Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Difference A Knowledgeble Salesman Makes

I have never done, in the limited history of this blog, two posts in one day. But I guess I'm on a roll tonight. This post won't have anything to do with birds, or nature in general.

I've put up with an old clunky printer for quite some time. Couldn't print color with it for awhile because once upon a time I forced it to print a black and white document when the color cartridge was empty. I needed something printed and couldn't just run out and get a new color cartridge. After I replaced the cartridge, the printer told me in a rather nasty way that a head was broken. I love it when machines talk to me, thinking they are all-knowing.

A word about my present computer equipment is necessary to understand the rest of this monologue. My desktop is probably five or six years old. A dinosaur in many ways, but it was top of the line at the moment I bought it, and it has held up for far longer than I expected when I bought it. It has Windows XP. Wireless was not amongst it's capabilities. My internet connection is via the local cable company. I was the first kid on the block to have that kind of connection. My laptop is about six months old. It has Windows Vista. When I first brought the laptop home I was surprised to find I had a wifi connection. So I used it when I didn't want to settle in at the desktop. One day the connection disappeared. Apparently I was hacking into someone else's connection. So I got a router and had my own, which I protected so someone couldn't hack into my connection.

I have a little project that I want to do for my mother's upcoming birthday and I need a printer with color capabilities. I wanted a printer that I could use with both computers with a minimum of hassle. From a little reading on the subject, it sounded like a wireless printer would satisfy my needs. So off I went to see what there was to be had.

I stopped at one store just to check prices before I went on to where I always seem to end up buying my computer stuff. The clerk there said nopers, no way to use a wifi connected computer and a Ethernet connected computer on the same printer. I said hmmmm and headed down the road. Got to my usual store and the guy says the same thing. So, feeling defeated I was wandering around the computer area looking at gidgets and gadgets and saw something that looked like a flash drive that plugged into a USB port and purported to allow you to use it for a wireless connection. So I talked to another sales person. He says yuppers, just install the software and plug it in and your old computer is wireless. So I says does that mean that I can use a wireless printer with both computers? Yuppers, sure can.

I'm not a geek, just a dorky old dweeb. But because a salesperson knew the capabilities of the stuff in his department, I bought the wireless adapter and a wireless printer. If I had listened to the first two salespeople, I would have either come home empty handed, or with something that didn't meet my needs.

Tonight I have a laptop connected to a network, an old desktop connected wirelessly to that network AND a printer I can use with both computers. I guess the moral of the story is keep asking questions and most importantly, find a salesperson who knows what he/she is talking about.

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