Herewith advice on where to buy memory if you’re in Silly Valley, and how to stay out of trouble with the Canadian government.

What happened was, my PowerBook gets kind of sluggish when I’m running NetBeans and PhotoShop Elements and twenty or thirty Safari tabs, and since Apple obstinately refuses to release a faster laptop, and since I’m not quite ready to switch to some musclebound 64-bit Solaris laptop, well, memory was a logical next step.

So I followed the advice of worthies on the internal Sun Mac mailing-list and made a date and dropped by S.A. Technologies, which is about five blocks from the Sun Santa Clara campus, and they bumped me from 768M to 1.5G in about five minutes for what seemed like a fair price.

Plus, they offer an unconditional guarantee, and reports are that they honor it, no muss no fuss. Plus, they’re friendly.

If you go there, write down the whole address, they don’t exactly have a 30-foot neon sign over the storefront. Memory is all they do, but they seem to do it well; talk about microniche marketing.

Juicing up the PowerBook has indeed helped quite a bit, but I bet I get driven to x86 land, because I look at the range of G4 and G5 options available to Apple, and just don’t see their highend-laptop options being that great for the next year or so.

Smuggler! · Anyhow, I got back home on the late flight and I realized, literally as I was stepped up in front of the Canada Customs woman, that I’d forgotten to declare the new memory as something I was importing to Canada, buried in the computer’s guts it didn’t feel like something in a shopping bag. I made a snap decision not to revise my story while standing in front of the official; I’m not sure whether I was more worried about looking suspicious or just dopey. So, since I got waved through as a law-abiding citizen, I am now guilty of having avoided the payment of about C$30 in tax, which I could have dodged legally just by being away for 72 hours or more.

Anyhow, for the Canadians in the crowd, here’s some advice. While there is a longstanding Canadian tradition of lying to Customs officials at The World’s Longest Undefended Border, it’s not worthwhile any more.

First of all, they’re really generous with the exemptions; unless you’re seriously over, they’ll just say “forget it” and wave you through. And if you do wind up having to pay something, usually it’s just GST, thus cheap, and they’re friendly and super-efficient about collecting, they take your credit card and charge you and turn you loose in no time (although one time I went through really late at night and the cashier, when I pulled out the card, beseeched me for cash & change if I could possibly spare any, she was running low and there was a 747 from Hong Kong about to arrive).

Bottom lines: tell the truth to the Canadian officials; and buy your memory on De La Cruz Boulevard in Santa Clara.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
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January 24, 2005
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