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Hardware on sale = expired milk cartons?

Last post 10-15-2008, 1:37 by icelava. 0 replies.
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  •  10-15-2008, 1:37 4635

    Hardware on sale = expired milk cartons?

    Electronic and computer hardware (well, except RAM) are always on a sloped trend when it comes to pricing. That is good for the consumer, falling prices make it more affordable to mainstream population who aren't lucky enough to win Big Sweep or Toto. This allows for more sales, and in effect, widespread adoption.

    But why do prices drop? Or put it another way, how can vendors afford to lower their prices and still remain profitable? I have a theory. They often reduce QC/QA efforts, and that reduces cost. And why do I have this conclusion? How else can I explain the sheer number of faults I as a single individual experience with so many goods I purchase? Right out of the box? Since I know this to be the very real case in software development, I have little doubt hardware development differs greatly.

    So the other day I decided it high time I bought a small set of speakers for my desktop workstation, after surviving more than a year on just headphones. Sure, headphones actually quite fine, until my parents start screaming at the top of their lungs for their voices to echo through the mountain valley before reaching my ears. Besides, I needed to be away from the computer at times, and it helps to continue listening to podcasts without being glued to the chair.

    And that I did. I walked across a shop displaying Divoom speaker sets for sale. After testing among the smallest sizes, I decided the Titan 757 gave the optimal balance of clarity and bass. This computer is not an entertainment system so no way I was going to settle for an even larger setup; this model's sub-woofer is already approaching the size of becoming a good foot rest for me.

    Shopping lesson #2: If you can test a device you purchase at the store, test it.

    Always in a rush, I skipped that process and just brought the box home; it should work exactly like the display set, no?


    I immediately put the speaker through rounds of music tests. And the very first score I played revealed a flaw in the right satelite speaker. Something loose inside rattles when certain frequencies are played. Loud enough to be heard. Loud enough to be annoying. Annoying enough to spoil the listening experience. I certainly am not expecting professional-level sound quality, but I certainly do want professional-level annoyance either.

    Yet another hardware device that makes a strike out on Day One of purchase. Either it is me, or it is the industry.

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