Seen Around Town

I’m not much of a photographer, but that doesn’t stop me from always taking my camera with me. Here are some recent gadget shots:

The music branding and advertising at Starbucks has gone completely over the top. Above is a pic of the digital release displayed in front of the cashier. I also picked up a business-card-size promotional sheet offering a free “song of the day” by entering the download code online. Makes me wonder where Starbucks will go next. (Co-op work spaces? Theme parks?) They’re clearly more than a coffee shop these days. And what about the music distribution business? Do music studios have to sell an experience rather than just a song?

Next check out what I found at Costco and a yard sale…

Costco is offering a 1-terabyte drive on sale for a low $299. Not TiVo-certified, but it probably won’t be long before TiVo customers are banging down Western Digital’s doors for an upgrade beyond the 500GB version.

Finally, at a yard sale recently I saw a way old Cisco router. And by old I mean late 1990s, early 2000s. I can’t imagine anyone actually buying this, but a quick check online shows this model on eBay for $55. Sheesh! You can get a brand spanking new 802.11g router for less at Circuit City. Unless you’re in the market for a museum piece.


4 thoughts on “Seen Around Town”

  1. I’ve seen those large cards (with varius artists) and they actually look like promotional materials rather than $14.95 “albums.” I wonder if people have tried helping themselves?

    Speaking of those Western Digital TiVo-certified drives… wonder when we’ll see them offered a TiVo Reward?

  2. Just because the Circuit City router is all you need at home, don’t dismiss the old Cisco router as a bad deal for everyone. Just because you don’t need a cargo van for trips to the grocery store doesn’t mean that they are a bad deal for everyone. I’m a bit out of date now, but having been an operating system developer for some “museum piece” routers and switches, I can tell you that in terms of throughput I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of them can run circles around new consumer grade stuff. You can’t just add up the speeds of all the ports and assume any router can handle the maximum that can be thrown at it. Not likely to be relevant for a home user, but a showstopper in many business environments. There are reasons Cisco got as big as they are.

  3. I took a quick look at the router. It has one ISDN jack and one Ethernet jack. Can’t imagine many homes or businesses still use ISDN… and you’d either have just one computer or need a router/switch/hub beyond this anyway. Do the telcos still offer ISDN? The last time I saw it in use was several years ago at an events planning business.

  4. I think the point of the WIC slot is to handle a few other possibilities, notably T-1.

    Since I’ve retired, I’m not so up to date on the ISDN question, but I expect that it would still be available, since some businesses have huge investments in ISDN-centric systems. I know that it is still very big in Europe.

    Lack of cable internet access is not limited to rural areas. There are many well developed areas (typically unincorporated patches on the outskirts of cities) where no cable internet is available and which are also too far from a telco central office to get DSL. For such people, things like T-1 and ISDN were still common solutions for internet access a few years ago, and I expect that they still are. Satellite is getting cheaper, but it has a few limitations that impact some. Eventually, wireless may be the answer for these folks, but it mostly isn’t there yet. I had a Realtor a few years ago whose office was at a busy and upscale intersection on the outskirts of town. Her office internet access was via a leased line, i.e. dialup speeds! She was trying to organize other tenants in her office building to share a T-1.

    “you’d either have just one computer or need a router/switch/hub beyond this anyway”

    Although some people with home offices are desperate enough to get a T-1 with only one computer, typically any business willing to absorb that much expense will have enough seats that a rack mount switch is a must, anyway.

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