Surprise

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This was my computer in January 1991. It was a basic XT 8086
machine with 1MB RAM, a monochrome monitor, and an
NEC dot matrix printer which cost around $700,
I think. The printer alone, I mean.

I got a surprising email this morning. It’s from the editor of Australian Personal Computer magazine – can I please send him a photo of myself at least 1600 pixels wide, as high resolution as possible.

I entered a survey/competition in the magazine a few months ago about why PCs are still better than tablets or laptops, asking for examples of where tablets just can’t compete and asking for a slogan. I found this pretty easy and although I can’t remember the slogan exactly, I thought it was pretty good at the time.

It seems as if I might have won something. The next issue, due out about mid May, will tell.

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The black dog is still hanging on, biting hard. All work has stopped. I see the doc tomorrow.

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I’ve just been listening to Norman Swan on the ABC. It seems people with atrial fibrillation (i.e. like me) often have cognitive impairment, difficulty making decisions. They don’t know why, but they guess that microscopic clots are forming and clogging the brain’s fine blood vessels, leading to mild Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. Hmmm.

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My CPAP machine stopped working a few weeks ago (water got into the works from the humidifier). I’ve taken it apart (it’s nearly five years old, way out of warranty), but I can’t make it go. Luckily I’ve still got my original fixed pressure machine from 2000, the S6.

My S8 Autoset cost me about $1,700 in August 2008. On the web you can find new models (S9 Autoset) available in the USA for $1,050. The same machine here costs $2,200! And it’s an Australian company!

I was seriously thinking of ordering from the US, until I followed the asterisks. They will only sell to US citizens at a US address accompanied by a prescription from a US doctor.

You can guess who imposed those conditions – not the sellers themselves, but Resmed, the Australian makers of the machines. They will restrict stock to any seller who tries to sell to Australians. This is BAD.

I intend to write to Resmed, saying “Please explain why your machine costs twice the price here as the US. Your answer will be copied to Ed Husic MHR”, who is conducting a parliamentary inquiry into predatory pricing by software companies like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft.

I’m wondering whether my GP might know a doctor in the US who would write me a prescription based on my 13 years of use of CPAP. And get the machine shipped via a US forwarding address. To save $1,200 it’s worth a try, even if freight was $100 or so.

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