Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Um...: The Sequel

We were wrestling today...again!...with the frequent, annoying glitches in our public computer network's sign-in process. PCs that have just logged out will show as "faulty," customers won't be released from PCs they've already been booted off of, etc., etc., etc.

Of course, this is all happening after a network software upgrade last fall.

One of my techie buddies thinks the actual problem is that the old PCs aren't up to signaling quickly enough to the new network. A PC knows it's available and says so on its screen...but the network doesn't know until a few minutes later!

And...of course...thanks to yet more property tax cuts, the City budget can't cover an upgrade of the several 1000 PCs on the library network.


When we heard this probable explanation, I turned to Trapdoor Spider and recited one of my decades-old mantras: "I HATE 'New & Improved'!"

Trapdoor promptly giggled. My words had reminded her of a gizmo her father had years ago which was designed never to become obsolete. On a lark she Googled it and, sure enough, here it is!

The Improved #7 BUNAB,
from Orville K. Snav & Associates

According to Jack Lynch, "The Improved #7 Bunab was the flagship product of Orville K. Snav & Associates, of Mason City, Iowa..., run by the late Al Crowder, Assistant to the President.... [The BUNAB was] first introduced in the 1950's....

"The improved #7 Bunab was attractively priced, in spite of its cutting-edge technology. If I recall correctly, when I bought mine (late 1970's), they were $1.35 each, or two for $2.75....

"Each Bunab came with a set of instructions and was marked with its own serial number. The number on my instructions is "41400."

Lynch includes the text of the instructions:

will, with reasonable care, give years of trouble-free service. It has been scientifically inspected and checked against the master model at the factory.

#7 Improved BUNAB will meet, or exceed, specifications set up by the industry for accuracy, durability, and simplicity of operation.

NO MOVING PARTS insures constant stability. Elimination of springs, cams, splines, etc., insures against variations due to changes in temperature or humidity.

NON-FADE COLORS make it practical for use in bright sunlight for long periods.

For periodic cleaning, use only mild soap and warm (not hot) water. Naptha, carbon tetrachloride, or alcohol are not needed and might result in damage if such solvents are used too often.

WARNING . . . In spite of the simplicity of design, your #7 BUNAB should be treated with the respect due any delicate instrument. When not in use it should be kept IN THE BOX. The box is designed so that the BUNAB may be safely carried in the pocket or purse. Damage may result from careless handling.

SIMPLICITY OF DESIGN assures perfect results, even in the hands of the average housewife or small child. With a minimum of practice, results equalling those of a skilled technician using the conventional instrument may be expected.

LOW COST, due to mass production and control makes it practical to invest in a spare BUNAB. Many users keep a new spare on hand for critical testing. After prolonged use the BUNAB may indicate a variation of one or two percent when checked against a new BUNAB. In that case, the old one should be discarded immediately. Satisfaction in positive results will readily offset the slight cost of replacement.

BE SURE TO FILL OUT THE REGISTRATION CARD AND MAIL IMMEDIATELY. In filling out the card your comments on your experience with the BUNAB will be appreciated. Also any suggestions for improvement.

The improved #7 BUNAB is a product of

O R V I L L E K. S N A V & A S S O C I A T E S
Mason City, Iowa 50401
And here is a picture of the Improved #7 BUNAB:

The Improved #7 BUNAB, from Orville K. Snav & Associates Notice, BTW, that the instructions don't give you any idea what it's for...but that's the beauty of the thing. Properly cared for, it NEVER becomes obsolete!

Lynch tells about other Snav & Assoc. products:

  • Zudirk, a small board game whose details I can't remember, but you were definitely not supposed to play it with strangers. In fact, you were clearly instructed: "Don't play Zudirk with strangers!!".... Here are the instructions and board.

  • The PMM Shield. Geared to those people who can't stand the morning, it protected them from the onslaught of the AM hours. It consisted of a black semi-circle which you were supposed to paste over one half of your clock face.

  • A record for those who liked to listen to records while watching TV. It was priced around $15, according to my Dad, and was completely silent on both sides. Mr. Crowder was once asked on a game show why it cost so much if it was only silence. Crowder defended the price well, saying that the production costs were tremendous. Imagine, he said, getting a full 40-piece orchestra into a studio, getting them all tuned up, and then asking them to remain silent for two 20 minute periods. Invariably, he went on, you'd be seven minutes into a take and someone's chair would squeak, or someone would cough,forcing you to start all over.

If you want testimonials about the BUNAB and other Orville K. Snav & Associates products, check here and here.

BTW, Trapdoor Spider still has her own BUNAB, and it what it does....


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