Monday, March 1, 2010

Like Gravel Thru an Hourglass So Are the Days of My Computer

So, I bought a new computer. Or rather I'm buying a new computer. I needed one desperately for the home office and budding home business of marketing free-lance work (emphasis on FREE so far) so through the generosity of my big sister (who floated me a nice loan), I bought a new PC laptop. I would have preferred a Mac, but alas, I had a strict budget and hey, PCs aren't THAT bad right? Ha!

I had a desktop Mac. It's ancient, but really up until about 6 months ago, it was doing fine. I should have realized - ancient PC's - well there aren't any because their owners run them over out of frustration before they become ancient; there are ancient Macs though - beloved by their owners.

I bought a new Dell laptop, had my husband who knows of such things help me "build" it so that it would last a while, ordered it and got ready for the 5 weeks it would take for it to arrive. Huzzah! It only took 3 weeks! It arrived on a Friday and Zachary and I anxiously plugged it in and off we went amazed at the speed with which Thomas suddenly flew on the tracks! All was wonderful and amazing until three days later when it wouldn't turn on anymore. Really? You have to be kidding me. I've had it THREE days.

So I call tech support and they tell me its a bad motherboard/ac adapter connection and I can 1. wait 3 days for a tech to come with new parts and replace them or 2. send it back and wait 4 weeks for a new computer. OMG. Wow. I'll take door #1 thanks. Oh and have I mentioned that I'm just a tad irritated?

The parts come in and the tech is here on a Wednesday to replace them, but of course! They sent the wrong part! So it'll be another 2 or 3 days for the next part to come! In the meantime, I was at least able to work on the dumb thing with battery power, but now it won't power up at all. Nice. And I'm getting just a bit more irritated because, well hey, I paid a decent chunk of change to actually work on this hunk of plastic. He finally comes on Friday night, replaces the motherboard and we're in business.

Ok, so I should be happy right, one little glitch, it happens, no one is perfect. Fine. I have a computer and it works. Saturday morning - ready for it - I'm on Facebook sending out a group notice to my church knitters when Bam! I get hit with a virus! What the heck?! Didn't this thing come with security????? Shuts me down. Well, that was a good 12 hour run!

Off I go to Geek Squad at Best Buy. That will be $200 and 5 days to remove the virus. Seriously? Now I'm ready to tell Dell to come get their computer - it's in the middle of Vine St. being used as a speed bump because it seems to be so much more useful there than as a $1,000 paper weight on my desk! Thankfully I mention this mess to my big sister who tells me how to get rid of the dumb virus for $25. Done. Here's an aside - don't bother with Geek Squad - it's a rip off. Just in case you didn't know yet.

Ok, it wasn't that simple, some how I managed to set up a second user and actually installed the software to get rid of the virus there and now can't find my way back. And while dealing with all this I decided to have a cup of tea to relax myself and managed to set the kitchen on fire - I put out the fire with no damage, not to worry. However the house smelled like melted plastic for two days and my husband was not happy and now he plays Talking Heads, "Burning Down the House" just to torture me.

Everything seems to be in working order now - the computer, the teapot, the stove, me. But I just can't wait to see what Dell has in store for me next!

Now, in case you are one of those people who is wondering - Mac or PC? Let me just help you along a little bit. Don't be cheap, don't be silly - get yourself a Mac and thank your lucky stars you were smart enough to do so! Don't get me wrong - I'm very thankful for this computer as it will allow me to do much over the next few years that I could not before, but wow - is it me or have we really lowered our expectations for what is allowable in a product? I mean would our grandparents have accepted such shoddy workmanship in their day? I think not. And lest you tell me a computer is a much more complicated "gizmo" than anything they had then, I'll remind you that at the time of my grandparents at least, a TV was just as complicated to them as a computer is to us and they managed to get TVs that worked everytime. Just a thought.

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