I bought a USB-to-Ethernet network adapter, and the drivers came on a disk... Why didn't they include a USB stick in the adapter, as they seem pretty cheap (I have already lost the disk)?
migrated from serverfault.com Dec 23 '11 at 22:36
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They may seem pretty cheap, but you need to look at things on a scale of economics.
Including a 64 MB flash disk with the drivers: $0.50 Integrating 64 MB of flash storage onto a pre-existing USB device: $1.50 Including a CD with the drivers: $0.01
Multiply that by a million units:
Including a 64 MB flash disk with the drivers: $500,000 Integrating 64 MB of flash storage onto a pre-existing USB device: $1,500,000 Providing support for Windows 98 users who don't have USB storage drivers installed: $50,000/year Including a CD with the drivers: $10,000
As someone whose primary task is to make your shareholders more money, which would you choose?
Anyway, a USB stick is smaller than a CD and a lot harder to catalogue, so you're more likely to lose a USB stick than a CD. Either that, or wipe the USB stick to re-use it for something else. In either case the drivers are lost.
Anyway, you did do what all good system administrators would do and copied the drivers into a well-documented location with an obvious folder name, didn't you?
In addition to Farseeker's points, if they did put the drivers on a USB stick that would cut into the sales of those USB sticks in general, as we would simply reuse the one that came with the device. If the stick was made with a small and nearly useless capacity it would add significantly to the cost of manufacture, as they would need to custom chips, which is always more expensive.