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The notebook buying blues

Globe & Mail games writer reports on how frustrating it is to go laptop shopping at traditional brick and mortar electronics chains, citing incompetent salespeople as his primary irritation. From the story:

"....The first store I walked into was filled with broadly beaming salespeople looking for their next commission. One of these hawkers came up to me as I began looking at a spec card for a pricey Sony VAIO.

"This is a great notebook, sir," was his greeting to me.

"Looks nice," I replied. "I see here it has four gigs of RAM but is only running a 32-bit version of Windows Vista. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you need the 64-bit version of Vista to take advantage of more than three gigs, don't you? I'm guessing that fourth gig isn't free. Does it serve any purpose?"

He managed an uncertain "hmmm" as a response, then turned 180 degrees to face another customer and said, "That is a great notebook, sir," as though we hadn't just been talking.

My question had been legitimate. I know a little more about computers than an average consumer, but I'm no software or hardware engineer. It seemed, however, that the salesman figured someone who asked questions more demanding than simply "yes, but does it come in red?" was too much trouble..."

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theglobeandmail.com
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