Friday, August 31, 2007

You must become more than just a man in the mind of your opponent.

Wood. In Calgary, the city is filled with it, and surrounded by it. We likely have 50 different building supply stores in the city, with some of the largest and most explosive housing boom any city has seen for a long time.

Why is it then, that I cannot order Black melamine MDF? I've spent the better part of 4 hours on hold with Totem. I've driven down 3 times. I've even paid for the product in advance. With all that, they seem incapable of supplying me wood.

At this point I think it would be easier for me to take a chainsaw, drive out of the city 20 minutes, cut down my own tree, bring it back to the city and make my own wood.

I can order electronic components from England, and they arrive in 3 days. I can order a 110lb monitor from the US, ship it ground, and it arrives in 8 days. Two weeks working on order my wood, and it's still not even on order.


The guy at Totem said he'd look into it and call me back.

He won't be calling back.

I guarantee it.


Apparently I went Hulk a little bit too soon. He did in fact call back. What he meant by 'It's not on order in the system', is that it's arrived and has been sitting on a shelf for 3 days.



At this point I'm half expecting to get there and find out it's the wrong wood, or the wood isn't actually there.

After this much work I'll be taking pictures of the wood from every possible angle. If only to prove to myself it actually exists.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

You always want to invest in things people can't do without. Water and cemeteries... pretty safe bets.

Late yesterday the remainder of my parts order came in. Essentially I have a room full of parts just waiting on the wood to assemble them.

Cost page has been updated to reflect the latest expenses.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Once again, the L.A.P.D. is asking Los Angelenos not to fire their guns at the visitor spacecraft. You may inadvertently trigger an interstellar war.

Still waiting on the wood, no call from Totem yet. Purolator 'attempted' delivery today. I think they were 'attempting' to deliver a new UPS battery I had ordered. The 'attempt' consisted of driving into the parking lot, looking around for 25 seconds and then driving away.

In the time it took me to get from the upstairs to my front door they had driven off.


I've updated my spreadsheet to include costing for Canuckle who's doing the opposite of my project. Reasonable, restrained, normal budget. You can access it from the cost page in the second spreadsheet tab.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

General, what you see on these screens up here is a fantasy; a computer enhanced hallucination. Those blips are not real missiles. They're phantoms.

I'm looking forward to actually starting work on the cabinet and control panel. With any luck I should be getting a call from Totem this week, and will be able to be productive this weekend.

The waiting is the hardest part.

Not quite as messy as when my bathroom was being reno'd but certainly takes up a bit of real estate.

During the week I'll take some parts out and take some nice macro shots.

Well, somebody's gonna have to go out there. Take a portable terminal, go out there and patch in manually.

Come bust a move where the games are played, it's chill, it's fresh, it's Noah's Arcade.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What the hell are you doing? I had the magic key. I got the cross. I was closing in on the barbarian!

I think if I had to pick the most difficult thing to date about this project, it would have to be the planning and organization.

I had initially hoped that I would be able to source the majority of what I needed locally, saving on part costs and shipping expenses.

Exactly the opposite was the case. I found that ordering internationally, with the Canadian dollar being as strong as it is, even with the added expense of shipping various duty charges was considerably less expensive. In some cases by a factor of 50%.

It could be that the local arcade suppliers simply don't want the hassle of a one off cash deal which will likely generate more headaches than the profit they're make. Coming from retail I totally understand that, but be up front about it. Don't pretend you're going to give me a quote when you have no intention. Don't blow me out of the water with your quoted costs if you just want me to fuck off. Just tell me you're not interested.

Andy from Ultimarc has been awesome. His customer service skills are legendary on the BYOAC forums and he's certainly proven that with my transactions.

Dave from Starbust has been incredibly patient with me as well. He fielded all of my questions and even pointed me in the right direction when I had made a poor choice on some parts.

Randy from Groovy released some new products just as I was in the finalizing stage of some of the cabinet parts.

One of the hardest things to source, unexpectedly, was the black melamine. You wouldn't think that black melamine would be a such a rare item since every book shelf and entertainment unit in my house is made from it. The responses from the various hardware stores went from:

'Ohh black, sorry we only carry white.'

'Ohhh black, yah that's a special order, did you try Home Depot or Rona?'

'Well I guess we can special order it, are you sure you want to?'

I've never met a group of businesses more dedicated to not wanting me to give them money. It took almost 2 weeks to source the melamine and it's going to be 2 weeks before it actually arrives.

With any luck I'll have my cost page up soon, as well as some photos of my house full of parts.