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April 30, 2017 / thackersam


Three Christmas’ ago, I invested in an expensive laptop. A Sony that was the perfect size, had touch screen and lit keyboard. I got the lifetime Microsoft Office and security. I was going all out, but within the first six months the D popped off. I was not happy, and even more unhappy when I was told that I would lose the laptop for two to three weeks while it was sent off for repair. All was well after that, for a while. I loved my laptop. It was very portable and writer friendly. On weekends, it went with me wherever I went.

Then last summer, the screen started getting wonky. I could coerce to work, even treating it to kaleidoscope videos which seemed to give it a little boost of energy and provide a steady picture. I knew however, that eventually I would have to bring it back to the Geek Squad and lose it again for a couple of weeks. The warranty had long expired, but I was willing to sink in some more bucks to have it up and running again. Not to bore you with a pan of the Geek Squad, who treated me quite rudely by not even showing up for the scheduled appointment (in contrast, the people at Best Buy were really swell), and later informed me that the model had been discontinued and there were no parts to repair it.

So I searched Thumbtack and found a guy who had lovely reviews and said he was an authorized Sony repairman. Turns out he could not fix the problem and the only solution would add up to near $500. Again, I love my Sony laptop, but I surmised that more problems were in its future, and that was too high a price, so I paid him the $25 diagnostic fee and got back my laptop that now has no screen whatsoever. Andrew Silverstein, the so-called repairman killed it entirely without any warning that this could happen, with no acknowledgement that the screen, which had been wonky, was now kaput when he gave it back to me, and no apology. Fuck him and fuck Sony.

Luckily, I had the forethought to purchase a backup laptop and got a relatively inexpensive 15” Acer Chromebook that has come in very handy. I can do lots of things with it, including watching movies in bed, and have shared a fascinating video of birds for cats and people with Max, who doesn’t quite understand the whole deal and can only watch for a few minutes before getting frustrated. I last much longer.

But, the Chromebook, which I do like having, is a bit too heavy and big to lug around, and is not writer friendly, at least not for this writer. Plus I miss having a touch screen. The screen shows faint traces of my fingertips as I often forget that the Chromebook’s screen will not respond to my touch. I didn’t need perfect, and I didn’t need expensive, so I searched and researched which laptop would be best for my current needs. I would have to forego the lit keyboard, and thought I could go even a little smaller than my 12” Sony, and ordered an 11” Dell.

My first computer, which I still have only to play the best version of spider solitaire, and which really takes up too much space for the one purpose, is a Dell. My first laptop which I bought myself for my 50th birthday, is also a Dell, but it has too many limitations and is completely outdated. As much as I love my now useless Sony, I thought going back to old-reliable Dell would be my best bet.

My little Dell laptop arrived on Monday and I was getting it set up when it suddenly would go no further. I tried everything, even used my Chromebook to look up the manual, and then went to live chat for Solutions, which was a waste of time. I then had to call Dell and got an extremely patient person on the phone. Ana May and I were on the phone for over two hours trying all sorts of things, and forging ahead. Towards what should have been the end, the internet dies so I have to call Spectrum, the stupid new cable company and try to figure out what that guy was saying and not just because of his accent but because he’s a tech geek and was speaking too fast and making assumptions that everyone knows what he’s talking about. But he finally fixed it while the Ana May was still on the other line. And I was just considering cutting the landline because the cable bundle is running me now $164 a month, and I only need the phone in case I need to call or receive a call from my soon to be 91-year-old stepmother in Holland.

I am pissed that Dell would ship out a computer with issues as if nobody tested it out beforehand, but truly Ana May was great. I kind of miss her now after spending all that time together. Even the WiFi tech, who I had to keep yelling at that there was no number, each time he told me to click on the number on the screen, was extremely patient and polite. It amazes me with the abuse they must take on the phone by often rightfully angry customers, that they can remain so calm. It is a talent, and one that I don’t have. I’m not the worst, but I can get pretty testy when I am frustrated like I was Monday, however, I do warn people when I am getting cranky. Hats off to Ana May, and when I write to Dell to tell them how disappointed I am with them that they would ship out an ill-functioning laptop, I will sing Ana May’s praises.

So I now have a little 11″ Dell laptop that is as cute as a button and had its first outing today as Alberto poured my coffee. In fact, I now have a total of four laptops, so I have no excuses left. But I’m sure I’ll think of something.

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