Monday, November 2, 2009

Fan Mail

One of several reasons for not updating this blog much recently, is that my PC has a temperature.

In the beginning, I thought I was hearing the fan more often, then I was sure I was hearing it more often & faster, then it seemed to be running fast most of the time, then I started to get spontaneous shut-downs.
Hard to ignore it any longer.

I opened the PC & hoovered all the fluff out, especially round the CPU, but it didn't make much difference.
I downloaded a free thing called SpeedFan which lets me monitor various fan speeds & associated temperatures.
It soon became obvious that the CPU fan was not starting up correctly, but I found that I could trick it into starting by rebooting after getting to a certain critical temperature.
That kept me happy for a while.
Running with the PC case open, I could see what the fan was doing & also found I could kick-start it by poking it with a sharp stick after again getting to the critical temperature.
That's how I am running today, with the case open, one eye on the temperature gauge & a sharp stick close at hand…

All of which is just a lead-in.

Without being able to diagnose things further, I felt the best move might be to replace the CPU fan.
Surcouf in Strasbourg, who supplied the PC originally, failed to answer several requests about it.
I managed to find the reference (thanks to a helpful forum) and even located an exact replacement on internet, at GNLA in Germany.
Amazingly, once you can find one, a new fan costs only 6.99€ but when I tried to buy one, the shipping charge was an additional 17€.
For a 46gm item.

Digging deeper, I found another one (new) on eBay France, sold from Germany again, at only 3.90€ plus 10€ shipping.
Hopefully that may fix my problem, if & when it ever arrives, that is…

The point of this post is to highlight the disproportionate influence of shipping in "modern" internet shopping.

When is hardware delivery going to catch up with the rest of the "free & immediate" search & buy process which is suddenly available to us & already seems so natural?
In speed & especially in cost?
I suppose it is a bit of a "chicken & egg" problem, in that there is potentially a huge market volume, waiting for a radically more efficient delivery system, waiting for a volume market to be really there.
Surely letter delivery must be shrivelling up these days, just as hardware delivery is pent up to explode?

Sounds like the sort of challenge Google might take on…
Heaven help the post offices & parcel carriers if they ever do!

Parting thot: "Nowadays the rage for possession has got to such a pitch that there is nothing in the realm of nature, whether sacred or profane, out of which profit cannot be squeezed." - Erasmus

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