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Monday, 30 August 2010

Why was there no book with our new computer?

It simply didn't need one?

I have to write about this because I am so excited I feel ready to burst - "enthusiasm is leaking out of my every pore and lying two feet deep on the floor".

For those that don’t know me I have been involved with computers in some way every day for forty years, Our timber building business has changed over the last couple of years and our computer network first installed as a mail order system at Bracken House in 1995 had not totally kept pace. The first step of replacing our workshop systems had been completed some weeks ago and it was now time to bring our home office up to date.

My idea was to purchase a good laptop for Noella and organise our business and personal data in such a way that some of the office space was redundant and could be converted into a nursery for our developing grandchildren to stay.

The Dell laptop chosen by Noella is” fuchsia pink”! And according to the salesman at PC World Chester was a “very good spec” (dual core 500 g’s of everything, total connectivity, built in web cam, audio visual db’s, blue dentures the lot, in fact there was a tea making button and on voice command from the lounge it would transmit anything in breathtaking 3d realism to any device or surface available!!!).

Well you can imagine - as a long, long sufferer having spent 20% of my waking lifetime re-booting windows in total frustration I took this all with a pinch of salt and prepared myself for more of the same.

What a change and what a pleasant surprise / shock / astonishing experience I have had.
I prepared a plan, allocated the time, took off the box seal and looked for the instruction manual usually written in 700 languages of unusable gobbledygook – “the damn book was missing”.
Instead of returning to PC World to protest I did what I had told myself not to do (started without it).

Here is my experience and why I am so excited:

On lifting the lid I spotted a silver button – central over the keyboard and pressed it of course. The Dell laptop sprung to life, asked for me to be patient and answer a few questions. These were simple questions and it gave responses to my answers in simple speak. It reassured me that all was well as it connected automatically to our network and the internet in fact it connected itself to just about every damn thing on the planet each time asking for my permission and apologising when it needed my input to make sure that our data was secure etc.

Over the next few hours “it set itself up”, organising all our last fifteen years of data, photographs, music, business programs, etc. it apologised for making me wait but was visibly working at blistering pace with each request keeping me reassured and truly amazed.

It spotted our son on line in Surrey and put us in contact with video, and sound - it was like being there with the family instead of 300 miles away. We all sat amazed as the smelly vision box (an optional extra) output the delicious aroma of cooking in their kitchen.

On closing the lid it went to snooze but didn’t stop working because on re-opening it had protected our data against malicious viruses. Updated itself with all software upgrades and scanned 125,000 documents and images indexing them in a way that simple searching would find anything and deliver it anywhere virtually instantaneously. It kindly explained that things could be better organised but in reality you could leave everything in a disorganised pile on the hard disk and still recall something from 12 years ago in a couple of seconds.

I sat just now staring at the screen with incredulity and wrote this note:

How far this technology has come – truly astounding!
Straight out of the box The Dell “Fuchsia Pink” laptop combined with windows 7 is a life changing package, well done Dell, well done PC World and well done Microsoft not forgetting intel and Google desktop search. My faith is restored, my sanity saved and our clients will be better served from our home office!

With this computer there was no book and I now understand why “it simply didn’t need one”.

Richard Grace http://www.aarco.co.uk/ and www.calfpath.co.uk

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