So Computer Illiterate

I’ve recently been in the market for a new computer.  And by recently, I mean for the past four years.  

What I use now is a Google Chromebook by Samsung.  It is a cheap plastic version of a tablet, except with a keyboard.  It does not allow software and has limited memory.  Very limited.  I purchased it last year because I’m cheap and I only needed it for writing.  I was not yet attending school, however, and quickly realized my purchasing error shortly after beginning classes in the fall.  A computer with software and memory is necessary if one chooses to be a writing major.

It is an unfortunate thing to be born in to the Age of Technology and Information and be entirely ignorant about technology.  I tell you this firsthand.  When it comes to technology, I am lost.  That’s what’s nice about this plastic keyboard-tablet-book, it’s simple to use.  So when I go into the store to look for a computer that’s perfect for me, it goes something like this:

“Hello, welcome to Best Buy, are you looking for anything in particular today?”

“Well, I am looking for a computer, but I need something that’s cheap and easy to use.”

“What will you mainly be using it for?”

“Writing.  Oh, and surfing the intranets.”

silent stare followed by a short scribble of notes.

“Anything else?”

“I need a little bit of memory for photos.”

“Do you use Adobe Photoshop or anything like that?”

Laughter.  “No…Well, not now, but maybe?”

More scribbles.

The customer service rep then goes on to ask which type of processor I’d like, how many gigabytes and hard drive and something about a module and cryptic references to a secret intelligent system that I’ll never be a part of.

I stare for a moment.

“Yeah! Whatever you think.”

They then stifle a laugh, because clearly I have not answered their questions properly and he/she leads me to a computer of some sort and tells me all of the cool things it does.  It even has a touch screen!

“I mean, this looks kind of complicated,” I say. “Can I put Microsoft Office on it?” 

Another stifled laugh, “Yes, absolutely.”

“What if I don’t want to touch the screen?”

“You don’t have to.”

“Why is everyone around us laughing at me?”

“Because they can see how big of an idiot you are.”

I end up panicking and running home and hugging my sweet little Chromebook.  At least we understand each other.

Every computer I have owned has been either a hand-me-down or an ancient Dell that grew from the earth and spawned viruses from the Devil himself.

I tell friends and co-workers “I’m looking a buying an Asus.”

“Are you kidding me?  Those things are like cheap MacBooks.  You should just get a Mac, save yourself the time and energy.”

or if I say I’m interested in learning more about a HP, Dell, whatever the brand, everyone has an opinion.

“That’s so idiotic, Hannah.  This brand is better.”

“No, this brand.”  “No, I like this”   “Those people don’t know anything, this kind is the best.”

My Chromebook and I have been cuddling nightly.

I’m exhausted.  The search still continues because I don’t know the truth.  All I need is Word, dammit, why is the struggle so large?

Do I bite the expensive bullet and get myself a Mac?  Or do I keep it simple and go with something cheap that will get the job done?

Are you knowledgeable? Please help me without making me feel like an ass. Please? Pretty please?

Here’s to Microsoft Word, you selfish brat, it’s all about you these days,


3 thoughts on “So Computer Illiterate

  1. Macs are overblown IMHO. Why Word when google docs is free? You want a laptop or desktop? The new stuff all has Win 8 in hopes you’ll use the touchscreen and pretend your on a BIG cell phone. Me, I’d hit up craigslist for someone unloading a nice Win 7 setup for a laptop. Desktop, Comprenew!! Nothing wrong with those Dells, I have 4 of ’em now. Why spend big money a something you’ll curse and not fully understand?


  2. You’re not alone! I have totally had that same conversation with the friendly (yet condescending) Best Buy worker. That time, we ended up getting the Sony Vaio, and it has lasted us a few years now. A year ago, my school decided to take the Mac route, so I’ve been using a MacBook Pro for the last year. I was intimidated at first because all I ever knew was Windows, but it actually is easy to get used to. And I have all the necessary Microsoft Office programs (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) on my Mac. My sisters are both die-hard Mac lovers, too, and their computers seem to last substantially longer than other laptops. If you have the money, I think you’ll be happy with a Mac, especially since you seem to grow attached to things. 🙂


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