BT Voyager 105 USB ADSL modem? (EciAdsl?)

James Wilkinson ubuntu at
Tue Jun 7 12:26:00 UTC 2005

David Marsh wrote:
> [1] If Windoze is so "great", just why do so many hardware manufacturers
> produce so much really really nasty shit hardware for it (eg, winmodems,
> winadslmodems, winprinters, etc), when surely it can't cost /that/ much
> extra to do a decent job (and get a reputation for being a *decent*
> brand, and therefore get more (slightly higher-value) sales)?

"Bundled hardware".

A *lot* of hardware goes into new PCs when they're manufactured. Saving
£1 across ten thousand desktops is worth enough to the manufacturer that
they will take the time and trouble to get them working well enough in
Windows XP that they're unlikely to get too many returns.

And if the manufacturer can get the hardware "working" as delivered,
they can suggest that the end user can re-image the disk (losing
anything saved on the disk) *before* they'll even start

The cost to the manufacturer is the cost of replacing totally dud
hardware (and the cost of technical support). The cost to the end user
is very rarely considered.

I know you were talking about a USB ADSL modem. Those, in my experience,
get bundled with broadband offers. A £20 per month ADSL line with Free!
ADSL modem sounds better than paying £18 per month but having the hassle
of buying and configuring your own ADSL modem.

Many ADSL contracts last for a minimum of twelve months. In that case,
the ISP has £24 to provide something that will sort-of work. If they can
provide something for even less -- profit!

There is, of course, another reason. Most people just don't care. If a
device takes 10% of system performance when it's being used, who is
going to notice? Especially if what you're doing is printing from Word,
a task so onerous that you need a 386 to do it?

If a printer takes ages to print and eats ink, but the user only prints
a few times a year, do they care? Those who do care might even buy a
new, more expensive model *from* *the* *very* *same* *company* because
"they know that brand".

If a device sucks, but no-one knows that it sucks, does it still suck?

I offer to you the continued existence of the Lexmark inkjet business as
a case in point.

James (on a home-built PC and his own ADSL<->Ethernet router).

E-mail address: james |  ... call the editors names I am not allowed to say in  | print, like [censored] and [censored] with a
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