Sunday, June 08, 2008

computer store fail

i dealt with the dumbest computer sales associate ever today.

i was at microcenter, and one of the managers was talking to me about the eee pc. for those of you who don't know, the eee pc is a small subnotebook--in fact, tiny. it's got a small hard drive, and it's good for either people who don't do much other than websurfing and email...or if you want a secondary or tertiary computer to take around with you. this is why i got it. my laptop is large. it's great for using at home, or carrying in a big bookbag when i don't have too much other stuff in it, but it's not light, and it's not something i can carry around in even my big tote bag if there happens to be ANYTHING else in there. most of what i would ever want to do on a computer on the go...i can either do with a few programs that i can install on the eee, or i can remotely log onto my big laptop and do it from there.

one of the most interesting things about it is that there is a version with a linux distribution, a version of xandros, right out of the box. i got the linux version...i'm not keeping it on there, i'm probably switching to either eeexubuntu or pupeee as soon as i get a memory stick [tomorrow, haha], but all that matters to show why the computer sales associate is a moron is that the computer came standard with linux.

i asked him if they had it in stock, and he brought me one. he starts trying to sell me everything else in sight, of course. that i'm used to from a computer salesman. then, he said the following:

"all you're planning on doing on this computer is surfing the web, right? it doesn't do anything else. it comes with linux on it--so you can't do anything else."


i was floored.

first off, what kind of computer salesman says a computer does nothing AFTER he already went and grabbed it from stock?! a good computer salesman, if he wants to upsell, will do it from the outset, when the customer first expresses interest in a lower-end box. they tell quickly whether the customer is knowledgeable and/or unflappable, or whether they're susceptible to pressure to buy something shinier. that's common sense.

but, there was something even more ridiculous in what he said.

it's true...there is a limited range of stuff you can do on that computer. you can't do sophisticated gaming, multimedia work, or anything that requires things like a superfast processor, a ton of RAM, or a fantastic video card. it's best for websurfing, email, openoffice, and fun text-based things that can be done by ssh-ing into your other box. the windows version of the eee has the same limitations. part of me wanted to whack him over the head with my main laptop, a very capable ubuntu box...but, of course, i didn't have it with me and i would not want to risk breaking bukkit.

[yes. i named my computer bukkit. i will probably name my eee something related.]

i had two choices...try to explain to this idiot that he was completely wrong, and that he had the reason the computer's functionality was limited completely messed up, or i could just tell him to let me buy the computer i wanted, and leave it at that.

i didn't feel like arguing with him. i would gain nothing getting in a squabble with this guy, and i doubted a tongue-lashing from some weird blue-haired chick would do much to convince this guy that he was a total moron. so, i did the latter...took my computer, seethed, checked out, and called it a day.

but, advice to anyone who walks into a microcenter? they have a lot of shiny, fun stuff in there, but beware the idiotic salesman. know what you want before you walk in there, or go in with someone who knows about what you're looking for. if they've got managers who,in the year 2008, are silly enough to think that a computer is completely crippled because it runs linux out of the box, i shudder to think what other misconceptions they have about computers.

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