I bought a new computer last week. I'm not typing this column on it. No, I'm using my old computer, because my new one is so thoroughly lacking. I haven't decided whether to return it, but I'm thinking about it.
The computer I am typing on now is the same brand as the one I just bought new. The difference is that this one came with all the programs I need. The new one did not, but according to the packaging, it had the type programs I need. As I try to do simple tasks, I discover that the new computer does not have the programs which this old one arrived with when I got it five years ago. Simple programs, such as for editing photos.
You would think any modern photo program would come with a functioning photo editing system. When you buy a car, you don't have to ask "does that come with the tires, or will you ask me to buy those when I get ready to drive this thing off the lot?"
The main reason I bought a new computer is because this one has slowed down, developed tics and other problems, and Lord only knows why. I've had what is supposed to be good virus protection on it the entire time. I've run all sorts of programs designed to identify and remove malware, viruses, and other problems. I assiduously monitor such things and act on any indication of a need for action. But, alas, computers are not made to last. They seem to have a life expectancy of no more than a few years.
For all the glory the modern home computer has received, by the standards of other consumer products, such computers simply do not measure up. We expect our cars and our home appliances to perform relatively trouble free for much longer than we expect of our computers. Try owning a computer for ten years that has never broken down or otherwise simply stopped working.
Can you imagine having your car shut down once a day just because it gets the urge to do so? We live with computers which do it all the time. Computers are great when they're working right, but often they seem like machines possessed of some malevolent spirit set on doing us wrong.
I'll probably try to figure out - with expert assistance - which programs I need to buy so that my new computer is as good as my old one, but faster. I'll go cough up the extra money, in spite of the fact that this new one was supposed to have all the programs already loaded and working.
How can the photo program have a glitch which sends photos to the recycle bin when I never told it to do that? The new computer deleted a number of my photos for no reason at all. The glitch did it by itself. I didn't realize it until the photos were gone and I caught the machine sending perfectly good photos to the recycle bin after I had merely advanced to the next photo.
I dread returning the computer, if that's what I have to do. Explaining that a program for photos is malfunctioning is like taking a car back to the dealer and saying "every time I turn on the windshield wipers, the radio comes on."
Why are we so accepting of computers that do not measure up, even when they're new? I have bought two of this particular brand, and dude, I'm not getting another one.
© 2012, Jim “Pappy” Moore,
All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. firstname.lastname@example.org