Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dick Smith Electronics: 1 / Next Byte: 0

I just went into the city. I wanted two things: a DVI video cable (with a full-size, male DVI connector at both ends), and a cover for my new iPod Nano. Adelaide doesn't have a proper Apple Store, so I went to Next Byte in Gawler Place.

Now, admittedly, my requirements for the iPod cover were pretty specific: I have a Nike Plus pedometer, so it not only had to fit a third-generation Nano, but it needed to leave the dock connector exposed (so that the Nike Plus receiver could be attached), and I had to be able to attach it to myself (for example, with an arm strap) or my clothes (with a clip). Let me cut to the chase: you cannot buy such an iPod cover at Next Byte.

Next I approached the desk to enquire about what I figured would be a pretty standard item. This is how that went:
“Hello. I need a video cable with a full-size, male DVI connector at both ends.”

“Uh, lemme check… I don't think we have those…”
There was some keyboard tapping, and some muttered confirmation from a fellow droid.
“Yeah, uh… we don't have those, just Mini-DVI to DVI. You could try Dick Smith's.”
I thought momentarily of asking whether he meant that the store didn't have the item in stock right now, or whether they really didn't stock them at all. And then I realised not only that the answer didn't matter, but I actually didn't want to know.

So I went to a Dick Smith Electronics store. I picked up a DVI video cable for $A 30, and while it's not white, it does the job. (The obvious follow-up question to the Next Byte droid would have been, “So how do you recommend someone connects a Mac Pro to a monitor?”—the Mac Pro's DVI output ports are full-size.) Little did I know that Dick Smith's also sell iPods, and they had a pretty decent range of covers as well. I bought one for $A 25 which almost fulfilled my requirements—when I got it home, I realised that what I thought was a clip on the back was actually just a thing to wind the headphone cord around. So I guess I fail at iPod covers. And, once again, Next Byte fails at everything.

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