Dicksmith Electronics is dead to me now. Dead as a door nail, dead just like Tandy.
When I was growing up, Tandy and DSE were the two places I went to get my electronic parts and information. The Engineer's Mini Notebook series and Getting Started in Electronics sold at Tandy were treasure troves of tips, tricks, and insights. The best thing was of course I could buy nearly any component mention in the book at either DSE or Tandy.
Those days are no longer. Tandy degenerated into a specialised consumer electronics retailer long ago, and now DSE has suffered the same fate. Take for example my wasted journey to Burwood DSE: I had searched on DSE's website for some pin headers, and was inform Burwood store had them in stock. 30 minutes later I was there, and lo and behold: they no longer have an electronics section. Only a few years ago I would frequent Burwood DSE because they were the only component retailer I could reach with relative easy by public transport. Now there is nothing but the shiny and vacuous desert of electronic bling.
How the mighty have fallen.
Currently Futurlec is my supplier of choice. Not only do they have reasonable prices, they also have a fantastic range of components, boards and hardware, a better range than Jaycar with a easier to use website too.
I am torn to use Futurlec - Jaycar has been an excellent business in encouraging the next generation to get into electronics, and I really want to support them. But their website leaves much to be desired, and their range in recent years has been slowly been invaded by consumer electronic bling. Will Jaycar fall like Tandy and DSE before it? Maybe if they stayed out of the hands of the Woolworths...