23rd of December, 2004
Well my business is now once again CLOSED for another year, due to the usual Christmas and New Year holiday. This was two days later than first expected, when I kept finding more and more things that needed to be done.
Oddly enough my expected return to work date is incorrect as well. What I mean is that I recently checked for the first postal service collection date following New Year, where I found out that this was not the 3rd after all. I should have guessed that since the 1st and 2nd are a weekend, then so would the normal New Year public holiday shift to the 3rd.
This means that the first orders will now be dispatched on Tuesday the 4th of January, 2005.
Should you wish to place and order during this holiday, then please keep in mind that it will be going nowhere until this date. So the only orders that could possibly be dispatched during this time are a couple planned trade orders, then any existing order (read ATMega cards) that could be dispatched due to new stock arriving.
Anyway, one thing I am very sure of is that every possible Titanium card order has already departed. They should all be with these customers by now as well, but that depends on the postal service. So that is very pleasing news after my wholesalers were out of stock of the blue type for many months. Not to mention that I certainly have plenty more to sell as well.
Since all other stock is available, beyond ATMega cards that is, then if you do not yet have some desired order with you, then I certainly do not know about it.
I have now updated all the currency rates once more, where these new rates will remain fixed until a further update on the 4th.
The previously mentioned FTP problem for my cardman.co.uk domain has now been resolved. As after a couple of denials from my hosting provider that there was a problem, then it turns out that I could not update this web site due to them black listing my IP address.
Why they black listed my IP address recently, or why this even affected just the FTP service, is a mystery that I don't have any clue about. Still, since they have moved my IP address from their Black List to their White List, then that is problem solved.
This hosting service I starting to not like at all. The FTP outage is just one problem in a whole line of them. The biggest problem is how my e-mail service on this domain keeps going down, resulting in bounced and lost e-mail. That tends to be a serious problem when both order forms and payment confirmation receipts are passed through this domain.
Still, since a couple of years ago I separated data transfers between my two sites, then just in case there is another outage during this holiday, then it is a better idea to place your order through my cardman.com domain. Hopefully, this coming January won't be like last January, when back then this hosting provider switched off my e-mail service for some time during the busiest month of the year.
Since that is all important aspects now covered, then that only leaves
me one thing to say...
18th of December, 2004
Titanium cards are now fully back in stock. =8->
Good news indeed. The last few outstanding customers will receive their orders from Tuesday, depending on how busy the Royal Mail is and where you are at.
As you can see I have now updated my Card's Page with what Titanium technical information that I have discovered since I first began stocking this card type. I wish that I had one of those wiring diagrams for this card type, but since most traders and wholesaler usually do not have a clue about the technical aspects, then getting one of these diagrams is a very hard thing indeed.
I can only hope that like my ATMega card wiring diagram that some site visitor can e-mail me the Titanium wiring diagram. As even the wiring diagram for that ATMega card could not previously be obtained, despite asking everyone that I knew who could possibly have a copy. Including the very card manufacturer's local distributor...
Maybe it is just me, but in my view you cannot fully understand the card without seeing how it is wired together.
You may have noticed that I have not yet updated my cardman.co.uk site with this latest News. That is due to this site's FTP service currently being non-functional. This time it does not appear to be due to my local system, when my port 21 problem would affect all port 21 connections, and not just this one site.
So I will update that site whenever it becomes possible to do so.
17th of December, 2004
Well the last day for order dispatches is now soon approaching. That is this coming Tuesday the 21st of December, should you have missed the mention below.
I am pleased to say that I have now just placed the second order for Titanium cards. This means that Titanium cards will be fully back in stock within the next couple of days. Most customers with outstanding orders for these cards, would have received their orders recently, where all remaining orders will be with these customers early next week.
I am also currently busy making sure that there is no outstanding order by the 21st. With the completion of these last Titanium card orders the only real problem are the ATMega cards, when commercial supply of these cards also dried up. That was mostly due to the former rapid decline in this card price, where many suppliers, wholesalers, and even at least one known manufacturer, gave up dealing with this type, simply due to not being able to compete.
One of my wholesalers gave up supplying ATMega cards many months ago. My other usual wholesaler still advertises this card type, but like every week I ask them if they have stock, where this answer is always "no".
Since this is a longer term problem, then that is why my last supply of these cards actually came from another card supplier. And when this other supplier later restocked on these cards, then his card prices increased by about 2 GBP each.
As waiting for more of the common supply is unhelpful, then that is why I removed my ATMega card prices.
The thing is that there is an ATMega card supply available, but these cards cost a great deal more than the common kind. In fact the wholesale prices that I have seen are actually more than what I used to sell my cards for. So it seems that the way to go these days is to stock this higher priced type, where I should increase my own prices as a result.
The few outstanding orders that I have can then be completed out of this higher price type, even though these cards will cost me more than what I sold them to these customers for.
This card price competition, down to very card production death, goes to highlight how crazy competition has got this past year. So I am sure that most card suppliers will now be concentrating on establishing a more general price, which will allow both a fair profit and continued hassle free card supply through out the general market.
So as a wafer card supplier I can only hope that this New Year brings a hassle free card supply. No more of the supply issues that have featured during the past few months in other words.
I am getting in a few more FUN4 cards as well, to top up my stock during this holiday. Anyway, within the next couple of days the only item that is a supply problem would be these mentioned ATMega cards. So should you still desire something in time for Xmas, then every other item is all ready to go.
I still have a few site updates to do. When things have been progressing on despite my recent stopping of a few less important tasks, like with these less important site updates. For example I will soon have to add another FIVE new countries to my Global Domination Plan Special Offer, when I have not updated that section for months.
During this holiday I could well add all these new items to this site. Since each one of those takes like half a day to complete, then currently being very busy makes this another task needing to be done.
Anyway, one more obvious site update to do late on Tuesday, where then my business will be closed for another year.
Early December, 2004
The last day for order dispatches this year will be the Tuesday the 21st of December. This is naturally for the usual Xmas and New Year holiday, where we should be back in action by Monday the 3rd of January.
So if you need anything in time for Xmas, then I strongly advise you to have your order here by Monday the 20th of December at the latest. As any orders received during this holiday will only be dispatched within the first couple of days back in action following our return on the 3rd.
Hopefully, unlike last year there won't be a high demand for a rare item. When last year all of my SEASON2 devices were sold out very quickly even before we were back at work. And since no more of those could be obtained, then that is why it then took a couple of weeks to find my replacement SEASON3 model.
I have now reduced my updates of this News page for various reasons, but that does not mean that there has not been many other site updates during this time. This is usually dealing with currency rate updates, dealing with stock matters, then you may have even noticed changes to my Order Forms.
Not to mention that I am currently suffering an unusual problem. As for some reason my local server keeps blocking port 21, which means that I cannot connect to my two web sites in order to do updates. And since the only way to fix this is to take out my entire LAN system for a short time in a server reset, then that explains a lack of desire to do so. Not to forget that this problem returns shortly following doing the one update.
Anyway, I will be sure to do one more News update this month, when I mention that another year is now over. And that makes seven years now by my count. Not even the one serious holiday in that time either.
Also while I am about it I should mention developments in the world of wafer card supply. What I mean is that from 2001 card prices were much higher and following over the next few years were a great bloom of new card type. Then over the next few years competition has caused prices and related profit to get lower and lower.
What has been happing during this past year is that prices and profits are now so low that some card suppliers have decided that it is now not worth the effort and have given up card supply completely, where even some card manufacturers have stopped production of their more financially unsound card types.
This means that the current market is quite a troubled one. Some card prices are still falling. Some card prices have bottomed out and now subject to large increases. Then some cards pose supply issue. Even my own wholesalers have given up some card supply, where stock issues are numerous.
So in all this reminds me not unlike that troubled time of late 2000 and early 2001, but this year compared to 2001 is more complex and not quite such a problem.
The market in general should soon be subject to general card price increases, when most suppliers figure out that prices and competition have gone a little too far. That has already happened for the ATMEGA card. This for the market is not such a bad thing, when more profit from card supply makes supporting and obtaining cards that much easier.
Anyway, despite the supply of some card types being a pain at the current time, but I am certainly going no where quickly. Just a shame that more than a few card suppliers that were here the start of this year have now gone on to other things.
Well as I mentioned above, then business is almost over for another year, where should you need something before this year comes to an end, then now is a good time as any to place an order. I have a few more site update to do, where I will be doing those over the next day or two.