What classic equipment was rebadged?

From: Derek Peschel <dpeschel_at_u.washington.edu>
Date: Mon Mar 8 11:13:20 1999

Sellam wrote:
> On Mon, 8 Mar 1999, Derek Peschel wrote:

> Its mostly specialized peripherals that were OEM'd (or re-badged)
> like printers and modems. IBM OEM'd their Proprinter from Epson for
> instance. VTech (or Video Technology) manufactured many different
> computers that showed up under other company's names.

There have been a couple of other sub-threads; in one of them I pointed out
that I was also discussing software.

> > And that ties into the other reason I made this post. What does the
> > computer industry look like from the companies' perspective? What sorts of
> > nasty deals have gone on in back rooms? Big companies love to use terms
> > like "OEM" or "supplier" but that doesn't even scratch the surface of a
> > complex web of relationships.

Hmm, you don't know who designs TI's calculators? (You skipped that part.)
That's too bad; I was hoping you would.

> Its all about making money. A lot of companies don't see a need to
> re-invent the wheel. They integrate whatever is already out there and
> make a lot of money. Others, like Apple, refuse to use even basic
> elements that already exist, like the disk drive, which is whey they went
> through the trouble of designing the Tiwggy drives that went into the
> first Lisa that were so unreliable. Ever heard of NIH? Not Invented
> Here? Apple is the leader in NIH. Meaning if its not invented here its
> CRAP!!

Yes, I know what NIH is. Someone coined the term "NCH" (Not Controlled
Here) recently, but that was specifically meant to apply to Microsoft.

I figured it would be about money (it usually is), but that doesn't explain
how the credit (or blame or responsibility) gets shifted around.

> > Then there's the even more intricate question of the *information* behind
> > all of the energy (i.e., the source code, algorithms, proprietary
> > techniques). Sometimes a high enough price will buy it; sometimes it isn't
> > available for any price... wierd.
> Its all specific to the deal struck between the companies involved. Some
> want it all, others just want the end product.

Well, here I was confusing two different things -- the specific issue of
rebadging and OEM deals, and the general issue of how different companies
run their affairs.

> > I'll save the question about the quality of the finished product for next
> > itme. :) Besides, I already think I know the answer: often the quality is
> > the last priority on the list, and the customer gets the shaft. (At least
> > lately. Maybe it was different 25 years ago.)

> That's not true. If a company like IBM, for instance, OEM's a printer and
> sells it with their name on it that turns out to be a piece of shit, who
> do you think gets the bad press, the name on the badge or the company that
> built it?

Again, I was thinking of software here.

Yes, generally the name on the badge gets the bad credit. But how come IBM
keeps selling Proprinters, then? (Well, OK, maybe they're not still selling
them. But I never saw an article saying, "IBM CHAIRMAN PUBLICLY REPENTS FOR
THE PROPRINTER".) You mentioned that they were OEM'd, and *I* believe they
are a piece of shit. They're great at jamming paper, anyway, and it's a
pain to retrieve the little crumpled-up sprocketwads that caused the jam.

I still think I disagree with you. (I'm not exactly sure what "That's not
true" means.) This sort of deal can easily create a situation of a company
selling crap with a straight fance.

OK, so there are *other* ways to create the same situation (like, the
company is a bunch of arrogant idiots).

-- Derek
Received on Mon Mar 08 1999 - 11:13:20 GMT

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