Thursday, 14 March 2013

Big is Big

A friend of mine just bought a new computer. I am one of those people that think that bigger is better when it comes to computers, but I am wrong at least as often as I am right. Bigger isn’t better for all things and for those other things, small is the new big. Well, that is what I tell myself and anyone that will care to listen.

Spy cameras should be small, as should your dentist’s fingers. Your proctologist should definitely have small fingers and they should be warm. Dogs are better small for a lot of reasons but mainly so that you don’t need a shovel to pick up the droppings. Small is good for rain and snow, and all problems should be little. Loans and mortgages are best if they are small, and I like to drive a smallish car because it takes far less to fill the tank.

The reason I like to have a large hard drive (not dirty) is that the software companies keep making their programs bigger and bigger, requiring more memory. Cameras are taking photos that need a lot of hard drive space to store and the ease of downloading music, TV and movies now requires a large amount of storage. My buddy picked a computer of relatively modest memory, but it is far more than he will require for the foreseeable future. I am sure the two of them will be happy for years to come.

When you go to the store to buy a computer, the salesman asks you what you use a computer for. The normal person will say that they do a little word processing, email, maybe facebook, store pictures, watch some video and play a few games. What the salesman hears is that you are a journalist for the New York Times, get hundreds of emails a day, have several popular sites on facebook and are a blogger, take on the average of 100 pictures a day in RAW format, download at least a movie a day and are a serious “gamer”. The sales guy starts you at the $14,500 Mac tower. When he hears your budget, he loses all interest in you and walks over to the dusty bottom shelf with the bargain towers. He points out a couple of the cheaper models and answers your questions with a shrug that means “What does it matter, you don’t know anything.”

My friend is happy with his new toy even though he won’t be able to help NASA if they get into a pickle some day. Once he learns how to navigate Windows 8 he will happily open his emails and surf the web looking for answers to questions that come up in everyday conversation. He will be able to look at pictures of his grand kids and check out the price of a new ladder at Lowes.

I guess that sometimes small is sufficient and big is just …big.

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