Friday, 21 December 2012

The End Of The (PC) World

I have a new laptop computer. This is a good thing, and it is not normal practice for Good Things to be reported on these pages. However, it came at a price, and I don't just mean the £349.99 it cost to get PC World to part with it.

It all started when our desktop PC finally gave up on us. I don't know if it had been listening to the Mayans about the end of the world or something, but a few days ago it decided that it wasn't worth carrying on. Not fully anyway. You can use the intenet on it. You can play music on it. But you can't do both at the same time. Maybe it's just a male PC and can't multi-task, but whatever the reasons for it's one dimensional nature it had to be replaced.

So yesterday after work, a long and quite wretched day in work I might add, which most of them are, we decided to pop into PC World, pick up a laptop that runs Windows 8 and go home happy. Simple. Not simple. We had the misfortune to be set upon by 'Dave'. I've changed Dave's name to protect the guilty. Someone might know him, you never know. So anyway Dave didn't want to sell us a laptop, not within this calendar year at any rate. He wanted instead to show us every single laptop in the building, and in the process barf on about processors, gig, graphics cards, security software and back-up CD's.

What is it about people who work with computers that they want to blind you with science rather than sell you something simply and quickly? Why do they want to feel so superior to you? It's a sickening, nerdy ego trip and is probably there only to make up for the fact that they either can't spell or they smell of cider. Or both. I made the shocking, schoolboy error of asking Dave whether this particular machine would run the latest version of Football Manager. I'm not even that keen on Football Frigging Manager. I just thought I'd ask to see if I could maybe have the option when Emma's watching Grimm or Grey's Anatomy. But Dave didn't know. He knew everything else about computers, but not that. He had to take it to a colleague to run 'some research' to find out. Quite what this entails I don't know, and don't really want to know. What I do know is that he came back half an hour later (no, really, half an hour, bearing in mind that I had already been to Emma's friend's house in Aigburth to pick up Goodness Knows What and that I still had to get over to Boots to pick up my ever-increasing prescription) and informed me that he was '85% sure that this machine would run Football Manager. Ten minutes after that he came back again and informed me that he was '100% sure that it would NOT run Football Manager'. Something about a discombooberator and the lining of the planets and the various moons of Saturn.

Now I don't know about you but I'm pretty incredulous about this. How is it possible in the first place for a man whose business is computers to not be able to tell from reading the back of a box whether or not a game will run on a given machine? How are the rest of us supposed to purchase any games then?

'I know, it's madness.' offered Dave as he then tried to sell us something called The Cloud which may or may not have made it rain. At this point I was hoping that the Mayans were right and that they would just bring their absurd prediction forward a few hours. The will to live had left me completely, to the point where I couldn't even look Dave in the eye when I passed him my debit card to buy the laptop. This is the point. I was always going to buy the frigging laptop. And Microsoft Office which now comes separately for an extra £70 which Dave assures me is Bill Gates' fault. Probably is, but I bet Bill Gates could tell me whether or not a computer can perform a specific function without having to write home to his grandmother about it.

Turns out I could have bought a laptop which would run Football Manager comfortably aswell as all the other things I needed it to do. For the princely sum of £799.99. Or one for £899.99. I didn't want it that much. I'll stick to my kindle the next time a certain fairy-tale-based crime series or hospital drama appear on my television screen.

I'll leave you with this. Emma has a friend at work who has a 10-year old son called Ewan. Ewan was asked by someone whether he knew what the initials PC stood for. He replied, with absolute certainty as if it were the most obvious thing in the world......

'Plastsic Cock'.

Did you get that, 'Dave?'