It was just a matter of time before my old laptop gave way. Buying a computer is as overwhelming as buying a car. I hate those decisions, they’re way above my pay grade. So I spent a couple of weeks picking brains & reading & learning, finally convinced I knew exactly what I wanted. If I was going to invest in a new computer I was going to get the best I could afford.
Getting myself out the front door these days is always a challenge but I made it to the store ready to order. Walking to the counter I spit out the name of the computer expecting to swiftly be done with the whole unpleasant ordeal. Some two hours later, after learning still more from the young techy (does computer learning never end), I ended up with a very different one. And as it goes with these things, ever since it’s been one frustration after another getting familiar with how to use it.
What impressed me most – and not in a good way – is how much you don’t get with a new computer these days and how much cheaper they make them only to charge more for what you’re not getting, as if they’re offering something uniquely special when it’s really just a stripped version of what you already had. I suppose the younger crowd, not knowing better, takes it in stride. For us older folks it’s an insult to our intelligence.
To stress my points here, I’ve used computers since they first came out using DOS. Working in New York at the time and with a long career after that, I experienced the best as soon as it hit the market. By nature my career field required systems problem solving so I always ended up being the in-house IT Go To when issues arose. This is not to imply I am a well-versed techy, but I certainly do know their fundamentals and I do have a reasonable sense for making comparisons in the direction technology has taken us over these last thirty years.
Now, granted, I realize the younger generation is more interested in real time technology, be that social sites, music, videos or a unit’s mobility. What interests me requires something a little deeper. So kudos to young people for thinking that’s the way to go but it wasn’t going to work for me.
Probably self-evident, most of my needs involve writing and the one thing I expected in the exorbitant price charged was a basic Word program. Nothing fancy, but I did expect something basic. Oh no, not today, you have to buy that extra and you get a package chock full of other programs that people like me will never use, just to get a word processor. Then, alarmingly so, now they only sell subscriptions … you have to keep paying for it every year. Give me a break. This is the ultimate insult. What a sham.
Of course the new computer came with this “new & improved” operating system that’s all the rave and for the life of me I don’t know why. Many of basic features, once second nature, aren’t even accessible anymore. This OS is nothing more than a stripped shell of everything I’d ever known. Using it is like going from driving a new Cadillac into a ten year old polished-up straight-stick Ford that’s in dire need of shocks.
They kept hyping this computer’s new processor but, even brand new, it doesn’t boot any faster and is constantly locking up a heck of a lot more than my years-old computer ever did. Go figure that. This truly is the sensation of technology digressing if not renaming an old product so they can sell more, charge more.
Where I come from, at best they call these kinds of shenanigans “deceptive business practices.” Unbelievable.
If this is any indication of where ‘advancement’ is headed it doesn’t bode well for future generations. At this well-established age of technology and given how dependent on it they’re making society, how hard could it possibly be for someone to develop, at a reasonable consumer price, a computer & operating system that makes all of the money these gurus so enjoyed of their One Percenter wealth in the first place, more years ago now than I care to count. When is enough money enough?
Techy companies certainly aren’t doing much to improve their basic product, they’re simply making it cheaper with less while devising more ways to charge more for how much less you do get.
The almighty buck. “I’ve lived too long.”