So on thursday I spotted one of my 'holy grail' bits on Trademe, albeit in a roundabout way. I come across an auction entitled "I want them out of my house!" which was one of those 'winner must take all, no separating' deals. It didn't seem to have much interesting, a few DOS games, a couple P4 computers and some 2005~2010 era gamer stuff (Radeon gfx cards, USB joysticks, etc.)
Except - there is something just a tiny bit intriguing in one of the pictures:
^^ ...What is that
, in the anti-static bag? It looks... red. Especially compared to the green SB Live below it. The orientation is right for an ISA card. And it has the right number of audio jacks, in the right places, and if you squint enough, you JUST MIGHT be able to make out two 30-pin SIMM slots at the end of it.
I go on image search and pull up a picture of my suspicion. And literally try to compare that component-for-component with what I can see through the bag in the advert. At this point I'm thinking there is no way it is what I think it is, just tossed randomly into a box with no comment in the description. But everything seems to match. Perfectly.
Still in disbelief, I save the seller's pic and load it into Gimp. Play with the scaling, the colour levels... I feel like I'm on one of those stupid forensics TV shows. "Enhance!" Well,
Holy crap, a real Gravis Ultrasound PnP. I've been hoping to luck into one of these for literally years. I need
this card for my music workstation than anything else. More than an AWE64 Gold. More than a Roland Sound Canvas. More than an (OPL4-based) AudioTrix Pro. I never, ever
expected one of these to show up on Trademe in this tiny little market. They don't even appear on Ebay! Original-series GUSes do, but not PnPs. They're not worth a huuuuuuge amount, as most enthusiasts consider the original ones more desirable, but I need a PnP specifically. They just don't come up. Ever. Except, well, here's one! And it's even affordable!
There's only one problem. Well two problems. It's part of a huge lot of stuff that I'd have to haul away with it, and I don't have a car. Also it's in Manukau and I'm in the CBD. About an hour train ride and who knows how long walk from the station away. I guess that's three problems. Tough; am I going to pass it up? HELL no.
Four hours to go and it's still at $11. I hop on a bus home and make some dinner; patiently waiting for just-late-enough-to-start-bidding-but-still-not-TOO-cheeky-o'clock (translation: two minutes before the auction end) to get down to business.
The fun starts. I'm briefly leading, but then get outbid again, so I keep bidding. The auto-extend does its infuriating job, of course, but I'm not prepared to give up. My autobid of $66.56, about what the card is "really" worth, gets beaten. No problem. I'll just go higher. I'll just put this absolutely absurd bid on it. I'd be a total idiot to pay this much, but no one will ever
top it, and...
The browser doth protest. Maybe it has more sense than I, in my auction-fuelled frenzy. I reload the page one time too many, and something goes deeply
wrong in Opera's CSS rendering engine. Suddenly all the auction formatting is lost. All the neat and tidy tables. Well, the images and info are still there, and I can still enter amounts in the text box. Now where did the "submit bid" button go?
The "submit bid" button has vanished. Pressing 'enter' does nothing either. SON OF A-
30 seconds left by my reckoning. Open Firefox. Not logged in. No TIME! Grab my phone - YES! As soon as I unlock the screen I'm greeted with the glorious sight of the auction page in Android's browser. And I'm logged in! Quickly jam my ridiculous bid back in, make sure to fat-finger the 'auto-bid' button, so it doesn't jump immediately to my highest amount, SUBMIT! AND...
"Sorry, you cannot place this bid because the auction has ended."
GAME OVER. YOU LOSE. GOOD DAY, SIR.
Oh well, I didn't really want to haul all that other stuff from Manukau anyway right? And another one might come up. Sometime. Eventually. Maybe.
Wait a minute, the person who won has other auctions going. I can still just use the contact form here...
Long story short, I offered the winner the price I'd run up the whole auction to for the GUS alone, which they happily accepted. It's in the post now and will probably be in my hands on Monday. So it worked out in the end! I got my card, the other party got all the rest of the stuff in the auction for nearly free, and I didn't
have to haul away a giant lot that I don't need. Win win!
Well, if you can call blowing seventy bucks on an ISA sound card a win. In this one instance, I can.