Last week, Sony finally released a PlayStation 3 bundle that actually shipped with the rumble controller included, rather than expecting people to spend an extra $60 to get one. The bundle also comes with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the new iteration of one of my favorite games. This new MGS4 bundle promptly sold out everywhere online. So on Saturday, while rothko was helping to run a local election, I figured I’d try a few stores to see if anyone had one in stock.
When the Xbox 360 came out, it was portrayed as something everyone wanted, the amazing new console that was selling out everywhere. Yet the next week, when I walked into Costco they had a pallet piled high with the things. When the Wii was launched, it became the console that was really selling out everywhere. But by then, Microsoft had moved on to their new story, that the Xbox 360 was the biggest selling next-gen console.
I’ve beem thinking about how one can actually spot shady businesses. It’s not as easy as it initially seems—there are plenty of dodgy retailers that manage to look totally legitimate, and there are plenty of good companies that you might assume to be crooks because (for instance) they don’t list any kind of address online. For example, if you’ve ever shopped online for camera equipment, or browsed the ads in magazines, you’ve probably seen lots of stores in New York selling photo equipment at way below MSRP.
I was in Best Buy today, looking to see if they had any cheap DVD-Rs, when a guy walked up and asked me if I knew about laptops. I said that yes, I did, but that I didn’t work for Best Buy. To my surprise he said that he knew that, that the people who worked at Best Buy didn’t know what they were talking about, and that I looked like I might be the kind of person who did know stuff about laptops.
Well, the Apple Store finally opened in the CambridgeSide Galleria. I decided I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer, I had to have MacOS X. First, though, I had to have more RAM. Apple charge about four times as much for RAM as the going market rate; however, the store was honest enough to admit this. I checked on the web, then headed for Best Buy, which turned out to have 512MB of PC133 RAM for about the same as it would cost mail order.
RAM prices are low right now. However, Big Blue is really putting the squeeze on expenses. So I gave in. I went to Best Buy and bought 2x 128MB of unapproved RAM for my ThinkPad. I took out the 32MB and 64MB DIMMs that were in there to replace them with the 128MBs, so with the 32MB on the motherboard I now have a total of 288MB. This means that finally I’ll be able to run Notes, Domino Designer, Mozilla and Fireworks at the same time without the thing swapping itself to death.