Short Term Memory

I had the impression that CompactFlash memory was much cheaper online than in the stores. With my digital camera, I needed to try it hands on, but not so for a memory card.

So I went to, which is where my company bought components for my current computer for good prices. I'd already noted that NewEgg seemed a little odd on an earlier pricing expedition, but it was only as I waded in that the full gratuitous weirdness manifested.

I grumbled about registering, but I started to do so.
I received a bizarre error message:

newegg error message with an error in it

An error message with an error in it. How ironic. Not inspiring of the warm and fuzzies. But heedless, I trekked on, to figure out if the phone numbers were optional or not. (Never mind that they didn't use real English names for their form fields.)

So I'd thought the phone numbers were optional: What the heck?

Then I wondered if it was the extension that was optional. Sure enough, as I resized my text, it made much more sense: Aha!

Don't word wrap! There are many ways to keep the "Optional" where it belongs.

After an incredibly looooooooong pause (granted, I'm on a 56K modem) it comes back and tells me the zip code and state don't match. I've picked New York instead of New Mexico. At least the error message is next to the error.

Then I noticed this:

Spam setting changed

Here I am, trying to buy some memory on a site that doesn't have any when it comes to my spam preferences. I don't know why that was the straw the broke the camel's back, really the error message with the error message in it should have.
I mean, how insecure and graspy does a site need to be to keep on resetting the spam preferences?

So I went to, assuming it would cost more. OK, it did, but by about $2. I'm not that price sensitive.

Why Amazon? It's an online name brand, of course. But what cinched it was an online memory finder. This assured me somewhat: this is the first CompactFlash I've bought, and I didn't want the wrong kind. It may be totally unnecessary, but it made me feel better.

One annoyance for both sites was my credit card. I'd just like to single out the geniuses at Wells Fargo, whose card with the stage coach background makes the letters very hard to read. Fortunately, their online banking is better.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Saturday, September 14, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Lyle Kantrovich Friday, September 20, 2002 at 08:03 AM

Good story w/ nice examples. I have a few credit cards that have the same problem as yours - irritates me too. Of course when you're in a offline store, they just use that magnetic strip on the back - the usability of the numbers on the front is probably rarely even thought of at credit card companies. Actually, I wonder how many of them have thought about the design of their cards for years - they haven't changed much in 20 years or so. Of course the usage has changed lots with the web.