Friday, January 9, 2009

A Product So Dumb I Had to Buy It

I was going to blog about my visit to the (quite amazing if you're into American literary history) Free Library of Philadelphia's Poe exhibit today.  But unfortunately I can't find the picture that Kyle Cassidy shot of me standing next to the statue of Johannes Fust, so instead you get the hideously amateurish shot of a product so useless that I had to buy it.

And what is it, you ask?  It's a device that will turn your memory card into a thumb drive!  Yes!  If you've forgotten to bring along your thumb drive but you have remembered to bring along the thumb-drive sized device, why then, you're all set.   

No wonder they were selling it off at Micro Center for only 99 cents.

But here's the snapper:  It comes with a short USB cable.  Which means that it's a perfectly functional SD card reader.  So, really, it's a perfectly good product.  Only they packaged it as a dumb one, so somebody surely took a bath on it.

Another chapter in the annals of heroic capitalism.



mythusmage said...

Some people have a talent for missing things. Such as journalists, who are having a hard time catching on to the fact news outlets are not restricted any more. And the stories I could tell you about the RPG industry.

And sometimes it takes a really strange person to realize just how different something is. CF Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor and Devil Facial Tumor Disorder for example. Amorphous mammalian parasites descended from tumors. When it comes to derangement I have inspiration. :)

mythusmage said...

Just remembered something.

Have you given any thought to what thumb drives etc mean for computer design? My first iMac had a 6 gig hard drive. Today there are 3 ter drives that cost less than that drive, and 4 gig thumb drives for a few bucks.

It means that instead of spinning discs it's a bitch to swap out, you could have rows of easily swapped out memories. No moving parts, less energy needed, cooler operation. Your hard drive would probably consist of a memory array with rows and columns of flash drives, each one with something like a ter of active memory.

Then you have thumb drives as jewelry. I have a 2 gig USB drive I can hang from my neck as a sort of high tech amulet. The villain walks into a secure facility wearing a pendant, walks out with industry secrets. Make it even more fun, the transfer is wireless.

Which leads us back to how people miss things. Which involves us not thinking of such things because we'd never encountered such a thing before. Which leads us back to Wayland Smith and why he has geese. A reason most folks are not going to think of, because they know nothing of geese.

So the next time you see a slime mold, remember that it could be descended from a champion racing pigeon's carcinoma.

kylecassidy said...

Its not useless at all! i have one in each camera bag. It's how it get photos from my camera to people's computers in the field.

many newer computers have card readers built into them, but my laptop doesn't so if i'm going anywhere and want to edit photos on the road, i need a card reader, or if someone says "can i have that photo you took of me?" i can whip out the old card reader.

i also use, in this fashion, my camera as a thumb drive a lot of time. "Oh you want to see my new novel? it's actually on my camera, let me get out the card reader and i can pop it on your computer."