"Computers are my best friends. When I help people find each other without knowing they used a computer, my best friends and I revel in our little secret!"    -Langel




Packaging Disaster with the Creative I/O USB Dongle

Tuesday, October 28th 2008 9:52am

Back in Hawai'i I was taking it easy. I spent a lot of time working on my electronic music and, consequently from years of use, the headphone jack on my laptop rather exploded with a couple tiny pieces flying out. This came as no surprise as the jack had already been loose for a while, needing a jiggle here and there to kill poor connection noise. This problem kept me from developing HiFi sounds but composing tunes for the Nintendo Entertainment System was alright through the laptop's tinny speakers.

Back at home, in Michigan, I knew I had a fancy Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS PCMCIA card with ASIO support that I never used. But this would conflict with my WiFi card for the same port. So I found the cheapest USB WiFi adapter I could online and ordered it. When I got home it was waiting for me.

Can you tell me what's wrong with this picture?

Yeah, that's right, I scissored right through the installation CD (and I would really like to know where they get the blank 3" CD-R with the dismayed, winking panda on it). Nowhere on the packaging was any information regarding it's contents. How was I to know I was about to wreck my purchase? I plugged the device in hoping it would just work but Windows wanted a driver... And so began my adventure trying to find the correct drivers for a Creative I/O USB Dongle.

But wait — who made this Creative I/O USB Dongle? It was not the venerable computer technology company Creative which makes my PCMCIA audio card. I couldn't find any evidence it was a child company either. The closest solution I found was from a random online store which gave me the drivers for a SAGEM Wi-Fi 11g USB adapter and of course that didn't work.

After over an hour of googling and frustration I decided to let Windows try to find the necessary driver on it's own and ¡VOILÁ! : the Realtek USB Wireless LAN Driver was installed and the device was working properly. But then I couldn't stop staring at Realtek's logo, "Is that a crab?" I suppose it is. The legs look like transmitting radio waves and the claws reach for the sky in some form of victory (or about to be arrested). But what I really wanted to know is how Taiwanese firm Realtek Semiconductor Corp. ends up with the letters RML or RMC in it's logo (because that isn't too clear). Does the word 'semiconductor' start with a Latin consonant 'm' in Taiwanese?

I am sure this is not the first or last time I learn these three things —

  1. You get what you pay for.
  2. Try the simplest solution first.
  3. Logos do not always make sense.

posted by Langel

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