Thursday, July 17, 2008


The last couple of days have been something of a whirlwind. The most pressing issue from a blogging standpoint would be the unfortunate demise of my computer. Fortunately, it was a slow death. The screen went some time ago, and it's been a process of watching bits (The "delete" key developed a nervous habit of checking out on me.) and pieces (The speakers failed to exist according to My Computer after someone hit the mute button.) fail over the past couple of weeks. During that time, I was transferring irreplaceable data to cds. Today, I attempted to pop in a cd to continue the process of writing the 2008 photos to disc. Apparently the disc drive no longer exists. Hmmm. That seemed to present a problem in the process of saving information I was unwilling to lose.
Don informed me that it was time to pony up the cash for replacement of my poor, balky machine because there is not really any "fun" in dysfunctional. We have been in and out of the assorted electronic, office, and discount megamarts to compare options and prices as well as trawling on-line for a deal. Don has read on-line articles and explained stuff I don't really understand to me so we would both be reasonably educated consumers. I can spout off information about 32-bit processors and 3 Gig hard drives and 64-bit processors and 4 Gig hard drives as if I actually have a clue what that means. (Okay, so that info is not entirely lost on me, but I remain a content technophobe despite the need to garner sufficient information not to get snookered by a dishonest salesperson.) Don and I each walked into the store with our own ideas of what we would leave with, but equally resigned to the purchase.
The dream machine was $50 more than the best price we have found it for over the past weeks at the same store, and $60 more than our top price. The next model down by the same manufacturer serious downgrades the goodies, but only a offers a slight price cut. We cruise the aisles, read the little placards under the open box "specials", and discover that a brand that was totally outside our price range is on sale this week. That drops it into our top price range by $20. Ooooh, goody.
The sales person answers our questions about comparing two machines by regurgitating the information written on the little placards. I explain (nicely) that we can read, but that I would like to hear his opinion. This fellow manages not to try to up sell more gadgetry or techno-wizardry (A friend made the comment today that I agree with, "Quit trying to outfit me with a Ferrari when I just need a Honda!") which would have blown his sale immediately. He also avoids the bizarre technique of talking down to the Little Lady. He recommends one machine based on merits that can be clearly demonstrated, or at least sound good. I smile at the salesman because he has just given the correct answers on this morning's pop quiz, and he is to be rewarded with a sale.
My beaming face is quickly replaced by a wryly raised eyebrow as our young sales person then attempts to score bonus sales of additional stuff we do not want or need. I tell him that we would simply like to purchase the computer with no other services or external whatzits. He wisely rings up the purchase and thanks us. (Good call. Several salespeople have blown sales by misjudging the amount of baloney we will tolerate. One actually cussed in his presentation.)
So. Hopefully, Don will finish the data transfer from my ailing machine to the shiny new one tonight or tomorrow morning. Then I will be back on-line as usual.

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