores to buy things, rather than just hitting them up on Amazon, this is well worth a look. Best of all, you don’t need to go to a physical auction house, since you can do the whole bidding process online. (And, yes, we get the irony of that!)

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Emerging Tech

Prepare for liftoff: Here are all the important upcoming SpaceX rocket launches

From ISS resupply missions to a host of communication and scientific satellite launches, SpaceX has a busy year ahead. Here's a rundown of some of the company's most important missions slated for the next year.
Emerging Tech

Virgin Galactic’s latest test flight takes it to the edge of space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has successfully carried out its fourth powered flight in Mojave, California. It was the company's most ambitious test flight yet -- and bodes well for the future.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the Red Planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

There’s a giant EMP blaster in New Mexico. Don’t worry, it’s here to protect us

An electromagnetic pulse has the potential to disable virtually all electronics within a large area. To help protect against such a threat is a new, friendly EMP emitter. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.