[rescue] Slightly OT: ?Bad Cap Saga

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Thu Aug 21 01:20:22 CDT 2008

On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 01:53:07AM -0400, der Mouse wrote:
>Sure.  I'm perfectly willing to pay extra to get various useful
>features, from expansion slots to onboard audio to...parallel ports.
>Except, of course, that with expansion slots and onboard audio, I have
>those choices, whereas with parallel ports, I don't.

How much are you willing to pay for them? If in quantities of 100,000
it adds $1 to the cost of the board, which translates to $5-$10* at the
computer store, I'm sure you and a hundred other people in the world
would buy one.

If it adds $50,000 to the cost of the board you wouldn't. That's a reasonable
estimate of the cost of taking an existing board design and adding a parallel
port to it. Including engineering, documentation, product verification,
manufacturing, packaging, delivery, etc.

So you would hope that the manufacturer of the boards can sell
enough of them to spread it out over a reasonable number of boards sold
and only charge you a reasonable price. 

Do you think that someone like Asus could sell 1,000 with a parallel port?
Would those 1,000 people be willing to pay the $50 plus markup to get one?
Would you, in order to keep costs down, be willing to buy them from
the factory in Tiawan? Every time another level of wholesaler/retailer
gets involved the price goes up.

Just as a point of discussion, remember Mr Bill's Replica I? It required
a lot of engineering to make it work the way an Apple I worked, with chips
that are now current prodution, because the original chips were no longer

At what point does it become impossible to source the chips? Or more
importantly when does it no longer become possible to connect them to
the CPU. As an example all those bus master SCSI, IDE and video
controller chips from the 386/486 days won't work on a modern computer
no matter what you do.

You might be able to connect them to a bus, but they are limited to
16 megabytes of memory. Windows 95 and Linux version 1 had device drivers
that would compensate, but does Vista or Linux 2.6? Could they still be
written? If so, by whom?


* If they sell these boards as part of their regular stock, it would add
about $5, if they have to special order one for you, it would double that
and they may tack on special order fees, delivery charges, etc.

Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM

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