Oct 132000

USA certainly doesn’t make it easy

Any regular reader of this website will know that I’m away on a trip at the moment. I’m in USA as part of my BSDCon adventure. I arrived in San Franciso on 7 October. So far I’ve been down to Palo Alto to visit a friend. We stopped by Stanford to visit their museum. After feeding the meter for an hour or so of parking priviledges, we found the museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (this was Tuesday). Undeterred, we looked at the bronze scuptures outside, which was one objective of the day.

After that, we wondered over towards the book store. The Job Fair was on. Literally, and this is no exaggeration, there were hundreds of organisations there. From CIA to IBM. They were all there. I was impressed with both the number and the diversity. We certainly didn’t get that at my university (Carleton).

The next day (Wednesday), I headed back up to San Francisco. We had planned to visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). But it’s closed (on Wednesdays). OK. Let’s try the Ansel Adams centre. Sorry, we’re moving. We’re closed.

It seems everything is conspiring against me. Even the merchants selling their products over the web. A recent donation to the Diary is a pair of XEON chips. That’s a very impressive gift. But it means I have to obtain a motherboard in order to make use of the power afforded by those chips. After some searching and question asking, I settled on the Supermicro S2DGE motherboard. The original merchant I found is no longer in business. So I started looking for others. Unfortunately, none of them want to take my money over the Internet.

They won’t accept a non-USA credit card. At first, that’s rather annoying. I can understand their reasons, once explained, but that doens’t reduce my frustration level. Standard procedure when accepting credit cards for payment is to verify the details. Some merchants cannot (or will not) do this for foreign credit cards. Fine. They are free to do that. But that doesn’t get me my board. So I tried to find someone who would accept my card.

Some merchants will accept credit card from the rest of the world. As my luck would have it, these merchants also verify the shipping address with my credit card company. Well, New Zealand credit card companies (at least mine) do not record a shipping address. So even the merchants who do accept foreign credit cards won’t deal with me. I think they will ship to NZ, but I’m not in NZ right now. And the shipping charges will be significant. I want the goods shipped to me here in California. But nope. Nobody will do that.

At one point on Thursday, after trying about ten merchants, I began to feel extremely frustrated and unmotivated. Isn’t there anyone out there who wants to take my money? I’m just hoping someone [who works for one of these companies] reads this and makes an exception for me. I know they’re only trying to cover their ass. But rules are there to dictate what you do in standard situations. This is clearly not a standard situation. I hope someone feels that an exception can be made and I can take a motherboard back home along with the XEON chips.

Oh, and while you’re at it, I’m also looking at getting a Plextor PX-W12432Ti CD read/rewrite/record drive.

If you have any ideas, or know of anyone who is willing to deal with one of these evil people from foreign countries with vile credit cards, or know of a shop in the Oakland area which handles these products, or have any good ideas, please let me know. {NOTE: I now have all the products I was trying to obtain.  thanks}


In the meantime, I think I’ll go back to bed.