Sometimes, the speed of global commerce takes my breath away.
IBM just replaced a hard drive for me under warranty. (IBM’s warranty service, by the way, is a thing of beauty.) I shipped them the busted drive around the 10th of this month; the replacement arrived today. It’s a remanufactured unit, not unusual for a warranty replacement. It was re-built earlier this month in Hungary, and found its way to Brooklyn by way of Malaysia and Union City, California.
Best I can tell, the drive left Asia on the 16th — two days after IBM got the defective unit. And remember, cargo still isn’t moving off the West Coast very easily these days.
When I was Deputy Editor of Time Digital about four years ago, I tried to order up an infographic map illustrating the delicate global supply web that results in the delivery of a home PC, pinpointing the most vulnerable links. Reporters there rejected the idea, saying it was just too much work. Slackers. It’d make a hell of a piece.