Sun, Jan 16 2005 22:05
The experience of buying a computer -- ugh never again
I had to buy a computer in a retail computer store today.
I hope I don't have to repeat the experience. You see we had a bit of a problem at the office. We had a break in and lost one desktop. Fortunately because there is NOTHING on that desktop that has identity information on it, I had no SB1386 notifications, and because I had pulled an inventory script of the network prior to migration, guess who had a full itemized listing of what was stolen. Came in handy! Because all of my data is on my server, and once I got word that it was fine, I was much more relieved and just more in a “Oh bother” mood [as Pooh bear would say].
But I needed to get a computer back in that person's desktop as soon as possible. I normally purchase systems from Dell, specifying what I want, but decided to order the Dell and then get an inexpensive desktop at a retail store for Monday morning.
I've come to the conclusion even more than before that the retail experience is overwhelming and confusing. I went into Best Buy with a range of computers in mind, found what I wanted and then went in search of a salesman. Now I can't blame Best Buy for being busy and having their salespeople needed to go in detail over all the options, but I can fault them as to the ambiance. Blaring stereo noise coming from the video section, and just an overall “cluttered” feel. The Windows Media player was getting a lot of attention but it was in the far back wall and the one kid that had settled down in front of it had pulled out a chair and was sitting in the middle of the aisle working the remote. The area where the laptops were, again seemed a bit cluttered. You can definitely tell that Laptops are hot sellers because there was more floor space for them than for desktops. I could tell that I was not in my normal “patience” mode today because after waiting for about 15 or twenty minutes for a salesman to free up I finally left BestBuy and went to CompUsa where I bought a desktop. Now trying to find a XP Professional machine when you want to attach to a domain was just about impossible. Fortunately I keep a copy of XP Pro upgrade around at all times “just in case” and I have Office 2003 MOLP media that I have licenses for so I knew I didn't care what OS the machine was, as I'd put on it what I wanted to.
After getting the retail box home I found it had the following installed:
- Norton antivirus suite
- McAfee security suite
- XP sp2
- BigFix Consumer
Ick... and I promptly removed all of those.... well obviously NOT the XP sp2 :-)
Then because I couldn't find a desktop WITHOUT about four media slots I had to go into computer management and move all the media drive slots away from my network drives.
There was a guy there comparing prices to Costco. You know that makes me wonder about if there was more “small business network computers” there at Costco that had XP pro it might be better for small businesses. I don't know how a small business would ever find a computer SBSized in a retail store these days. No wonder all the VARs and VAPs complain about small businesses ending up with XP Home. It's hard to find a XP Pro from a retail store.
Did see an interesting thing at the checkout. A plastic bubble pack for a $99 per month subscription to XDrive with a 5 user version that advertised file sharing and collaboration. Chad was talking in the listserves that he does whiteboxes because retail computers load up with Soooooo much gunk that they spend more time uninstalling all the junk that it's just not worth it. I definitely found that to be true today.
Filed under: Rants