Internet orders
as you, one of my 3 faithful readers, already know that I’ve been in testing mode of late. iTunes, MusicMatch and Napster download services.

Well, without knowing it, I have also been testing shipping of certain online retailers. In the last 2 months I have ordered, online from:
Harmon Kardon
Music Match
Barnes & Noble

and, to date, I’m batting .500 when it comes to shipping.

When I order from Moss, if the item is in stock I get it tomorrow. Not some of the time, all of the time. Hell, if I spend more than $500 it’s usually free too!

I’ve only ordered from HK once, but received the items (a pair of speaker stands for my JBL speakers) in 3 days. No problem there.

Now then, lets move on to the piss poor performance offered by MM and B&N. I ordered 3 CD’s from MM. They took 14 days to arrive. Ok, so they had to come from Florida. Yea, on the back of a donkey. I don’t care. 2 weeks is too long for anything within the contiguous US to take to ship. Hell, a postcard is quicker. Oh yea, and the CD’s were in stock too. Then there is B&N. I ordered from them 2 DVD’s and 1 CD. Shipping was free because my order was more than $40, which is a good thing too because it took the items 22 days to arrive! Yes, you did read correctly, 22 days! You realize of course that in 22 days I could have driven to the north pole, had lunch with Santa Clause, coffee and crumpets with Mrs. Claus, a quick pickup game with the elves and then driven home. Oh yea, and I would have still had to wait another 5 days for my order to arrive. Ugh.

While I’m talking about this, since this media came from a warehouse instead of a store, why is it still necessary to have the 87 levels of tape protection? Are the warehouse lackies slipping discs out of the cases and putting them on the Internet?

I know I know. You are asking “but what about the record store db? Why didn’t you just go to a music store. That’s what you are always busting our asses about, right?”. Oh faithful reader in this you are correct, but I just had to know how this whole thing worked. The reason I did do it is because I have never ordered any entertainment media online before, and wanted to see what all the hubbub was about, bub. After the experiences that I have had so far, I will stick with the music stores, don’t you worry.

Still wondering about the RFID’s? You haven’t google’d ’em yet? Well, go on, go ahead. You’ll save me having to type it all up for ya later.

cool technology
My dealer that did have a nifty new gadget that I haven’t seen before.

BMW has issued it’s dealers electronic key readers. These plug into a PC via what appeared to be the USB port (but it could have been serial, I’m not certain) and transfer the data that is programmed into the key to the computer to pull up the records for that particular vehicle.

At my dealer, they actually have a key reader outside at the check-in desk attached to a laptop computer that is on the dealers network via wireless NIC. I thought that was the neatest thing ever.

But then again I thought it was cool when I called for pizza and the kid on the phone asked me if I wanted to repeat my order because he was looking at it on the screen. I’m too easy sometimes.

Next up, for those that haven’t been paying to much attention, is RFID. WalMart is requiring all of their vendors to jump on board before ’05 and they will be running tests at distribution centers in Texas very soon. More on this later