Silicon chips are small, expensive and come from far away. They're also sometimes difficult to get hold of: the chip makers have to guess well ahead of time what will sell, and an unexpected interest in one particular part can quickly exhaust supplies and push prices way up.
Starting in 1996, before 'blog' was even a word, Rupert Goodwins has been writing dyspeptic, dramatic, disbelieving or delighted descriptions of daily life in IT journalism. Rupert's Diary is that collection, and will be updated until there are no more silly or splendid things happening in the world of digital technology - or the Rapture, whichever happens first. The smart money's on the Rapture.
Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.
When it comes to the actual technology inside the new iPhone, Apple has been heavy on the adjectives ("Magic", "Amazing", "Astounding", et cetera) and light on the details. This is smart marketing, but frustrating for those of us who like to know how things work - and how magic, amazing, astounding those bits will be in practice.
The misdirected email is a staple of modern politics and, therefore, of modern political satire. One badly forwarded message can contain within itself enough evidence to bring down a government, nicely wrapped in confirmation of origin and, if you're lucky, some juicy asides.
Many unhappy O2 customers today, as the company announced that it's stopping 'unlimited' data deals. Instead, you get a gigabyte a month on the £60 tariff, or 500 MB on the £25-£35.
Yesterday, all my Desires seemed so far away. Promised delivery of the HTC Desire on Tuesday lunchtime, a call to T-Mobile later that afternoon had produced the unwelcome news that there'd been a terrible mistake and no such gadget had actually been despatched.
Grrr.T-Mobile UK has done three things to me today.
Lots to digest in Intel's latest announcement about its many-core strategy. The new Many Integrated Core architecture (MIC, pronounced "Mike" as in Mike Magee) doesn't have many details available yet, except that the first Knights Ferry platform is basically Larrabee and the next one, Knights Corner, basically isn't.
Upgrading your computer to a new operating system is rarely pleasant and frequently very difficult. Although some operating systems make a decent fist of in-place upgrades, where you run an installer program and your old data and applications are automatically transferred across, Windows is not good here.
A fascinating article appeared over the weekend in the Indian Express, covering the use of the Internet and other IT in the second-largest Islamic seminary in the world. Darul Uloom Deoband is a Sunni institution in Uttar Pradesh, and started its computer department in 1996: now, it's getting stuck into the Internet and all its cultural implications.
A carefully placed story in the New York Times about Google's upcoming TV service tries very hard to avoid giving anything away. The story was based on "people with knowledge of it" - although not named, because nobody is allowed to talk about it, they clearly were allowed to talk about it and the NY Times knows perfectly well who they are.