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!