Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Smart Shopping

My friend Josh is like a walking Consumer Reports. He researches and finds the best product: no matter if it's electronic equipment, an apartment, a college, an overseas trip, or a bar. Then he fairly easily convinces everyone around him that they should do the same thing he did. I can think of several companies that unknowingly owe Josh some sort of commission. I, on the other hand, typically spend more time choosing what to eat at a new restaurant than I do when choosing a big purchase, such as my digital camera.

I know that Josh will be reading this (not because he is an avid reader of my blog, but because I told him I would be mentioning his name,) so I'm a little hesitant to admit how I bought my computer. I know he will be appalled.

My beloved HP that I've had for many years has been dying slowly for about a year and a half now. About two weeks ago it suddenly let me know the end was near by only allowing the screen display to be about 3 inches by 3 inches. You can imagine that it is hard to type, read, look at pictures, etc when everything is so tiny. Then it would do this fun beeping thing (really it was more of a screech in computer language) and shut off midway through my work.

So today I went down to Union Square, where there are at least three places to buy computers. I thought I would try to do a little comparison shopping. I went into the first store, looked at the four computers in my price range, and asked one question to the sales associate. "Is this one in stock?" ("This one" had been chosen because it was the cheapest.) The answer was no, and I was about to move on to question number two (pointing to the next cheapest computer and asking if it was in stock), when the sales associate asked if I had looked at the Acers. I have never heard of an Acer, but ten minutes later I was walking out of the store with my brand new Acer Aspire 3000 Notebook. (And can someone tell me when laptops became notebooks?)

It took no time to set up, it doesn't screech at me, it never shuts down when I don't want it to, it performs at warp speed compared to my last computer...needless to say, I'm in love. And for Josh, and my other smart shopper friends, it has a Mobile AMD Sempron processor 3000+, 15.0" XGA TFT LCD, 60GB HDD, DVD/CD-RW Combo, 512MB DDR, and 802.11b/g wireless LAN. (I just copied that from the sticker below the keyboard, and yes, typing that was painful.)

Maybe you smart shoppers are on to something and you get products that are far superior to anything I will ever own because I don't take the time to do the research. But maybe there's something to be said for low expectations (you've never heard me say this, and you probably never will again.) I usually get very stressed out about such purchases because I feel like a stranger in a new culture. I don't know the language, I don't know how to express what I want, and I feel like everyone is staring at the idiot visitor from another land. But buying this computer was stress free. I realized all I want to do is type, and all the computers do that! Don't worry, though, I won't try to convince anyone else that it is the best product. I'll leave that job to Josh.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Just so you know, AMD is the company your Uncle Bill works for. Acer is a good computer and I am sure it will last you until you move from New York. I do enjoy reading your blogs, I guess this is our the new email system?