The Kind Of Deal Even An Idiot Can Deal With August 8th, 2000
Gary: Good God man! What are you doing with all that crap in your pants?!
Randy: It's not crap. It's paper, dude. Paper that is going to save me money. They're rebate forms and coupons for deals on Mac stuff.
Gary: But you must have two hundred or so little scraps of paper.
Randy: Well, some are the rebate forms, and some are my original receipts. Then some are my proof of purchase seals from product boxes. But most of them are coupons and special offers I have spent months collecting
Gary: What are all the silver things?
Randy: Oh, those are just the static proof bags some of my components came in. I don't really need them for the rebates. I just keep 'em because they are shiny. Mmmmmm, shiny
Gary: Man, you have to be the most pathetic penny-pinching bastard on the face of Macdom. How long did it take you to collect all that crap?
Randy: I have spent months scouring the web and magazines for the best prices and special deals on all the computer equipment I need to buy.
Gary: Months, huh? Man, that seems like a lot of work. I mean, I enjoy window shopping for computer stuff just as much as the next techno junkie but it never really pays off. No matter how hard I look, I always seem to miss the really sweet deals. So after all the squirreling away of all those little bits of paper, how much are you going to save?
Randy: Well, after going through all the rebates, over half of them are expired. Most of the great deals are sold out and I don't have the required photo of my original sales clerk hugging the Laura Croft cutout for the game discount, so I guess I'm saving about five bucks and some change.
Gary: Whooo boy! That's some SWEEEEET savings!! Remind me to never let you have access to the Idiots' bank account.
Randy: Awww, shut your cakehole! Man, try as I may, I just can't keep track of all the deals out there. I wish there were a single source that would just tell me, on a daily basis, all the specials on the equipment I need. And I want them to e-mail it to me so I don't have to go scouring all over the web everyday.
Gary: Well, I hate to tell you, but there is. You see while you have been killing yourself researching the print and web sales sites everyday, I have been using a little web site called DealMac and their new MyDealMac service to find all the best prices.
Randy: What! You let me suffer while you saved money?!
Gary: Cool huh? Pretty much a win-win situation for me, eh?
Randy: First, I want you to tell me about MyDealMac. Then I want you to pick out the rock that I am going to crack your head open with!
Gary: Well, DealMac is one of the greatest resources that a true Mac aficionado can have at his disposal. It's basically a web site that tracks all of the best prices on all of the best Mac stuff out there. They don't sell anything. They just tell you where you can get it the cheapest.
Randy:Wow, Gary, that sounds great. Can you tell me more about DealMac?
Gary:Alright, you infomercial whore. For example, when I was buying printers for every one of my relatives (it seemed like), I used DealMac to find the best prices on the Epson 740 printer series, which was the best printer at the time for consumers.
Gary:I may have to kill you, man. DealMac was able to find the lowest prices on any given day. Even though the price of the printer fluctuated by a few bucks each day, I never found a better price. That's when I became a DealMac fan. All you have to do is enter the type or name of the product you are looking for in a search field, and DealMac finds the best price. It's that easy!
Randy: That is amazing, but it seems like so much work to have to type in a search field. I want more!
Gary: When the hell did you become Suzanne Somers? (sigh) Okay, so now DealMac offers a new service called myDealMac where you can enter your personal info and what products you are looking for and they will e-mail you within minutes of that product having a great deal.
Randy: That sounds pretty sweet, all infomercial kidding aside.
Gary: MyDealMac is a great service and it's free! But I do think it needs some fine-tuning. For instance when you start a MyDealMac profile to start receiving you hot deal e-mails, the first thing you have to do is choose the categories you are interested in receiving news on, before you even enter your name and e-mail. It sure would be nice to be able to just setup you account and then later go back and choose you categories.
Randy: I agree. While setting up my account right now, I see a feature I think would help improve this service. While you can choose to have deal alerts sent to you every time the category you are interested in is updated, you can also limit your notifications to just sale items that have a particular keyword. For example, you can have an e-mail sent every time the entire PowerMac category gets an update, or you can have e-mail only when a sale item in the Power Mac category that contains the term "G4" is posted or updated. However, there are no preselected keywords. You just have to make them up and type them into the single blank provided for the keyword and hope it's a legitimate keyword. Some basic keyword choices in the form of some pop-down lists or checkboxes sure would be very helpful. I could see novice shoppers anxiously waiting for their e-mails notifying them of their new "WYSIWYG" hard drive or the best price for a "gigahertz" memory chip.
Gary: That would be a long wait.
Randy: Yes, my friend, those gig memory chips are mighty hard to come by. You know, Gary, I think this is the first time we have ever talked about something that doesn't actually help you waste time. In fact, it actually saves time.
Gary: That's to show our readers we are truly multi-dimentional and ironic columnists.
Randy: Or really cheap bastards.
Gary: Yeah, that too. Well, now that I have shown you the wonders of the MyDealMac service from DealMac, are you still angry with me?
Randy: Oh yeah, you know it.
Gary: Do I still have to go find a rock for you to bash my head in?
Randy: Nope, you're off the hook there. I just found a great deal on a head crackin' rock through MyDealMac. It will be FedExed here tomorrow.
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .