25 Sep 2003 auspex   » (Journeyer)


We need at least two new computers, so I went to CompUSA to see what sort of things they're selling. I have a feeling they're not selling much; either they were remodelling, as one small oddly placed sign said, or they decided they didn't need marketing. The store was a mess beyond just the bad floorplan.

One of the fuzzypiles of boxes was littered with signs about customized computers. The most obvious customization available was the shiney Jolly Roger power supply fan grill.

When we need 128-bit machines to store Unix time, there will be a museum featuring a display case of PDAs next to an SUV with a sign, "Life before the extraterrestrial overlords. Be happy, citizen."

I wandered over to the dismal laptop section. The laptop business must depend on ignorance, stupidity, and desperation. It should be obvious that a laptop will not be used in a clean room, yet every laptop had a multipart keyboard. The design requirements must have included "short lifespan." Standalone keyboards would also be better with fewer parts, but they're at least sturdier and easier to replace. To get a decent keyboard on a laptop, you have to buy a "ruggedized" laptop; I guess that somehow ties into the SUV philosophy.

The standalone keyboards were hilarious. Some of them had a warning like, "Some experts think prolonged use of any keyboard may cause injury." They didn't even need any markup to get across the sarcastic tone. These warnings were etched into the plastic, not stickers. They also stated that more information could be found on the bottom of the keyboard. I tried to look, but the keyboards were bolted onto the shelves. (So much for checking heft.) Of course, most of them featured Windows keys, arrays of buttons, and Windows shortcut engravings.

My depression is a medical condition?

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