For reasons I’m not prepared to go into (because they’re mostly illegal) I’ve ended up running Windows Vista on a desktop which has exactly half the recommended minimum RAM.
For those of you who don’t speak geek – that means it’s completely fucked.
Well, not completely. It works perfectly adequately if, for example, you need a door propped open, want to drop something heavy on someone or desperately require a useless lump which takes up space on your desk without actually being any fucking use whatsoever.
Okay, so I’m being melodramatic. It’s just mind-numbingly slow. So slow in fact I spend, on average, fifty percent of my day staring at it and shouting incoherently. Add to that the burnt out DVD writer (they don’t last forever) and the overheating issue I’ve had from day one, thanks to buying a miraculously cheap computer only to discover it was also miraculously shit, then you have a computer which is not worth repairing.
Okay, so actually it is financially worth repairing, since all those issues could be sorted out for a £100 or so – but that’s not the point. I want a new computer. I want it to be shiny, I want it to be full of toys and I want it now!
So I went to PC World clutching a fist full of money.
Now, long time readers of this blog may remember THE LAPTOP SAGAand how that ultimately turned out. For those who don’t, and can’t be bothered to click and read those three links, here’s a brief summary:
It turned out badly.
I ended up with a gay laptop.
I’ve since come to terms with the gayness of my laptop, but I’m determined not to repeat those mistakes.
Ever, you hear me?
So I went down to PC world calmly clutching a fistful of money.
Can I just add at this point that I was pretty sure I couldn’t afford a new computer right now, not with a new baby in the house; but, bizarrely, Mandy persuaded me I could and even drove me to PC World. Which tells me two things:
- I have the best wife in the world.
- She’s fed up of listening to me scream at my desktop.
So now buying a new PC is a family outing.
I bet Alice can’t wait to tell all her friends. If she had any. Not that she’s unpopular; but, you know, she’s only nine weeks old. Babies don’t really have any friends – at least none who are prepared to listen to tales of daring-do in PC World.
The only problem with buying a new computer is, well, it’s boring. They’re all the same, they all do the same things …
And no, before all you Mac-mentalists wade into the comments with how cool Macs are … they’re not. They do exactly the same things as PCs, so fuck off.
… and buying computers is all about the numbers. Basically you want the highest processor, hard drive and RAM numbers for the lowest price. Although, I’m not going down the cheapest route again. I’ve learnt that lesson time and time again – things are cheap for a reason and the reason is … they’re shit.
No, this time I have a reasonable mid-budget price in mind, about £400-£500 that should do nicely.
After a few minutes scuttling around PC World, committing long strings of numbers to memory while trying to weigh up the difference between a marginally faster processor versus a marginally larger cache … I fall in love.
The HP TouchSmart IQ790.
Touchscreen! It has touchscreen! That means you can literally, touch the screen!
And yes, before you Mac users wade in again, I know you can touch the screen on a Mac whilst pleasuring yourself and muttering sweet nothings; but with this one, touching the screen actually does stuff!
Other than make a sticky mess.
You can open files and stuff, browse the net, move shit around and … oh, just everything, simply using your finger!
True, it’s £200 outside my budget, but who cares? Touchscreen, baby!
To those of you who know about my intense dislike for touchscreen on phones, this euphoric rant may come as a bit of a surprise; but there is a difference. Touchscreen on phones is a silly idea because you have to use both hands to operate it.
A normal, buttoned phone, needs one hand. Touchscreen needs two.
That’s not progress, that’s a backwards step.
No hands to operate a phone, that would be cool. Two hands? Madness.
And before you iPhone-loons wade in, just fuck off. It’s just a phone. Yes it has a few cool applications, but it’s not actually a very good phone. Besides, there are other touchscreen phones out there and they’re all equally annoying.
By the way, I have nothing against Apple products, I just hate their marketing and the fact people follow me around telling me how wonderful Macs are. Mormons, Scientologists and Mac users, please, keep it to yourself. I don’t care.
Anyway, did I tell you how wonderful my new computer is?
Touchscreen on a computer? Genius! No more mouse. It has a mouse, but you don’t need it. You don’t have to point and click … you just point!
With your finger!
Seriously, how cool is that?
Oh wait, I still haven’t told you the saga of buying it … there wasn’t one. I went in, paid for it and walked out again. Pretty easy really.
I have a touchscreen computer!
If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to touch it.
And maybe myself.
The above is the post I wanted to write when I went into PC World on Friday.
The actual truth is a little different. I don’t often share the real truth on this blog, since it’s rarely as interesting as lying.
Don’t look at me like that. If I thought the truth was so damn great, I wouldn’t be a writer, would I?
The truth is, they only had one left – the display model. The helpful shop assistant refused me a discount before I’d even asked and found a boxed one in Tottenham. He phoned them, got them to send it to Bexhill (for that was where I was) and promised someone would ring me when it arrived on Tuesday. I wasn’t planning on being in the area on Tuesday, but said I would probably pick it up on Thursday and we parted company on equitable terms.
I was a little disappointed to have to wait for six days to get my fingers on its silky black screen, but I figured it would be worth it.
Then I got sick.
By the time Tuesday rolled around, I was feeling a little better and decided I would just pick it up today.
Only the bastards haven’t rung.
Still, no problem. They probably think I’m not in until Thursday and will ring me then. So I ring them. They answer, I explain … they know nothing about it.
No big deal. The guy says he’ll find someone who does know and ring me back.
Two hours later, he still hasn’t rung.
So I ring them.
They pretend to be out.
Three hours later, they’re still not answering the phone. Fearing PC World in Bexhill might have burnt down, taking my new computer with it – I race to the scene.
Ten minutes later, I’m surprised to discover the building is still standing and after a bit of searching they find my touchscreen baby sitting in the warehouse.
And I came home.
And touched it.
In fact, I’m touching it now.