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?