The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 27, 2014

Mike Pound: Computer shopping makes a person feel his age

Here’s some advice for you old people out there who might feel younger than you actually are.

Say you’re in your 50s and you somehow believe you’re still the hip, with-it, happening guy you were when you were 18. The best way to feel your real age is to walk into a computer store and talk to the folks who work there.

After 10 minutes, you will feel older than Cher’s first face-lift.

Another way to show your age is to make a Cher reference.

On Thursday, I took our 16-year-old daughter Emma’s computer into a large electronic store in Joplin for repairs. We bought our computers at that store, and whenever we have any computer problems, I take them there and the nice computer people push a button on the computer and it works again.

While the nice computer people push the button, they explain to me what is wrong with the computer and what they are doing to fix the problem. Well, they think they are explaining those things to me, but since I don’t speak computer, they might as well be speaking in some long-lost Native American dialect.

Computer person: “So, the problem was the internal hard drive didn’t sync with the dual processor located in the keyboard’s auxiliary file base, so the operating system was out of gigabytes.”

Me: “OK, how much?”

When I told my wife that I was going to take Emma’s computer into the large electronic store, she said that I should look at a tablet computer.

“You said you wanted one so you could write when you’re traveling,” my wife said.

My wife mentioned to Jordan, one of the college students in her office, what I was looking for, and he told her exactly what tablet computer I should get and how much it would cost.

What my wife didn’t know is that I really didn’t want a new tablet for work. I wanted one because at Emma’s last dance competition, I saw a guy watching college basketball on his. But I knew that if I told my wife I wanted a tablet so I could watch basketball at Emma’s dance competitions, she would say I should be watching Emma dance, not basketball.

My wife’s crazy that way.

I know next to nothing about tablets.

So, after the computer repair people told me that Emma’s computer had a problem with the hard drive and that they would have to keep it for a few days, I wandered over to the tablets.

When a nice, young computer guy asked if he could help me, I showed him a sheet of paper with the name of the tablet my wife said I should get and asked him if I would be able to use it for work. The nice, young computer guy said I would.

“I’ll take it then,” I said.

He talked to me about all the things the tablet could do, and I pretended to listen. Then I told him that I really didn’t know much about computers.

The information didn’t seem to come as a shock to him.

“Heck,” I said, “I used to use a typewriter.”

Apparently that information did seem to come as a shock to him because he looked at me as if I were Amish.

Along with the tablet, I also bought a keyboard so I could “type” on it. My wife told me that I needed to get an external hard drive (whatever that is), so I got one of those. Then I bought a carrying case and a protective cover and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t understand.

As I drove home with my new tablet and a bunch of other stuff that I didn’t understand, I suddenly remembered something and let out a string of profanity.

I forgot to ask the guy how to watch college basketball on my new tablet.

Man, I feel old.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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