Chipleggers of the Pacific Coast!

This is sooooooo close to the Line.

For the time being, Dell is no longer shipping certain Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming PC configurations to half a dozen US states because those product lines potentially fall out of bounds of newly adopted energy efficiency requirements.

When attempting to configure one of those systems, a warning message appears in bold red lettering to alert buyers that their order will not be honored if the destination resides in one of the affected states. This was first spotted by Marie Oakes, an independent content creator who highlighted the disclaimer on Twitter.

“This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled,” the message states.

…Looking at the map, I would hypothetically pick Idaho over Nevada if I do end up writing a science fiction story extrapolating a future scenario involving Pacific chiplegging runs. Eastern Oregon and Washington State would have more checkpoints to cover, and local officials would theoretically have better things to do than to pull over every big rig to look for superhot processors. Particularly if, say, the tax stamps in this imaginary thought experiment were reflective of the fair market value of what are perfectly-legal components in more civilized parts of the United States of America.

Course, that would allegedly mean a higher mark-up for product making its way to California (Hawaii would simply be hosed, sure and entire), but that would just be an excuse for conflict in the latter part of the aforementioned (and strictly potential) science fiction short story. I hardly also need to note that I do not endorse the transportation of unlawful substances across state lines, and that this should not be taken as any sort of encouragement to do so. I am merely workshopping a possible new story, tentatively called “Poor Honest Men:”

I do so love Kipling: don’t you?

11 thoughts on “Chipleggers of the Pacific Coast!”

  1. The obvious further extrapolation is that people trapped in those zones will be required to register their electrical appliances with the utility companies, get assigned a power allotment, and have their juice killed every month when they exceed it. That’s the only fair thing to do, right? Let a bureaucrat decide how much power you’re allowed to use?

    We’re halfway there already with all the fuckwits who VOLUNTARILY installed ‘green’ thermostats.

    This leads to the ironic tertiary effect (where the greatest of sci-fi is born) of privately generated electricity (i.e. solar power, windmills, small waterwheels and such) – despite being beloved by the left – becomes a symbol of conservatism and resistance.

  2. Keep the smuggling down to the actual chips themselves, with an assembly plant staffed by undesirables of one sort or another; then you can walk across the border with lots of loot in a knapsack.

  3. I **really** want to see this story.
    Especially as the Pacific states see themselves as both tech and environmentally superior. I’m getting flashes of Niven & Pournelle’s “Fallen Angels” here.

    Or maybe Smokey & the Bandit.

    Take another look at Nevada, though. Winnemucca lets you have a single hub that routes into both Oregon and California. (Lot of driving, though.) Also, keep in mind that anyone looking to stick it to the coasties would potentially have a lot of friends in eastern CA, WA, & OR.

    Good luck!

    1. Smokey and the Bandit:

      We gon do what they say can’t be done
      The boys are gaming in Corvallis
      and there’s chips out here in Dallas
      So hammer down and watch ol Bandit run

  4. There are choke points across the Blues, Cascades, and Sierra Nevadas.
    It’s an interesting *role-playing* exercise to figure out how many bridges and trestles you’d need to drop to cut off the major population centers of the Left Coast.
    (At the time, we figured three fireteams were adequate. But surveillance has become much more ubiquitous since then, so the logistics would have to change to keep insert and exfil risks acceptable in any sort of sustained campaign.)

    1. There’s choke and there’s choke ….

      Drop a couple bridges along the Columbia gorge, for example, and you strangle I-84 .. but there’s smaller, older roads… US-26 and US-30 and WA-14 all parallel I-84.
      If you want to (write) this and make it stick, wait until the snow gets serious ..

  5. The westward road seems easiest. Therefore it must be shunned. It will be watched.
    Now at this last we must take a hard road, a road unforeseen.

        1. I was thinking taking the Eastern approaches, as if Marco Polo had boats or something. Not like they question anything else coming from that direction these days.

          1. On that note, ship from the manufacturer to Yuma AZ; divert it from there to Mexicali Mexico; then north to Calexico CA. Bring your kids and nobody will hassle you. Nice little road trip with the fam.

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