A Brief Memoir of a Fiasco
Trying to turn a lemon into lemonade
Nov. 3, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 45
IN THE NEWS
Camera Makers Focus on Bad Chip
NEW YORK (CNN/Money)--Some of the biggest electronics manufacturers say they will repair a defective chip found on more than 80 models of digital cameras and other digital devices, but only if the chip becomes faulty, according to a report published Thursday.
--CNN.com, Oct. 27, 2005
You are in a hot-air balloon photographing the great wildebeest migration in East Africa. All hell is breaking loose below--tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra charging across the plains, kicking up dust, splashing across the Mara River in a crazed dash that has been hard-wired into their genes for a million years. You are in heaven.
Whereupon your Sony camcorder dies.
On playback you get black images and wildly distorted colors. The only photos you have to remember the trip are from your spouse's little Olympus 35MM point-and-shoot. Your trip is ruined.
You get back to the States and call Sony. You are told that the some of the imaging chips have failed--especially in heat and high humidity--and if you return the camera, Sony will be glad to replace it with a new chip.
Since this chip fails only sporadically, Sony, Konica, FujiFilm, Canon, Nikon, Ricoh and Olympus have not issued a recall of any of the more than 80 models that use it. Rather they will replace a faulty chip on a case-by-case basis at no charge.
But only if the chip fails.
Sony ceased producing and shipping the chip in 2004. But an unknown number of digital cameras and computers are on store shelves, and hundreds of thousands are in homes and offices--like a ticking time bomb--waiting to crash.
The apparent corporate motto: "A recall is expensive. Screw the occasional customer. We can live with that."