Technology is wonderful when it’s working and beyond aggravating when it’s not. One month ago, after deciding that replacing my hard drive was not going to solve my monitor problem, I had this great idea: I would bid on a computer on ebay and have it shipped to a friend who was coming to Jamaica for a visit in early July.

I reacquainted myself with ebay, updated my PayPal account, and spent the better part of a Sunday searching for a computer that would meet my needs. I wanted a small one like the netbook I had bought before coming to Jamaica. I didn’t need a DVD drive because I have an online subscription to Netflix. I really just needed a computer with wireless capability and a word processing starter package.

I found a 7″ notebook that seemed to have what I needed so I bid on it. Then, after exploring my options, I realized that I didn’t want such a small computer. I wanted something close to what I originally had so I found a 10″ notebook and bid on it. You know where this is going, right? Yep, without any contest, I won both bids.

My friend arrived and I received my new computers on July 9th. I wasn’t able to get online immediately because my Ethernet cable was broken and when I went to my Internet provider they told me I had to bring the cable back and they would re-crimp it. Happily, yesterday I got my newly crimped cable and voila! I was back online.

I started exploring the features of my beautiful new computer and noticed that I didn’t have Word or Excel. Surely this new computer whose ebay advertisement boasted a recent upgrade to Windows 7 Professional would have basic word processing and computing capabilities, right? Wrong. I contacted the seller and he told me that the computer did not have those programs because he upgraded to Windows 7 Professional but if I sent it back to him he could add them. Since when do upgrades diminish capabilities? He told me it came with Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Starter is what I want. This, my friends, is a case of Caveat Emptor or Let the Buyer Beware. I emailed him back, thanked him for the offer, and explained that I was serving in the Peace Corps in Jamaica and sending it back would be a complicated, time-consuming and expensive endeavor. He asked what I wanted to do and I said he needed to provide Windows 7 Starter to me, free of charge. I’m awaiting his response. Thus, I moved on to Computer #2.

Computer #2 is a no-name mini-notebook using the Android operating system. I overlooked that because the ad said it ran on Windows. It has 4G wireless capability but I am unable to get wireless in my house so I have 3G capability by using a booster. This computer, however, requires a dongle. A what? A frickin dongle. It’s a device that attaches to an Ethernet cable. Now I need to get a dongle.

I continued to explore my new Chinese computer which I have fondly named MODEL:X6-7V. Although the ebay advertisement said it operated on Windows, it appears that it doesn’t. I attempted to open a Word doc I had on a thumb drive and a message came up which said, “Presence of an SD Card is required to open Documents to Go. Please insert a card and try again.” WTF, really?

The reality is I now have three computers, none of which meet my needs. BUT, I am very grateful to be able to reconnect with people through email and Facebook and vent my frustrations through my blog!
3D smiley full of anger

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One Response to Reconnected

  1. Liz says:

    Argh! I’m so sorry you’re having so much technology trouble! But also glad you’re able to get back online, if nothing else! There’s a package you can download for free from called OpenOffice – it’s a suite with an open source version of word, excel, access, and maybe one or two other things. It’s probably not ideal, but at least in the meantime you could download that & use the word processing program – I think you can even save documents as Word – I’ve downloaded & used it on my Macbook & it seems to work decently.

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