I have to admit, I saw those RFID’s discreetly on sale about a month and a half ago and snapped up 4 for myself and 2 for an Arduino-buddy who’s probably going to marry his way into the family. They’re OK as a toy, and the kids loved the little Arduino doo-dad I threw together that uses the RFID to disarm a motion sensor that ‘guards’ the hallway that leads to their rooms. Failure to swipe early enough, and it sets off a rather loud alarm with strobing high-intensity LEDs. And yeah, I disable it at night
But you’re right - the RFIDs are hardly state of the art - but that’s typical Radio Shack anyway. If I need 2 10mm blue LEDs, I can be pretty sure they’ll have them somewhere in that drawer unit they hide at the back of the store. Last week, in a fit of optimism, I went down to find a 5V voltage regulator, because I felt creative and wanted to build a simple and small in-line power conditioner for the Panda Tinkerer Kit I’ve been patiently waiting for (ahem). They had a 12v (just a single one) and 2 3.5V.
I asked the guy if he could just do a stock check on regulators to see if maybe, just maybe they had any in stock that I’d missed. What I got in return was a combination of ‘Oh, not much demand for those!’ and “I think it['s so cool that people still build things out of discrete components”. I guess the intent wasn’t to p*ss me off, but it had that effect.
So, I scan their site occasionally for stuff they’re getting rid of, and that’s about it.