An Iron Ranger's View: Good luck buying that new personal computer
It was an unhappy day a few weeks ago when I had to get rid of my Windows 7 computer. That computer was only 3 years old, it worked perfectly, and it was easy to use. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I were getting rid of Windows 7 in order to buy a new and improved computer. But the Windows 10 computer I bought is not an improvement. It is a setback.
It is my opinion that a person should be able to use his computer as long as it fulfills his needs. But, unfortunately, Microsoft supports its new computers for 18 months to five years after they are manufactured. Extended support lasts a little longer. When the manufacturer stops supporting a computer, the computer doesn’t work very well and part or all of it must be replaced.
To replace my easy-to-use Windows 7 computer, I bought a new Windows 10 computer, not knowing that it had a list of 81 apps and features. I might use 10 of them. And, during the sales process, nobody even asked me what I was going to do with the computer being sold to me. The salespeople apparently sold the computer based upon what they had in stock, not what I needed it for.
I found out right away that my new computer needed quite a bit of preparation before it could even leave the store. That preparation is not free. As it turned out, when my new computer was ready, I walked out of the store nearly $1,000 poorer. And that didn’t include a monitor.
When I got the new computer home and started to work with it, trouble started right away. It is not an exaggeration to say I spent well over 20 hours talking with tech-support agents trying to find out how to operate the new Windows 10 computer.
Even after getting all that tech support, I must frankly admit I know very little about the functioning of my Windows 10 computer. I only know how to use a few features. So I looked on the internet for computers that are not as difficult to understand and as short-lived as a computer with a Microsoft operating system.
There actually are a few “grandfather-friendly” computers on the market. If you want to find out what your options are, read a very good article by Rick Broida: “How to buy a new PC for your parents.”
I, for one, am done contributing my hard-earned money to millionaires who apparently line their pockets with constant streams of new, more complicated computers and programs. All I want is a computer that will last much longer than three years, has the programs to fulfill my needs (not 81 programs), is uncomplicated, and does not dedicate so much space for constant advertising. Windows 7, where have you gone?
Joe Legueri of Gilbert is a writer, lifelong Iron Range resident, regular contributor to the News Tribune Opinion page, and retired educator who taught English and college writing to grades 7-12 for 35 years at Biwabik and Mesabi East schools.