Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
|Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:12 pm Post subject:
|As it happens, I actively collaborate with Macroscopic Solutions and they're on the very short list of authorized resellers for Zerene Stacker. (Note to those who missed it: I'm the fellow who controls Zerene Stacker.)
I don't see their systems pricing as gouging at all. There's no secret about what equipment and software they're using. Anybody is perfectly free to buy it themselves if they prefer. And their customers know this, at least the ones that I've talked to. So what it really comes down to is that the customers' views about what they get for their money happen to be different from yours.
As far as equipment is concerned, Macroscopic Solutions fits mostly in the category of "system integrators". Another example is Visionary Digital, now Dun Inc, for example see the Passport II system at http://www.duninc.com/passport-ii.html. I collaborate with them too.
Clearly the systems these outfits sell are mostly comprised of commercial equipment, augmented with a few custom parts that make them more convenient to use, with the collection sold at a substantial markup, and accompanied with instruction and training. (I don't get any of that markup, by the way. I actually make less on ZS sold inside these systems than I would if it were just bought separately. But on the other hand the integrators then serve as primary contact for support requests, so it works out OK.)
Anyway, for a good DIY-er, it would make no sense to buy one of these systems.
But for certain commercial and funded research efforts, it makes perfect sense to pay the integrators in exchange for saving a lot of time thrashing around trying to figure out what to do.