July 23rd, 2006

krazy koati

Oh what a hit you would be

I went to Funan, formerly the IT mall, with the intention to buy a bundle of DVD-R blanks. What with being away several weeks and other things it turns out I've been away a good while. Quite a few of the stores were closed for ``upgrading'', by which they mean replacement. I thought one of them was a pleasantly eccentric shop where I occasionally buy some Mac software, but I just remembered wrong which floor it was on. It was there and in good order, and even was selling Civilization IV. I'd love to buy the game, but its system requirements were designed by people utterly unaware of real-world Macintosh system specifications. No Mac laptop sold more than three months ago is capable of playing it. Since more than half the Mac market is on laptops, it's amazing the company set itself up so boldly for failure. Their corporate response is, ``Sorry.'' Based on the game box, the centers of advanced civilization are the Saturn V rocket and Singapore's Central Business District. That's not a joke. Depicted buildings include the Maybank building, the OCBC building, and One UOB Plaza.

There was also a curious development at a niche called inbox. This is a corner of the fifth floor that was converted into a sort of unified-theme area, in that the floors and ceiling are dark compared to the cheery bright main mall, and instead of stores built into the edges there's a series of free-standing irregularly shaped smaller shops. But most of the shops were closed -- oh, there's the comic book niche, and the mobile phone niche, and the sure-looks-like-it-was-pirated software niche, but about two-thirds of these shops were not just closed but moved out, with nothing left inside but piles of dust, half-disassembled shelves, and empty water bottles.

I'd love to understand what happened, but the only unifying theme I could find among the closed places was that they were places which sold digital cameras or camera equipment. Many sold other things, yes, but the only remaining stores were those that had no camera-related sales. There are a few camera shops elsewhere in the mall still open -- I tried looking at telephoto lenses at one shop where the clerk kept asking if he could help me, to the point that I fled -- so it doesn't seem to represent a mall policy crackdown on cameras. But why would a dozen in one theme spot all close at once?

I forgot to buy the DVD-R blanks.

Trivia: By 1812 Great Britain's Royal Household spent £10,000 per year on candles. Source: George III, Christopher Hibbert.

Currently Reading: An Empire of Wealth, John Steele Gordon.