As a professional writer for many years, I spend my days typing on some kind of keyboard. First it was a manual typewriter, as I started my career way back even before typewriters went electric. When desktop computers came on the scene, I bought one of the first PCs when only IBM made them. Soon after that, in the era of the Mac Classic, I switched to Mac and have been an Apple devotee ever since.
That was nearly 30 years ago, and through all kinds of upgrades and redesigns, I’ve stuck with Macs ever since for my home and personal business. Every five years or so, I buy the latest version of the iMac, knowing I’ll enjoy all the new bells and whistles it would have in its regular updates.
Just the other day, my seven-year-old Mac began showing signs of age. It had slowed down and often just sat there with a blank desktop staring at me. After studying computer ads online and in the Sunday newspapers, I went shopping at a Best Buy store in the West San Fernando Valley in Woodland Hills, California.
I figured the place would be full of brilliant young sales nerds who’d show me how to get the very latest version of my favorite desktop. As I walked into the store, it seemed I had made the right choice. All the salespeople looked like eager high school juniors as they rushed toward me. A young guy came leaping over the others, and before I could say anything, blurted out, “Sir, I have just the laptop for you!” Then he began spouting all kinds of information about WiFi, bluetooth, megabytes, RAM, ROM and other attributes of the skinny little box he was waving at me. I’m a good writer but terrible techie, so his information went right over my head.
I put up my hand and he finally stopped to take a breath. “Son,” I said, “I’m not here for a laptop.” The message obviously didn’t get through, and the salesman went on about how I could use the laptop while flying, waiting in airports, on the beach and in Starbucks. I had to wave my hand again. “Son, at my age, I don’t do much flying anymore, I don’t drink fancy coffee and I can’t remember the last time I sat on a beach. I just want you to show me your latest desktop model.”
When the eager salesman began waving the little laptop at me again, I turned and fled out of the store. When back home, I sat down at my old desktop to return to work. As I flipped it on and watched it stutter and blink at me, I sighed and decided to stay with it. I accepted the fact that my computer has been slowing down due to advanced age. But what the hell, so have I. In the end, I had my son come over and we bought the new iMac on Amazon.com. The price was better than Best Buy, no useless salespeople and we got free shipping. Amazon also did not charge sales tax, which saved us another few hundred dollars. The computer arrived perfectly two days later and as always, Amazon provided a wonderful shopping experience, quite a contrast to the horrible time I had at Best Buy.