Overtom's weblog

PRETTY BUT NASTY  (1 december 2004)

This week, the post brought me a parcel from American firm BBAuctions .

When I unwrapped it, I found two chess computers that I had ordered through eBay.  

The biggest one was a transparent plastic affair (click ) that looked pleasant enough.

The manufacturer Excalibur Electronics must have thought they sold it too cheap because they had not included an adapter.

In Excalibur's leaflet, I read I could order the adapter for thirteen dollars. I did not consider buying this adapter for several reasons:

  • Chess computers are usually sold with an adapter.
  • 9-volt adapters are normally sold for about half what Excalibur asked.
  • Ordering an adapter would probably take a few weeks.
  • Having it sent would take extra money for sending, which - considering what Excalibur had charged me on a previous occasion - would not be cheap. 
Anyway, I tried one of my own adapters ... which I shouldn't have done ...

For a few lights flickered and that was the last that ever came out of this transparent blue affair.

And now I've got a chess computer that doesn't play chess - although I admit it looks pretty enough.

I have been assured by experts that it's not very difficult to safeguard a device against a simple reversing of polarity.

But then Excalibur would not sell their overpriced adapters.

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