Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Monday 14/03/2003Have you had an Ebay Disappointment? I have.

Monday 14/03/2003
Have you had an Ebay Disappointment? I have. Bought an oscilloscope -- every home should have one -- that is cheap, ancient, 'working' according to the guy. He's a bit rubbish at answering his emails, which is not a good sign, and it takes a while and a few excuses before the postie finally produces a large, heavy package. Excitement! It turns up bashed to pieces in the post, with the knobs smashed to smithereens and various components hanging off leads inside the box. In short, it's dead -- and after intensive investigations, it turns out you can't get spare parts for Philips test equipment, let alone old stuff. Matey doesn't answer emails. In fact, he's moved. Bah. But things aren't as bad for me as for those suckers who've been caught up in the Great Iraq Fire Sale on eBay. Tons of rubbish, but the best and most tempting offer is for those neat sets of cards issued to the coalition forces with the faces of the evildoers printed thereon. Bidding for one of those gets up to around $500-- well, they are iconic, interesting and culturally significant. What they aren't is at all rare. Not only can you buy the cards from the original suppliers for around $6 all-in, but the US Department of Defense has put the PDF up on its Web site, so you can print your own. Fab, and I don't feel nearly so bad about being ripped off over a dodgy scope.

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