Monday, January 28, 2008

Where's the profit?

Last Saturday it seems my awakening was eagerly anticipated. You understand that the rest of the family enjoy it when I sleep in almost as much as I do; if I'm asleep I'm not annoying them with unreasonable demands aimed at cleaning up their own mess!

But overnight Andrews machine stopped talking to the Internet. Disaster! Without the Internet he had no access to World of Warcraft and, apparently, no other resources to distract him from the business of being alive. It's such a bummer sometimes, having to breath!

Of course my car is still unwashed[^]. Little did he know just how soon those chooks would turn into homing pigeons!

Two coffees, some bacon and eggs, four leisurely cigarettes and a good hour after rising I condescended to inspect the wayward machine, expecting nothing more complex than the need for an IP lease renewal or perhaps a reboot. But for some reason we'll never know the network chip on the motherboard has disappeared. BIOS shows it enabled, the little lights wake up when you plug the cable in but Windows Device Manager shows it not!

I tried the usual suspects. Uninstall the driver and let the plug'n'play manager do its stuff; no network! I suppose I could have reformatted the drive and reinstalled Windows (would have served the little bastard right to lose his music - he won't do backups) but I can be as lazy as he can at times. Sticking a new network card in was going to be much easier.

Thus to Frys Electronics, where I purchased a PCI 10/100 Twisted Pair card for $4.99 plus tax. But first there was the price Andrew had to pay to be considered. No promises to be forgotten once his computer was safely back on the Internet. I wanted immediate action and it had to be completed before I'd even leave the house on the errand of mercy.

Loud the wailing and loud the gnashing of teeth as he cleaned the kitchen and scrubbed the floor. It wasn't fair! Bretts father wouldn't have made Brett clean the kitchen. I quite agreed whilst asking if I looked like Bretts father.

When I got back from Frys he couldn't believe it when I handed him a cup and instructions on how much milk and sugar went into the coffee. Well, I was doing the hard yacka with his computer; the least he could do was make me another coffee!

What I couldn't believe was the price. The tax inclusive[^] price was $5.40 and I reckon the State of Arizona and the City of Phoenix made more money on the deal than anyone else invloved. The card is made in China, packaged in a cardboard box including a CD of drivers, shipped halfway around the planet, distributed to one of a hundred outlets and lands there marked at $4.99 retail. Either someone is making one hell of a loss or everyone's working on tenth of a cent profit margins! No wonder high tech jobs suck so much!

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