Fridays are supposed to be nice, easy, laid back days. Most of my Fridays are like that, thankfully. However, today was quite the opposite.
Work ran really late and it was hot out. Really hot out. It was an eleven hour day and by the end I felt like half a cave man, stubble thickening on my jaw, sticky with sweat, so hungry I was ready to beat something to death and so agitated that seemed preferable to stopping at McDonalds. I was a fucking monster, angry at the world, smelly, and frustrated.
As a little gift to myself, I decided to spend a bit of the work bonus I got this month on a new laptop. My good laptop died last year and I’ve been making do with one of my old netbooks that hasn’t quite died yet. I was thinking, hey, it’s Friday, work sucked, I deserve a little something nice and I have the cash.
To preface my trip to Best Buy, I should mention that I have limited patience for technology. It some ways, technology is fantastic and makes life easier. However, I have zero patience for anything beyond the most practical. When it makes what I want to do easier it’s great, if it is anything beyond that it’s ridiculous. I’m the old man on the porch yelling at the kids, “Why do you have tablets? They don’t even have a keyboard? Get a laptop!”
For further evidence, I fucking hate smartphones. I’m about 95% sure they’re ruining society. Up until two years ago I still had a camera flip phone and was perfectly happy with it. Do I need access to the internet 24/7? No. Do I need to check my email every hour? No. Can I wait until I get home to Google the answer to the question that’s been bugging me? Absolutely. I had a smartphone issued by work that was purely for work calls and emails, I didn’t need one for myself. I only grudgingly updated to a smartphone when Cat moved overseas so I could download an app to text with her and the kiddo. It still rankles and I hardly ever use my smartphone.
If whatever piece of technology I’m using works, I keep using it. I don’t upgrade anything for years, until it’s literally falling apart, and by then I’m so out of date that I can’t understand whatever technology is current. The good laptop that died was five years old, that’s Jurassic by technological measurements.
So, me going into Best Buy is like an old blue collar worker going into a modern art exhibit at the museum, “I don’t know what that is but I don’t like it.”
I went in with a simple request, a small laptop that can run Microsoft Office for some work stuff. There are about a dozen programs that I use regularly, but it was safe to assume that most laptops could handle those. I’m simple, I know what I like and it isn’t much. I use Scrivener for writing, paint for drawing, and Dropbox for backing up files. Mostly the laptop was for a few work things, email, and internet. Nothing fancy.
This should have been a simple request. The salesman pointed me toward the “archaic” section in the back with a big bargain sign hanging over it. The rest of the big, well lit store was covered in bright colors and advertisements for the various tablet/pad/computer combos. These combos confused me, why would someone want to touch the screen of their computer? Angry birds? Isn’t that what phones are for? It’s all blended together into into some amalgamation that seems less practical than having separate devices that are specialized for their unique purpose.
Even in the “Fantastically Old” section half the laptops had touchscreens. Why? What is the purpose of this “feature”? I just want a screen, a keyboard, and a touch pad. Is that so much to ask?
I found the least offensive laptop of the bunch. Yes, it has a touchscreen, I very much look forward to never using it.
I scurried out of the store, worried that at any moment the technophiles would realize they’d been infiltrated.
At home I turned on my new purchase and got ready for the lengthy set up.
At the second screen it popped up a window saying “Your AppStore account has been set up. Downloading new apps.”
What? When the fuck did I say I wanted apps? 99.99% of them a stupid games that pop up adds every five seconds or want access to my wallet. Time and money wasters. If I wanted apps I’d have just upgraded my smartphone, gasp.
Can I uninstall the appstore? Or is that like a mutated venereal disease version of iTunes? Do they have a cream for it?
Worse, if finally completes all it’s updates and this screen comes up:
What the fuck is this? Where’s my desktop? Did Candy Land just shit on my computer?
These things don’t even come with user manuals anymore. Technology is supposed to make life easier, be practical and efficient, but now I’m going to have to fucking find a YouTube video to figure out how the hell to get this screen to go away.
At this point I would get more satisfaction from a legal pad and a bottle of wine.
Happy Friday, I’m off to the liquor store.