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25 February 2011 @ 06:51 pm
Due dillagence  
Things i "need" right now:

New headphones. I got a pair of Radio Shack headphones a long time back that lasted for... four years i think before they got old and busted? When i went back to Radio Shack to get another pair they no longer had their own brand. I picked up a slightly "fancier" pair, which ended up hurting my ears on occasion and have started crapping out after... a year? A year and a half?

Another HDMI cable. We figured out our cable box/DVR thing actually does have an HDMI output and it can go up to 1080i. At the moment we've got the cable that was going from my computer plugged into it, but i'd like to get the option to throw my computer up on there back.

SDHC card adapter. I got a 8 GB Micro SDHC card to upgrade my phone. Unfortunately when i tried to back up the current card i found that my computer's SD card reader can't read SDHC =P So i need to get something that can read them and preferably plugs into a USB port.

Some kind of RAID device to back up all kinds of files. I've got several independent 1TB drives, but i'm not doing a good job of keeping duplicates of everything, and if any one of them were to fail there's definitely stuff i would lose. I really need to consolidate onto something reliable.

I stopped by Costco this afternoon after work in the hope that i'd be able to find some of those things, but no such luck. They had HDMI cables, but they only had 2-packs of 12 foot cables for $40, which isn't a horrible price, but the 15 ft cable i've already got was $14 and the 6 ft one was $9. They had about a half dozen different kinds of hard drives, but none of them were RAIDs. And i couldn't find any headphones or SDHD card adapters at all.

So i could get all of those things pretty easily from Amazon, but it gets kind of frustrating to keep buying things from them over and over again. They keep doing stupid shit that annoys me. I guess they're not as bad as, say, Walmart, but not being as bad as Walmart isn't really striving for excellence.

Unfortunately i can't really think of any good alternatives. Best Buy is an okay store if you want to walk in and buy something in person, but their selection is often rather poor and they're frequently overpriced. Costco is usually pretty good as far as prices go, but as demonstrated above their selection of stuff is totally random. And of course in addition to the regular price there's also the cost of shipping. A lot of places will offer free shipping if you buy enough stuff, but Amazon makes it exceptionally easy because you can mix types of stuff. $10 of books, $10 of electronics and $10 of candy? Free shipping!

This is mainly just a whiny post, but i guess if anyone actually does know of any good alternatives to Amazon (even if just in part) it would be useful to hear about it.
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Kirinkirinn on February 26th, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)

Like I said in the other post, monoprice.com for cables. Might also have card readers, I dunno.

Avaniavani on February 26th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
I'm amazed that Amazon bothers you but best buy doesn't.

For cables, monoprice.com all the way.
DonAithnendonaithnen on February 26th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
I don't especially like Best Buy, but i don't actually buy stuff from them very often (far less than i do from Amazon) and they don't seem to actively do as much to piss me off as Amazon does, at least not that gets talked about much.

Mom and pop stores were already on the decline before electronics became big, so it's not like they're forcing tons of local stores out of business as far as i'm aware. Pushing extended contracts on everything is annoying, but that only hurts the people stupid enough to fall for it. High prices are a disincentive to go there, but they're not really a sin.
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on February 26th, 2011 08:39 am (UTC)
I have a spare HDMI cable I could mail you. When we got TV for a month for the Olympics, they left the HDMI cable behind when they reclaimed the DVR box, and the TV came with a cable, so I now have a spare. E-mail beth at slimy with your address and I can put it in the mail to you. (It's about 6 feet, might be 4, let me know if it matters.)

--Beth
DonAithnendonaithnen on February 26th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, but i'm planning on getting a couple extra, so it's easiest just to order them online (probably from the monoprice place everyone keeps suggesting, since they're about $3.50 there.) On the minus side they don't have any kind of free shipping option, but for some reason the overnight shipping is actually cheaper than all the other options, so i can order three or four of them on monday, have them by tuesday in theory, and not have to worry about them again for at least a year or two.