Current Poll

  Goldcroft 08:15 07 Feb 2003

The current poll is on "the biggest issue in mainstream computing today".

I am very surprised to see the results so far which lists broadband access top with 36 percent and "making PCs trouble free" with only 23 percent.

This very forum is proof of how troublesome PCs and software are. Despite much development over years PCs are, without doubt, prone to too many problems and are still very user unfriendly for ordinary mortals such as myself.

What's the point of broadband access if your PC ceases to work or works inefficiently. It's like having a car that will do 150 mph and 0-60 in three seconds (not mine which has a calendar in place of a speedometer)if it won't start or regularly breaks down a mile from home.

Perhaps the results are because the voters are members of this splendid forum, which would cease to exist if PCs were trouble free!

What do others think?

  Andsome 08:38 07 Feb 2003

I voted for making PC's trouble free. I think that too many company's are trying to advance too fast, and are not perfecting technology before moving on. This is one sound reason for what I have always advocated, and that is that if you cannot build your own, then get a local company to do it for you. That way you can discuss things with the proprietor and let him advise from his experience which components are more trouble free than others, and decide between you on a spec which will suit your requirements. Have the machine delivered and installed as part of the package. The result is that you will almost certainly get the machine within a week, and it will not pass through clumsy couriers hands. I did just that a couple of weeks ago, with the result that I am a very happy bunny.

  Stokey 08:46 07 Feb 2003

I think perhaps the term "mainstream computing" may have been interpreted as "home" computing.

  Goldcroft 08:48 07 Feb 2003

Can see your point Andsome. But a couple of non computer literate friends did just that and went to a long established local company. The spec they got for the price was way under what the national companies were offering and when they did ask for help they met a wall of reluctance.

I know, some good, some bad! Surely the buying power of big companies is such that small local oneman firms can never really compete. Look at what happened to local corner shops.

  anchor 08:48 07 Feb 2003

I doubt that a compltetely trouble free PC could ever be made. Its rather like saying, you want to buy a motor car that will never break down; impossible!.

However, what most people want is good after sales customer service, to put right what might have gone wrong. This is what I think, and what I voted for.

Sadly, in the computer world, this is often lacking.

  Goldcroft 08:54 07 Feb 2003

Anchor: Afraid I agree more with Andsome. Too much effort is being put into speed and facilities most of us don't need and not enough into making them user friendly and reliable.

The computer industry is rapidly getting the reputation that secondhand car dealers achieved. They flog you one and are nowhere to be seen when they go wrong. Even those companies who get extra points from mags like the PCA for good aftersales service have help lines you can often never get through to.

  Goldcroft 08:56 07 Feb 2003

Just seen Stokey's contribution. Certainly, bearing in mind the PCA's readership, I interpreted it as being the home/small business user. Am I wrong Forum Editor?

  Andsome 08:57 07 Feb 2003

I recieved an itemised receipt with my new machine. I have since just out of curiosity checked most of the prices charged to me. I have found that accross the board I have paid average prices, a little dearer than the cheapest, and a good bit cheaper than the dearest. I was NOT billed any extra for construction and delivery, and instruction for an hour on using XP. A very good deal as far as I am concerned.

  Stokey 10:17 07 Feb 2003

Yup Andsome, I reckon that is the way to do it. No one wants to be robbed but paying a fair price for a fair deal is OK.

  Goldcroft 12:26 07 Feb 2003

Hi Andsome (and Stokey): Glad you got such a good deal. I did say in my earlier posting that there were good and bad, but surely Evesham, Mesh, Dell etc etc must pay a lot less for their components as they are ordering in such bulk.

A local PC engineer/builder did quote me, but the price was way over (for less spec) than available from Mesh.

  Stokey 14:20 07 Feb 2003

Goldcroft, yes but if he had sold you something that you were not ENTIRELY satisfied with, even if some of the reason may have been you fault rather than his, your local guy would have been round to your house ASAP to bring the whole thing back to where you expected it to be.

You only get that level of service by not trying to save a penny or two here and there. The local guy cannot afford to upset even ONE customer.

The bigger outfits can afford to upset and lose several customers a day. They do too, but it's included in their costings. You CAN get a good deal on the cheap but if it goes wrong who do you talk to that either knows or cares?

There is two choices really ....

1/ Look into someones eyes as you pass the money over.


2/ Take a chance over the net or on the phone.

Regards, S

Take Care, Be lucky!!

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