Buying my First Computer

Bob is correct, I finally broke down and decided to purchase a computer. It is wonderful and I really like it, however if you will notice there is no image on this blog and that’s not intentional, I can’t figure out how to copy and paste an image using Macbook – ha- oh well, I will learn it just takes us older folks some time !

Consumer Reports said Apple was the top place to go to purchase a computer with Microcenter being a close second and Microcenter had a separate Apple section so I killed two birds with one stone. I went the night before and picked up a sales brochure to see what they had to offer and did a little research with the intention of buying a Vaio. I don’t know about the rest of you, but with any big ticket purchase I want to feel like I am in control even though I know I am not.

My friend Kat who knows a little more about computers then I do volunteered to meet me and guide me in the right direction. Of course Kat just recently purchased a Macbook Pro of her own so it’s not surprising that’s what I ended up with. I decided to walk in before Kat got there and the first salesman that approached said “what can I do you for”, boy I hate it when they say that.

I asked to see the Vaio I was looking for and of course they were out of that model, no surprise there. He led me to another model spouting off all of the bells in whistles that model had then said that I would need to purchase anti-virus software and this and that. I began to wonder exactly what I was getting for my money. Okay this guy knew a sucker when he saw one and the total bill just kept climbing. I got away from him as quickly as possible and waited for my friend.

Kat arrived and we briefly looked at the model the salesman recommended then almost immediately headed straight to the Apple section. Kat showed me the model that she bought and while we were discussing it a salesman walked up and didn’t say a thing, not a word he just listened. What a class act !

When Kat and I finished talking he took the time to address some of the things we had talked about and a few of my concerns, one being the virus thing. I have heard horror stories from others how viruses have rendered their computers virtually useless. He said the Apple products haven’t had a virus problem in over ten years and that’s a pretty good record in my book.

To make a long story short, I made the purchase. I guess the reason it took me so long was because I knew whatever I purchased was going to be outdated the minute I walked out the door, but I resigned myself to the fact that is the world we live in and it’s not going to change anytime soon.

So this is my first blog with my new computer – I will miss my friends at the library who would scurry in trying to get their business done as quickly as possible before someone else needed to use their computer and would kick them off. I often wondered what their reasons were for not having their own computer, probably the same as mine, but I am happy I have my own now.

Long, Long, Long

It’s been a long, long, long time, but the music of the Beatles is finally available on iTunes.  Apple and EMI, the Beatles record label, have worked out an arrangement.

Getting the Beatles on iTunes apparently was a big deal for Apple’s Steve Jobs, who is a Beatles fan.  Others, however, have questioned whether having the Beatles on iTunes will make much of a difference.  They reason that people who like the Beatles (like me) already have their songs on their iPods and won’t need iTunes to get them, and that younger people want new music, not music that was first recorded in their grandparents’ day.

I don’t agree with either point. In the modern world, iTunes is a basic method for getting music.  Putting the Beatles’ music on iTunes will make it easier for people to get to the Beatles’ music.  And I disagree with anyone who says that young people of today — and boy, does using that phrase make me feel like an old fogey! — won’t care much for the Beatles.  Richard and I heard a few snippets of songs on the NPR report on the Beatles-Apple deal, and the songs still sound incredibly fresh.  The Beatles catalog is just excellent, interesting music.  If kids haven’t heard it because it is not played on their favorite radio stations, they will now have an opportunity to discover the music on iTunes.  I’m betting they enjoy that discovery as much as their parents, and their grandparents, did.

The Impact Of A Tinkerer

Dr. Henry Edward Roberts — called by some “the father of the personal computer” — died recently.  Roberts was a tinkerer who invented the Altair 8800, a personal computer that could be assembled at home.   The build-it-yourself kit sold for $395 and was featured on the front cover of Popular Electronics in 1975.  That article was read by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, computer buffs who decided to call Dr. Roberts and offer to write software for the device.  They later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Roberts’ company existed, and formed what was then called “Micro-Soft” to sell the software.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The BBC article linked above is interesting in that it features positive comments about Dr. Roberts and his significant impact on the development of the personal computer by Gates and Allen as well as by Steve Wozniak of Apple.  If Microsoft and Apple agree on something dealing with computers, it must be significant — and clearly Dr. Roberts and his tinkerer’s device were.  As we sit in the comfort of our homes, tapping away at our keyboards and using our personal computers for all manner of things, we should all give a nod to Dr. Henry Edward Roberts and his contribution.