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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

January 26, 2006

The PC World Experience

In a tale of the triumph of optimism over experience, Kieren McCarthy writes in the Guardian about the joys of computer retail:
"I have had the exact same experience with: an HP print cartridge No. 56 (told a 27 would work - it won't); a PC strategy game (offered a PlayStation shoot-'em-up); a printer (assured four times there was a USB cable inside - guess what?); an Ethernet cable (directed to phone cables); a Freeview box, a webcam, a universal plug adaptor, a camera tripod..."

And yet they manage to make so much money they can afford to advertise on the telly.

For Xmas, I gave my dad a DVD I'd made of the scanned family slides - quite a project, that involved scanning the old slides, colour-correcting and repairing them as much as possible, then putting them on a DVD with background music using iDVD and Photo to Movie rostrum camera software. Apart from the scanner, of course, it was all done on a Mac.

One of my sisters wanted to do the same with her family slides, so she went to PC World. Unfortunately, she's a Windows user, so she falls under my policy of offering unlimited support if you buy a Mac and one terse email if you use Windows. PC World offered her a cheap Epson scanner (with 35mm slide adaptor) and an external DVD writer. I'm sure they didn't enquire of my sister whether - like my dad - she had older square negatives/transparencies, or other non-35mm formats.

My sister did ask, "How did my brother put music in the background?"

"I don't know."

Of course, PC World employee wouldn't know because I used Magick and other Dark Arts like Wizardry, Incantations, and Contact With The Other Side.

I used a Mac, of course. Now, I'm not dumb enough to think that there aren't Windows equivalents of iMovie, Photo to Movie, iDVD etc. I'm sure there are. I'm sure they're not as integrated or simple to use, but I'm sure these products exist. Might even be bundled with DVD writers, you never know.

But the truly amazing thing, even if there weren't Windows equivalents of all these things (and all software is not created equal), shouldn't a PC World employee be aware of the existence of Macs, iLife, iDVD etc?

It's astonishing that they stay in business.


  • Consultative sales innit!

    What you need, guv, is this! And today's your lucky day! I just so happen to have one here in my bag... cheap to you, madam!

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 4:29 am  

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