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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Joyful Scot's Techie Tale

Some IT people make wonderful friends to those of us with Scottish blood in us.

I bought my Dell Latitude 620 laptop from the PSU Computer Repair Shop, where the University sells off machines being rotated out of faculty and staff use.  It had been issued to me for three years, back around 2007, and was still running Windows XP, when I bought it for $100, about four years ago.  It's been a highly reliable workhorse, right up until last night, when the space bar on its keyboard stopped working.  (And, of course, Microsoft has recently stopped supporting Windows XP.)

This morning, I took my machine in to Frank Oz at the computer store, and asked what he recommended.  He said they could swap in a used keyboard from another obsolete machine, for a nominal service charge. I asked if there were any newer machines for sale in their inventory. Frank produced a newer Dell, offered for $200.   But, he explained, it was running Vista, an operating system that many hate.  Frank recommended I go buy a new machine for $450 from Walmart or Staples.  I then said, "Can I buy an external keyboard from you."  He replied, "No, we give those away to PSU people."  He went and got one for me.  I am using it to type this post.

I shall soon have to upgrade to a modern machine, but now there is no rush.  Many thanks, Frank!

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