I purchased a Canon G9 digital camera a week ago, thinking I had obtained the latest, greatest piece of photographic equipment from Canon. The G9 might not be a super high end digital camera professionals would use in the studio, but I do believe the G9 is a camera that professionals would use, say, roughing it in the woods. Why subject my expensive cameras to unpredictable conditions when I don’t plan on photographing Pulitzer prize imagery (not like I do anyway…)? Instead I plan on taking pictures of things like the grungy outhouse or my dripping wet friends after their canoe tips over.
Here’s my point: the G9 is a good, solid camera, and I expected it to be around a little longer than a year. Why get rid of it? Canon issued a press release on August 20, 2007, and when I went online to buy some accessories for it on August 22, 2008, I was informed by the Canon dealer that the item had been discontinued. Not very fair, I thought to myself. It’s a great camera.
But, I suppose Canon is about to replace it with the next latest, and greatest…maybe the G10? Not sure when that will be, though. Technological advancements in photography are the same as in computers. You purchase an item that appears to be the best around, touting all the new, advanced features available, only to see it replaced months later with something else that now touts all the new, advanced features. With cameras, at times, I question the whole point. After awhile, an extra megapixel doesn’t make too much of a difference for most end-users, nor does it matter that the LCD display is 3″ instead of 2.75″. Everything worked just fine before… These changes are equally as frustrating as they are rewarding; obviously as the technology improves you do get better performing products, but at what expense?
In the world of Mini-ITX computers, we don’t see as many examples of here-one-day-gone-tomorrow products, with the exception of our commodity goods, like hard drives and memory. There is a little bit more restraint from our core-product-line manufacturers to quickly invest time and money into the next big thing. We didn’t see a full line of Pico-ITX cases hit the market until well after a year from when VIA announced the Pico-ITX reference design. Perhaps the reluctance had to do with how well VIA’s original Nano-ITX boards went over with customers.
At Logic Supply, we have a little bit more time to give our project customers fair warning before a major item gets pulled because it has reached “End of Life” (EOL) status.
But, this whole G9 disappearance made me think of how often we do “kill” a product around here, at Logic Supply, without so much of a moment’s hesitation, remorse, or notice to our customers. Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned above, we work with many project customers who depend on long-term availability of certain items. We will notify them when we get the heads up from a manufacturer that an item is going EOL. Or, we will suggest a product that we know has long-term availability. But, sometimes, this might not be the case. Or, we don’t get our official notice in time to warn any of our customers. If anyone has worked with the Little Valley series mainboards, then you can certainly understand what I am talking about.
When Logic Supply decides to remove a product from its current stock, there are a number of reasons to why we would do so: 1. the item is no longer available from our suppliers, 2. the item is no longer popular with our customers, 3. the item has some issues that makes it very unpopular with us, or 4. the item is still available, but technological advancements and price changes have made it somewhat obsolete (e.g., 128MB memory).
So, after my frustration with the Canon G9 being discontinued before I could even brag to my coworkers about how awesome it was and how they, too, should get one, I decided to let people know about some of the items Logic Supply no longer plans on carrying due to reasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 listed above. These products are mainly commodity items, but some are mainboards and cases and really shouldn’t affect any of our project customers. Also, before anyone gets too upset, some of these products can still be easily sourced from our suppliers (with possible MOQs attached), we just don’t plan on holding stock.
Here is the list along with some reasons why:
- SDW-085 – Quanta SDW-085 Slimline 8x DVD+/-RW Drive: EOL item
- UJ-85J – Panasonic UJ-85J Slimline Slot-Loading DVD Writer: EOL item, going to be replaced by the UJ-875 model.
- 700TSV-B – Xenarc 700TSV 7″ TFT LCD Touchscreen Monitor: unpopular with our customers; can still be sourced
- All VIA EPIA MII series mainboards: EOL item announced by VIA
- All VIA EPIA SP series mainboards: EOL item announced by VIA
- D201GLY2A – Intel D201GLY2A Little Valley Mainboard: EOL item, just announced a little under a month ago. This board is extremely difficult to source from any of our suppliers.
- KINO-9452 – IEI KINO-9452 Core 2 Duo Mobile Mini-ITX Mainboard: this board is pretty unpopular with our customers; it is not priced inline with other Core 2 Duo mainboards in its class. However, this board can still be sourced, it is not EOL.
- KINO-690S1 – IEI KINO-690S1 AMD Turion 64 Mini-ITX Mainboard: this board has become quite unpopular with us; there are a whole slew of technical issues this board has shown.
- We have been receiving a high volume of boards that have bad memory DIMMs.
- We have seen random boards just not work with the Chenbro power supply (the best case for the board)
- Heat issues; the board tends to run a little hot
- The USB headers are strangely configured. USB normally is 2 channels symmetrical, but instead, one row is the mirror of the other, so pins on case USB headers need to be adjusted. Really a pain and a source of failure for unknowing customers.
- J7F3E-1750 – Jetway J7F3E-1750 AMD Geode Mini-ITX Mainboard: this mainboard is highly unpopular with our customers, not to mention, AMD Geode is a somewhat old processor technology. If our customers are looking for a low-power mainboard, they usually opt for a VIA product. There are a couple of our tech guys who really do like this board, but it tends to be more of an end-user, hobbyist board, and very few projects are based on it.
- All DDR266 memory: this is an old technology; DDR400 is now priced the same as DDR266 and it is backward compatible, too.
- All DDR2 533 memory (except ultra low-profile): this is similar to the example mentioned above. DDR2 667 is priced inline with DDR2 533. There is no need to carry both versions when DDR2 667 is backward compatible to DDR2 533.
- All memory in 256MB capacities: this capacity is becoming obsolete; the price difference between 256MB, 512MB, and even 1GB is so little, that most customers opt for the higher capacity every time
- 1677 – Morex 1677 Nano-ITX Case: this case only houses the VIA N series Nano-ITX mainboards. Now with the Pico-ITX form factor making ground and proving to be very popular, anything related with the Nano-ITX form factor doesn’t seem to do too well. We have also found that most people like the Nano-ITX form factor for custom configurations, and don’t look for already-made chassis. Though, this could be due to the lack of options out there…
- MS-7199 – MSI Industrial CN700 Mini-ITX Mainboard: this mainboard is pretty unpopular with our customers. It is difficult to figure out why, because it has some neat features. It does use the old VIA CN700 chipset, and it is only a 1GHz board, but it offers both DVI and VGA, along with a couple of COM ports. The mainboard can still be sourced from MSI, if necessary.
I hope some of this information can be of help to our customers.
Please contact a technical sales associate if you have any questions regarding some of these products.
We also respect your feedback. If any of these items are a long-time favorite of yours, tell us why. We are always up for reconsidering our decisions.