I Knew I Was Right – But I Was Wrong

UPDATE: See the end of the post for a retraction. The original post remains for posterity.

Even though I swore off CompUSA several months ago, today I almost caved in. In the end, they just proved me right. You can’t trust them.

I was browsing the sales ads in today’s newspaper, looking for a large harddrive cheap to put in my TiVo. Circuit City had a 160GB Western Digital for $109 after rebate (plus a $20 gift card), but curiousity made me check CompUSA. They had the same drive for $59 after (multiple) rebates. Being that I didn’t see the ad until late in the afternoon, I figured going to the store was probably pointless… they never have much stock on these kinds of offers; they just want to get you into the store. I’ve been bitten many times.

This evening, I decided to see if I could get the rebates if I purchase the drive from their website. I’ve read the webpage and both rebate forms, and I can’t really tell. It all implies that you must purchase from the store in order to get the rebate. Of course, the rebates are only good for drives purchased this week, and only from CompUSA. Tempted, I decided to use the “check availability” feature. Naturally, all 5 stores within 50 miles of me had already sold out. But then I looked a little closer:

Product (un)availability

The highlighted section tells the story: “availability information is up-to-date as of 4/18/2004 3:40:41 AM”. That was before the store even opened on the day the ad broke.

UPDATE: Never let it be said that I can’t admit a mistake. When I posted this Sunday night, I believed that all 5 CompUSA stores in my area were sold out of this promotional item before the promotion even began. On Monday evening, it occurred to me that I should recheck in the interest of fairness. Sure enough, on Monday all 5 stores showed the drive in stock, “as of 4/19/2004 03:36:41 AM”. I can only conclude that they held the items until the sale promotion began, before putting them into stock. To appologize to CompUSA for jumping to an incorrect conclusion, I went today to purchase a drive. They still had it in stock.

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3 Responses to “I Knew I Was Right – But I Was Wrong”

  1. The Plaid Cow Says:

    What method of upgarding are you going to use? (ie, I didn’t think any of the upgrades worked unless you had a PC) And why isn’t that markdown stuff integrated yet????

  2. Jason Says:

    I’ll be doing the upgrade using the method in O’reilly’s TiVo Hacks book. This requires PC harward, although it’s booted in Linux. My personal machine is a 15″ Powerbook, but I’ve got three working PCs in the house and at least as many partially disassembled PCs. I’m planning to toss some parts together to build a linux machine for playing with anyway, so I’ll probably use that hardware for the TiVo upgrade.

    Regarding your other question, about markdown… do you mean in comments? All of my blog entries are written in Markdown, and I’d like to use it to format comments, but I’m trying to figure out how to hack it to disallow literal HTML without disallowing HTML in code samples. I hope to have the comment system fixed in the next week or so. Of course, the first alpha release of Blosxom 3 just came out, so I’m not optomistic about my free time…. ;-).

  3. Noel Moore Says:

    Expand Ur Horizons<br/>


    Reading your Blog and your background I think you could be more gainfully employed that in describing various hardware/software systems. I am not an astronomer or a programmer – just a retired science documentary film maker, tv producer and writer and I have an idea that might appeal to you. Basically I want to design an interactive Blog that combines astronomy with mythology and is based on inductive rather than deductive science to show p[people how to get back in sync with body time as opposed to the tyranny of man made time..

    For years I have been tracking developments in archaeoastronomy and I think I have figured out the reasons for the stone circles, astronomically aligned mounds and temples that are found all over the world. They were used as memory or mnemonic devices in a preliterate but multimedia or synaesthetic society. The star mansions of the solar and older lunar zodiac were Memory Palaces see Frances Yates The Art of Memory in which our remote ancestors stored the tribal encyclopaedia. Using the Moon as a cursor they were told what to do each night as the Moon passed through one of its 27 or 28 monthly zodiacs. In other words they used the night sky like a vast video disc and played a game called life and death.

    I would like to do a blog showing people how to turn their homes into ships like the Argus or Ulysses or other preliterate epics. It would be simple enough for someone with your knowledge of programming and astronomy. I could supply the detail and will be happy to send you more information if you are interested.

    Noel Moore