Maybe I’m just getting too damn old. I remember vapourware before vapourware was a thing. A Thomas Salter microscope. Simply buy the X7652765 add-on lens and your life will be awesome. In those days, there was an awful dreaded message “Please allow 28 days for delivery” yes… I know. We actually put up with bullshit like that. Not that I am against the old way of doing things, but I’m sure it only took a week in reality. Then the product was out of stock – then discontinued.

The latest vapourware is the Asus Tinkerboard. If you didn’t manage to get one in the 4.2 nano-seconds after they hit the shops (if they ever did) you can’t actually BUY one. They will tell you all sorts of interesting and groovy facts about how great it is – but you will never see one. I gave up trying to actually see and review stuff before purchase years ago. The shops in the UK at least NEVER have what it is I’m looking for, unless it’s six times the cost of buying it on Ebay and whatever it is is in a packet or in a glass case so you can’t actually TOUCH the sacred thing. It’s apparently too specialist. It’s so specialist that this stuff is plastered all over the internet. I think tech firms are so desperate to get a press release out to tell people how superawesome their product is, that they are now actually in danger of it becoming obsolete by their own new products before the actual device arrives, I’m sure this has already happened to some Mac owners. So now we have Moore’s Law conducted entirely via press release and industry shows. You can see the product in some nice 3d render, there is a prototype at CeBit or NAMM, there’s stuff all over the internet about it including reviews from multiple sources, and then presumably 72 hours before it becomes superceded by the new, spanglier version, which is also never available.

I have actually tried emailing companies to ask them where and when I can buy their products and some actually don’t know. In the case of the Behringer Uphoria, the UMC1820, it was advertised for about three years before being available. It is a VERY rare beast. It is class-compliant. That is to say – it needs NO DRIVERS! EVER! FOR ANY OPERATING SYSTEM! I actually got mine working on OpenWRT on a router. No problem. SO WHY THE HELL IS NO-ONE DOING THIS??!!!!! I bought mine off Ebay at a stupidly low price and nearly died of shock. You can now buy this on Ebay at nearly twice the price I paid from the same company. I wish I had cleared them out of stock now.

Another extremely rare item I won out on is the ESI M8UXL. 8 in 8 out Midi interface – build quality is superb. Class compliant. Looks brilliant and it just works. I finally got mine from Germany second-hand as you will see them listed online in shops, but never any stock. The thing is just the best. But you can never buy one even though it is still listed on the ESI web site.

There are no alternatives.

Maybe you have to live outside the factories where this stuff is made? Japan? god knows.