More With The Computer Guy

For those of you who read my initial story about my meeting with the Computer Guy, there’s an update, of sorts. At this point I still don’t have my computer back, but today I decided it was finally time to call him.

On the phone, he didn’t sound quite as convincing as he did when I’d met him in person last Thursday. He said that they’d had to try to find all the drivers for the machine because I’d forgotten to give them that disk (my bad, but I’m only around the corner; they couldn’t call me?), and that, for the most part, everything seemed to be working great, except for the one game I took them, which I’d said had never worked on the computer. He couldn’t get the blue screen of death to come up, but he did say that it initially ran bad, then the screen went black, and that wasn’t good at all. He asked if I had any other games that I’d run on it and I told him I did have another game, but never tried to run it on that computer since the other one had never worked. He asked me to bring it in so they could test it.

I had to stop at home first, since I was heading out of town, grab the game, then drove to the store. He had the doors wide open, and I asked him if he hadn’t heard it was supposed to get up to 87F. He said it wasn’t there now, but he had some nice beads of sweat on his head, as did I, so he was feeling it, even if he was ignoring it. He took the game from me, The Sims, and loaded it onto the computer. It loaded fast, even faster than it had on my previous computer, and it looked pretty good, though neither of us could remember how to play the thing.

Still, I had kind of the same gripe I’d had with Comp USA when I took it to them; there wasn’t anything on the computer so of course there weren’t going to be any problems. But he had no programs to load, so I was stuck there. Actually, for a guy deeply into computers, it’s amazing just how much in the dark ages his own stuff is, for the most part. For instance, he doesn’t use any USB items on his computers; can you believe that? He stated that USB is one of the worst technologies he’s ever had to deal with because it allows so many items that turn out not to be compatible with each other and then causes lots of crashes. Thus, he has nothing wireless; he doesn’t even use a mouse with a wheel!

So I told him that whenever I watched a few .WMV files in a row that my computer sometimes shut down. He asked where I got them from, and I said people send me little .WMV files here and there. He said that he doesn’t ever accept any email that has attachments, and immediately deletes everything. I asked if he was serious and he said yes, because he didn’t know how many other computers any of those files might have touched, and therefore he wasn’t entrusting anyone else’s motives on his own stuff. I was kind of stunned by that one, but I guess I shouldn’t have been, since last week he told me that he doesn’t download any email to his computer, preferring to use the online email program that comes with his ISP. I’d never known anyone who wanted to do that, as most of us download email so we can save stuff we want for later and for the convenience; not Bob, though.

Then I looked around and realized that he also doesn’t have any flat screen LCD monitors for his own usage. He said he doesn’t trust that technology either, and prefers having the large, stable monitors to work on instead. Good thing he has lots of workspace, but still,… Then I remembered that, last week, he said that when people have these things he’ll ask them to bring in all their other components so he can test them against each other, including their monitors if the problem has to do with their video cards. Talk about your throwbacks!

Then we talked about motherboards. He said that if he couldn’t produce a blue screen then he couldn’t even say whether it was the motherboard or not, but that it really didn’t matter. He said he couldn’t get a motherboard that any of my present components would work with, including my hard drives, because technology has pushed forward; after all, I did have it put together in 2004. He said that if I added anything new to the mix that it would probably bring my computer down, since it wasn’t built for many of the things today, and this came about because I asked about the TV emulator he had on his own computer. He also said that the Radeon video card I’d put into my computer was one of the worst in the world, and when I said that both PC World and PC Magazine had rated it high, which is why I’d bought it, he said that, for true gaming professionals, Radeon is terrible because it basically emulates technology that other video cards actually create, and therefore is considered garbage among these folks. Of course, I’m not a gamer, but still,… And, as a throw in, he also said that Dell computers aren’t close to being as good as what people think they are; I couldn’t argue with him on that, never having a Dell.

Anyway, he’s going to have my computer one more night, and that’s it. I said that I’d be coming in around 11AM to get it, as this was kind of my vacation week, and next week starts my real work again, and even though I have to load a bunch of stuff back onto it, I need to use that one more than my poor laptop, which has worked like a champion over this past week, but is four years old itself, actually older than my other computer, and really isn’t meant for the kind of power work I put into a computer on a regular basis. I have no idea how much any of the work I’ve had done is going to cost, which my friend Kelvin thought was a pretty stupid thing, but hey, I don’t think I’m going to get hosed on the deal, based on my memories from the past; we’ll see, though.

Maybe I should have followed my first mind and just bought a new computer, eh?

John Louis Home Deluxe Closet System

Price: $470.00

Google Chrome Is,… Okay

Talk about the speed of hype. Yesterday I was just sitting here at the computer, following Twitter traffic, when I see this little flash about Google having a new browser coming out called Chrome. Then there was talk about when they’d release it, and many were speculating that, since they’d just signed an extension of an agreement with Mozilla to continue with Firefox for another three years, that the earliest it would be coming out would be a year. And there was a link to a cartoon talking about it all.

Within an hour, though, things drastically changed, and the talk was that it would be released today. There was a link to Matt Cutts of Google talking about it, and, lo and behold, it was released today. I’ve not read anyone else’s reviews yet, though, based on the Twitter traffic, it seems to be more against than for.

I’m not about to change that. The download for Google Chrome was something in and of itself. I can’t remember the last time I saw a download have an EULA (end user licensing agreement) beforehand; not sure I’ve actually ever seen one. Then the download seemed to take some time before finally coming to the computer; maybe there’s lots of people trying to download it to give it a shot.

Next, time to load it onto the computer. This also took awhile, much longer than Mozilla ever has, and at least Firefox waited until it had loaded and one was trying to launch it before it started asking for extra internet access. Chrome asked for it a few times; that was different. But it finally loaded and actually started on its own, trying to move over all bookmarks from my Firefox browser, but couldn’t because I had Firefox open; that’s okay, though. I knew I was just in test mode, unless it absolutely wowed me.

It took a long time to load anything; I was kind of stunned by that. I’m not sure what was going on, but it said it was having problems with Shockwave Flash; according to the cartoon, that problem was supposed to be easily solved. When things finally did come up I tried a few websites, including CNN, and it was horrible. A couple of sites it couldn’t even load, which were a couple of mine. Then, of all things, it crashed; weirder still.

Since it created a quick launch icon, I opened it up again, and this time it went much faster, so I could take a good look at it. The look is somewhat different than what I’m used to. It offers way more visible screen, but that’s because it starts off with no toolbars. Well, that’s not quite accurate. It does have the address bar, which doubles as the toolbar, but I couldn’t find any options to add any more toolbars except a bookmarks bar. If you want to save a page, you can click on the star in the address bar, though Ctrl-D also works. The browser is also almost pure white reminiscent of the Google homepage; I guess that’s to be expected, but I was hoping it would adopt the colors I use for the rest of my Windows programs.

It has tabs just like Firefox, and if you open new tabs you’ll see screenshots of past pages you’ve visited, which is interesting. The reload had it running much faster than the first time around, which is a good thing, but not faster than Firefox. It does another interesting thing with the addresses. If you look at pages within a site, you’ll see the domain name in black, but the address of the extra pages in red; another nice little feature that looks good.

Still, when all is said and done, what one misses, at least for now, are the little add-ons that Firefox has that Chrome doesn’t have. Cutts said it was going to take time, because they first want to make browsers that are compatible with both Mac and Linux before going back to add extra functionality. Chrome is very clean, and it’s not bad, but, in my opinion, it’s not better than Firefox and therefore just okay. It’s not bad; I’ve seen some worse browsers to be sure.

So, just like Firefox 3, I’ll be waiting for more before I decide whether to switch or not. But it’s not a bad first effort.

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