Monday, June 18, 2012

How Big is Your Hard Drive? Talk Dirty Computer to Me

After picking up my dysfunctional laptop from the computer store for the third time since it was purchased, I realized that I need one that is more reliable. This was a store brand, which at the time was economical. I needed it for the university as the shared computer in my office not only has a Hungarian keyboard, but Windows and MS Office are all in Hungarian too. Sometimes, I need to take a breath, look at the sign outside my office door and repeat to myself, "Yes, you really do teach in the American Studies Department regardless of the signs and signals trying to confuse you." Two of the three of us in the office are Americans. They have all of the software in English, they just refuse to put it on our computer. Regardless, I need a laptop to cart around from classroom to classroom, then to connect to my projector for showing presentations on the wall, watching videos, keeping track of grades, attendance, and all of the other mundane things that instructors do in the course of a teaching day. 

When I picked up the laptop, I asked if they could order one with an English keyboard. The only brand was Dell where this was possible and only one model. Though the price was good, it would be another 25,000 Huf for a switcheroo of the keyboards. Come to think of it, Dell has kind of lost its excellent reputation, so I was not ready to jump on it. 

I went around the corner where I ordered the desktop computer. They don't have laptops with English keyboards and cannot order them. Nincs! 

One of  my students sent me the names of 2 other stores where they supposedly were able to do the ordering. When I went to Extreme Digital, the only brand they could get in English was a MAC Powerbook. Sorry, not in this lifetime. 

In store number 4 at first, the salesperson looked at me like we were in Ottumwa, Iowa and was asking for a Swahili keyboard. After a number of sighs, he exasperatedly explained that they could only order certain brands, but he kept trying to convince me there was no difference between an English and Hungarian keyboard except for a few extra letters. We have a Hungarian keyboard on our kitchen computer and it is a psycho trap. I cannot even type as fast and I don't look at my fingers when I type. My sense of touch just knows that I hit a key with diacritic marks sending crazy signals to my brain which causes the synapses to misfire causing all hell to break loose. They want an extra 25,000 Huf too for the change. I would have an easier time having a sex change for crying out loud.

Finally at store number 5, they wanted 200,000 Huf for an HP laptop with an English keyboard and English Windows already installed. That is only 92,000 Huf more than I had originally thought of spending. 

So, I wrote to Ron after checking out Best Buy in the Denver area. There are a number of them. I found a few makes and models that meet my needs, each running under $400. I suggested he buy one and bring it home with him. However, he has already been huffing and puffing about the 10 books I have ordered, the two bottles of sleeping aids, the four shirts, 100 photos of our kitchen mural to give out to guests, and a box of business cards. What are my chances he will lug another 5.8 pounds too?
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