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Saturday, June 28, 2008

PC Gone MadWhen I said I'd need a new computer to blog over the weekend, I didn't consider that buying one would mean I wouldn't have time. I'd just like to state for the record that going from a computer running Windows XP, complete with all your favourite software, set up just the way you like it, to one with Windows Vista and not a lot else, is a complete nightmare. And why is it that virtually none of the programs I've been using for the past few years are compatible with Vista? Microsoft seem to expect me to go out and buy a brand new version of just about everything I own. It's PC gone mad.

Anyhoo, the good news is that I'm now in a position to confirm that all PC World employees are indeed cretins. I'd particularly like to thank the member of staff who spent five minutes explaining to me that if I buy a PC and a monitor, then the price I'll pay is the price of the monitor added to the price of the PC. I spent a similar amount of time trying to explain to him that that's not what I call a 'deal', and there is in fact no incentive for me to buy a monitor if I have to pay full price. He looked blank. And then told me that I could choose any monitor. For full price. With no discount. After which he repeated that to work out the price of the 'package deal' I simply had to add the full cost of the monitor to the full cost of the PC. I told him I'd think about it.

Two minutes later I decided not to buy a monitor, and instead approached two members of staff who were chatting by the webcams, to ask if they'd like to help me buy a PC. They told me I'd have to wait "five or ten minutes". The words 'customer service' clearly meant nothing to them. So I went and helped myself.

Anyhoo, having spent a month's wages on one of the finest computers money can buy, I got home to find that the drivers for my broadband modem aren't compatible with Windows Vista. I knew I could download updated drivers from the internet, but funnily enough it's hard to download stuff from the web when you don't have a working modem.

It took two hours to work out a solution to that one, after which I was free to stride forth into the brave new world of computing, on a voyage of discovery which basically involved trying all my favourite programs one by one and finding they don't work with Vista. I've had better evenings.

It hasn't all been bad though. By lunchtime today I was so sick of trying to set up my new computer that I walked out in a strop, wandered down the road, and met Michelle Collins at the bottom of North Street. She was trying on shoes in Kurt Geiger. I was on my way to the pound shop. We have so much in common.