[rescue] Cluesticks (was Mounting and Dumping)

Sheldon T. Hall shel at cmhcsys.com
Fri Jan 16 16:55:36 CST 2004

Dave McGuire writes ...
> On Jan 16, 2004, at 1:58 PM, Sheldon T. Hall wrote:
> >[Janet wrote]
> >> I have some contacts who work within Seagate.  To hear them talk, the
> >> margins are so thin you can see through them.
> >
> > I think that's the computer commodity hardware business in a nutshell.
> >  At
> > current prices, how can anyone make any money on the stuff, even with
> > robotic assembly in low-labor-value countries?  Not to mention that by
> > the
> > time you really get production rolling, the product is obsolete and
> > your
> > chance of "making it up on volume" is gone.
>    I firmly believe it's not the low current prices, but the high
> executive compensation that is to blame here.

Well, executive compensation, of whatever dimension, is built into the
prices, and the stuff's still cheap.  If the execs took a pay cut, maybe the
stockholders would get something, or maybe it would all just evaporate in
another round of price cutting.  I don't know.

Personally, I enjoy the current situation, and I expect you do, too.  The
relatively low prices for current technology, combined with its fast
obsolescence, means yesterday's top grade stuff is today's freebie.  Plus,
if we have to buy some SIMMs or a hard drive to make the freebie work, they
are cheap, too.

Not to brag, but my piddling few Suns and SGIs had a combined cost of
something like half-a-million bucks when they were new.  I have spent less
than $1,000 acquiring them and fixing them up.  They all work, too, as long
as you don't try to burn a CD on the teal I^2.

Your Cray collection cost far more, new, and you got it for pennies on the
[new] dollar.  I don't expect the size of Seymour Cray's pay packet figured
into that one way or the other, or into Cray Research's eventual merger with

There are certainly some over-compensated "executives" in the world,
particularly in "industries" that don't actually produce anything of value,
but I don't think many of those guys are in the commodity computer component


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