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So I went to the mall today.....
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Oct 29, 2006, 09:44 PM
 
Well I went to the mall with my g/f and her best friend and was looking for around when i stumbled into Radio Shack. I was looking around the store, found the controller section, and started looking for a USB controller for my recent addiction to my SNES emulator. So after i didn't see one i happened to ask him if they had any USB controllers in the back. He looked at me with a blank look and fianally said " Well why would anyone ever need or want one of them? " I explained about the emulator to him and he just continued to stare at me. He finally said "ok...." and went to ask someone, I'm guessing the store manager if they carried them. She had no clue either so I gave up on it. They still had a poster up in there with the FM radio accessory for the Ipod so i asked them where the FM accessory was. They still looked at me like i was stupid. When i finally said " The thing on the poster over there. " They said that that wasn't an FM radio that it was a controller for my Ipod and nothing more. I finally got fed up and left. So i was walking down and desided to mess with the guys at the Dell Kiosk. I was looking at all the laptops and asking if they were Core Duos or Core 2 Duos. The guy kept pointing to the little sticker on the thing and saying " This thingy says that they are Centrino Duo. " So I finally got him convinced I was interested in one and asked him about Linux. This really threw him off and he kept saying i don't think that program comes installed. When I explained it was an operating system, he turned around and started talking about how windows comes preinstalled on it and I would NEVER need anything more then that.

I thought people who worked in Technical jobs were suppose to know at least a little about technology. I mean i'm 15 and seemed to know alot more then they did. It just amazes me
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 09:58 PM
 
its retail

they work at the mall for a reason

I GOT WASTED WITH PHIL SHERRY!!!
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Twinkie View Post
Well I went to the mall with my g/f and her best friend and was looking for around when i stumbled into Radio Shack. I was looking around the store, found the controller section, and started looking for a USB controller for my recent addiction to my SNES emulator. So after i didn't see one i happened to ask him if they had any USB controllers in the back. He looked at me with a blank look and fianally said " Well why would anyone ever need or want one of them? " I explained about the emulator to him and he just continued to stare at me. He finally said "ok...." and went to ask someone, I'm guessing the store manager if they carried them. She had no clue either so I gave up on it. They still had a poster up in there with the FM radio accessory for the Ipod so i asked them where the FM accessory was. They still looked at me like i was stupid. When i finally said " The thing on the poster over there. " They said that that wasn't an FM radio that it was a controller for my Ipod and nothing more. I finally got fed up and left. So i was walking down and desided to mess with the guys at the Dell Kiosk. I was looking at all the laptops and asking if they were Core Duos or Core 2 Duos. The guy kept pointing to the little sticker on the thing and saying " This thingy says that they are Centrino Duo. " So I finally got him convinced I was interested in one and asked him about Linux. This really threw him off and he kept saying i don't think that program comes installed. When I explained it was an operating system, he turned around and started talking about how windows comes preinstalled on it and I would NEVER need anything more then that.

I thought people who worked in Technical jobs were suppose to know at least a little about technology. I mean i'm 15 and seemed to know alot more then they did. It just amazes me
That is funny. They will hire anybody these days...
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Oct 29, 2006, 10:06 PM
 
I worked as a computer rep. for Staples for a couples of years, and a manager once told me he didn't care his staff didn't know what they're talking about, as long as they are good salesmen... He once hired a guy that knew next to nothing about computers and electronics, but he didn't care because this guy could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo...
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 10:11 PM
 
I was in my local Staples about a month ago looking for a bluetooth mouse for my Macbook. They didn't seem to have any so I asked an associate who then talked to the store manager. I ended up explaining what bluetooth was to both of them... wow!!!
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Oct 29, 2006, 10:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Twinkie View Post
Well I went to the mall with my g/f and her best friend and was looking for around when i stumbled into Radio Shack. I was looking around the store, found the controller section, and started looking for a USB controller for my recent addiction to my SNES emulator. So after i didn't see one i happened to ask him if they had any USB controllers in the back. He looked at me with a blank look and fianally said " Well why would anyone ever need or want one of them? " I explained about the emulator to him and he just continued to stare at me. He finally said "ok...." and went to ask someone, I'm guessing the store manager if they carried them. She had no clue either so I gave up on it. They still had a poster up in there with the FM radio accessory for the Ipod so i asked them where the FM accessory was. They still looked at me like i was stupid. When i finally said " The thing on the poster over there. " They said that that wasn't an FM radio that it was a controller for my Ipod and nothing more. I finally got fed up and left. So i was walking down and desided to mess with the guys at the Dell Kiosk. I was looking at all the laptops and asking if they were Core Duos or Core 2 Duos. The guy kept pointing to the little sticker on the thing and saying " This thingy says that they are Centrino Duo. " So I finally got him convinced I was interested in one and asked him about Linux. This really threw him off and he kept saying i don't think that program comes installed. When I explained it was an operating system, he turned around and started talking about how windows comes preinstalled on it and I would NEVER need anything more then that.

I thought people who worked in Technical jobs were suppose to know at least a little about technology. I mean i'm 15 and seemed to know alot more then they did. It just amazes me
Same here.

I'm 13 and a month ago I was buying a digital camera. I needed to know if it would work on my mac. So i asked this girl and see said "Well, it should work on any computer I think, because it should just plugin and go." And I said "Can I have a look at the box?" And she was like "Um, dunno" And she went off to see someone else. This guy came along, and I said "I need to look at the box to see if it will work on my computer, He is like "Well, all it needs is a USB connector on your computer. USB is like a scart cable. Do you know what a scart cable is?...."

Jesus, he thought I knew nothing....
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 10:29 PM
 
I don't understand how these people dare working there.. I would be ashamed to be ignorant like this (if this is my job).
     
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Oct 29, 2006, 10:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by FireWire View Post
I worked as a computer rep. for Staples for a couples of years, and a manager once told me he didn't care his staff didn't know what they're talking about, as long as they are good salesmen... He once hired a guy that knew next to nothing about computers and electronics, but he didn't care because this guy could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo...
I think this is (at least partially) Apple's policy for their retail workers, as well. Product knowledge can be taught, but good salesmanship is much harder to teach. Between someone who knows every detail of every product Apple makes, but is some mumbling nerd, and someone who doesn't know so much about the products, but is friendly and charismatic and good at talking to people, who do you think will sell more?

That said, if employers take this stance, it's obviously important that they actually DO teach the employees about the products, which many employers (such as yours, FireWire) seem remiss in. Apple, on the other hand, has great online training resources for employees and resellers.

(I'm not completely excusing Apple's retail employees... many of them are not as knowledgeable or friendly as they should be. But, for the most part, they're still miles ahead of most retail electronics salespeople)

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Oct 29, 2006, 11:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by davidflas View Post
I was in my local Staples about a month ago looking for a bluetooth mouse for my Macbook. They didn't seem to have any so I asked an associate who then talked to the store manager. I ended up explaining what bluetooth was to both of them... wow!!!
I had near the exact same experience in a Staples a week ago. Eventually, a third person told me there aren't any computers that ship with bluetooth so why would I want a bluetooth mouse or keyboard. He said the wireless mice and keyboards with the USB transmitter are the best way to go.

I decided not to waste my time bickering about Macs and why I wouldn't want to have a USB dongle hanging off my laptop.

I went to an Apple store and just bought a BT Mighty Mouse. And I'm VERY happy.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 12:28 AM
 
I worked retail a few years back and while I consider myself a solid wiz regarding electronics, sometimes people would be asking legitimate questions, but it was the way that they were asking the question that threw me off.

Also, I was absolutely desensitized to dumb questions. I was asked so many dumb questions that when a person actually knew what he/she was talking about... it threw me off.

I also HATED it when the local computer geek would come in and start asking questions a technician really should answer, NOT A SALES PERSON!

Originally Posted by Twinkie View Post
I thought people who worked in Technical jobs were suppose to know at least a little about technology. I mean i'm 15 and seemed to know alot more then they did. It just amazes me
Please... asking a sales guy at a kiosk about Linux? That's like asking the FedEx delivery guy to explain how their package tracking system works from a systems standpoint.

My response when people said "Yah, but will it run Linux?" would be "Oh, what distros have you installed?" 90%+ would admit that they had never installed Linux.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:07 AM
 
the 15 and 13 year old in here write and express themselves better than many adults I know
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:20 AM
 
I agree. And by the way, "old" in the above quote, should have been plural.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 07:32 AM
 
You get what you pay for, and retail doesn't pay well. Besides, 99% of the customers coming in there don't have any technical questions. They want to know if it comes with Windows, if it will run MS Word, and if it will run AOL. The corporate offices for these chains know that, and to some extent, they exploit it. If you go to Office Depot and look at laptops, there are signs telling you that you should purchase XX brand USB cables to go with your laptop purchase. (XX brand cables being $30 each). People have been trained by the stereo/TV/electronics world that you usually need to pick up some cables when you buy something. Nevermind the fact that if you don't have anything to use the cable with, you've wasted $30. You need to buy a cable when you buy the peripheral, not the computer!
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
the 15 and 13 year old in here write and express themselves better than many adults I know
I know a few young'ns that do well , but it's when you get those idiots who type everything in 733T that I get completely turned off. OMG WTF is wrong with them??!?! one one one. Annoying.

I had an online friend whom I had never met help me with some forum tweaks one time. When I met him at a car show, I found out he was only 14 (I'm 37) and my jaw hit the floor. He was a very smart person online and knew his computers and typed like an adult. Ironically, I hang out with his dad at the car shows (he's 44). Even if his son was mature and intelligent, a 37 year-old can't be seen hanging out with a 14 year-old no matter how professional their relationship is.

Regarding computer knowledge, NEVER argue with a computer salesman (or any kind for that matter) for more than 2 minutes. Unless you have access to the internet right there to prove them wrong, they will never cease to be an idiot. And if YOU are the sales person, NEVER argue with the customer no matter how wrong you know they are. They do not appreciate being wrong even when wrong.

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Oct 30, 2006, 08:53 AM
 
You need to see them for what they are. They are more there to let you know if certain items are in stock, or to answer general questions for the real clueless. Most of them aren't really there for their knowledge.

Even in the corporate world, sales people for highly technical companies like Cisco and Juniper can't answer all the questions. That's why they have sales engineers with them.

Sales people with real technical skills are very rare, and Staples isn't a breeding ground for them. However, some of them also lack customer service skills... which is what pisses me off.
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:54 AM
 
Easy fix: Only buy Apple computers from Apple Stores. Let the PC world bask in its own filth and avoid it like the plague. Works for me.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
the 15 and 13 year old in here write and express themselves better than many adults I know
A friend of mine wrote a Kerberos book before he was 21 (I think). And its one of the only definitive guides on it....
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Oct 30, 2006, 09:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by macroy View Post
A friend of mine wrote a Kerberos book before he was 21 (I think). And its one of the only definitive guides on it....
Yeah, make the rest of us feel like blinking under-achievers, why don’t you?

Please... asking a sales guy at a kiosk about Linux? That's like asking the FedEx delivery guy to explain how their package tracking system works from a systems standpoint.
I wouldn’t necessarily expect the sales drone to know anything specific about Linux distributions, package handling, or anything advanced like that; but although a mere sales drone, working in a computer store, he should at least be aware that there is such a thing as Linux, and that it’s an operating system.

Unfortunately, you can’t expect that. Odd how many people working in computer stores are utterly uninterested in computers and know absolutely nothing about them. I actually managed to confuse a sales drone (in a computer store) by mentioning Macs. He didn’t know what they were. Never heard of Apple. “Oh”, he finally exclaimed, with the air of one on whom a be-all-end-all solution to a most bothersome problem had just dawned, after I’d tried to explain what Macs were, “you mean iPod computers? Yeah, they’re not compatible with Windows or keyboards, so they’re not for home use.” Um. Okay, then. Next store.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 10:11 AM
 
Along the same lines, whenever I go in to a CompUSA (or similar big-box retailer) I can usually run rings around the salespeople... hey, I figure its a sport.

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Oct 30, 2006, 10:22 AM
 
Retail ≠ technical. And technical often means extremely tightly focused. But Radio Shack stopped even being a technology store when they changed their focus to selling cell phones. I won't even buy a cell phone from a Radio Shack, but that's about all they're good for.

I NEVER go to a technology-oriented store to buy something that I haven't researched myself, and I only ask for assistance when I can't find the advertised product on the shelf. These stores are staffed by salesdrones, not technology people, with the exception of the Apple reps that you sometimes find in CompUSA (and not all of them are competent, either).

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Oct 30, 2006, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post
Regarding computer knowledge, NEVER argue with a computer salesman (or any kind for that matter) for more than 2 minutes. Unless you have access to the internet right there to prove them wrong, they will never cease to be an idiot.
Never say never!!
Analogika (MacNN member in case you don't know him) is a computer salesman (he already sold me one) and it's pretty difficult if not impossible to prove him wrong!!
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Oct 30, 2006, 10:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by DeathToWindows View Post
Along the same lines, whenever I go in to a CompUSA (or similar big-box retailer) I can usually run rings around the salespeople... hey, I figure its a sport.
great idea..

its very annoying for me to ask questions at computer stores..

i had to go to a computer store to ask for a replacement RAM chip when I was 12.
We got there and he looked up at my mum, but then i started talking and you could see he's like "WTF?!?!?! Whats this 12 year old talking about?!?!"

very funny
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 10:33 AM
 
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, sell stuff at the mall." -anon

If these folks really knew anything about technology, they'd be an engineers...not RadioShack sales people.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 10:49 AM
 
It's the 'new' Radio Shack... back in the day, you could ask for the most obscure part and they'd have it. Damn kids today.
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Oct 30, 2006, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
It's the 'new' Radio Shack... back in the day, you could ask for the most obscure part and they'd have it. Damn kids today.
It's RadioShack's commission structure. Parts don't pay, cell phone contracts do.

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Oct 30, 2006, 11:51 AM
 
As something of an aside, if you want a controller for SNES emulation, consider going for the real thing. These guys will mod existing SNES controllers for USB, and they can also sell you the controllers. If you're good with electronics they'll even sell you a kit to mod your controllers yourself.
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Oct 30, 2006, 11:58 AM
 
Man, what's up with these mega-paragraph posts...
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 12:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dakar² View Post
Man, what's up with these mega-paragraph posts...
Everyone has a story

If I'm at a computer store and I'm talking to a sales rep that doen't know what they're talking about, it's just plain fun to f*ck with them They asked for it!

It is nice when you can talk to one who actually knows what he/she is talking about.
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Oct 30, 2006, 12:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by drnkn_stylz View Post
Everyone has a story
Wish they had a return key.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:43 PM
 
I remember a salesman at Staples getting angry with me because I kept try to tell him "Mac OS 9 or higher" on the box didn't necessarily mean native support for OS X. He insisted that because 10 was higher than 9 he was correct and I had no business questioning his superior intellect.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 02:53 PM
 
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 03:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Easy fix: Only buy Apple computers from Apple Stores. Let the PC world bask in its own filth and avoid it like the plague. Works for me.
That works. My easy fix is to do my research and know exactly what I want to buy before I get to the store. That way I can completely avoid contact with clueless salespeople, AND I don't shop at stores with pushy salespeople (e.g. EBGames/GameStop).
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 03:38 PM
 
Most of the people in Apple retail/mall stores are idiots as well so I guess you can generalize that all mall/retail/whatever salesmen aren't exactly too knowledgable with what they sell (all that matters is they sell it).
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by sweatpants boner View Post
Most of the people in Apple retail/mall stores are idiots as well so I guess you can generalize that all mall/retail/whatever salesmen aren't exactly too knowledgable with what they sell (all that matters is they sell it).
I dunno. Apple genius guy is pretty knowledgeable.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Retail ≠ technical. And technical often means extremely tightly focused. But Radio Shack stopped even being a technology store when they changed their focus to selling cell phones. I won't even buy a cell phone from a Radio Shack, but that's about all they're good for.
The last time I went into a radio shack, CB radios were the rage and radio shake was riding high on that fad. Heck now I'm dating myself.
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Oct 30, 2006, 07:19 PM
 
The bottom line is this: know what you are going to buy before you go to the store.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 07:23 PM
 
When I worked for Best Buy in Traverse City MI, they were just rolling out the Geek Squad in that area. To apply, one had to take an aptitude test that covered multiple OS's. All the guys in the computer area (sales and techs) didn't score all that well. The guy that got the job scored extremely well (don't remember his score) and worked in the media department.
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:08 PM
 
Here's another easy fix:

1) Open Safari, if not already open.
2) Browse to The Apple Store (U.S.)
3) Click on various bits of screen with mouse.
4) Type CC details.
5) Log off.
6) Sit on fat backside in Lay-Z-Boy eating pizza and baiting hippies online until you hear the doorbell ring.
7) Drool at automagical arrival of computer thingy in large black box.

-- Optional --

8) Unpack computer thingy from large black box. Install.
9) Get kicked off some IRC channels for telling a bunch of hippies that their Windows computers are pointless in the face of such bone-hardeningly awesomeness which arrived in large black box.
10) Sleep.
11) Pizza.
12) Beer.
13) Repeat (9).
14) Drool.
15) Nipples!
16) Ummm. Whatever. If in doubt, annoy more hippies.
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 08:45 PM
 
I'm big on #15, Doofy!

But it's unfortunate that one must be particularly technically adept to make decent purchases because salesdrones are UNadept in what they sell. I once almost didn't buy a car from one salesman because he kept trying to SELL it to me instead of letting it sell itself. It's not smart to not know your products AND how they interest customers. Tech salesdrones don't know either one, and they seem to be hired BECAUSE of that.

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Oct 30, 2006, 09:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by kick52 View Post
USB is like a scart cable. Do you know what a scart cable is?...."

Jesus, he thought I knew nothing....
haha, "is like a scart cable" haha
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 09:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by kick52 View Post
USB is like a scart cable. Do you know what a scart cable is?...."
Actually, in the US, chances are he doesn't know.
Scart doesn't exist there. At least, I have never seen it here...

-t
     
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Oct 30, 2006, 10:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by sweatpants boner
Most of the people in Apple retail/mall stores are idiots as well so I guess you can generalize that all mall/retail/whatever salesmen aren't exactly too knowledgable with what they sell (all that matters is they sell it).
Unfortunately, you are correct, even apple tends to slip up in this category, but in the 1 in 5 chances that someone knows that they are talking about, for me, it tends to be a lot of fun chatting with them about new tech, my setups and future predictions etc.

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Oct 30, 2006, 11:34 PM
 
Last time I went into a Radio Shack I got into a lively conversation with a sales associate about doing at home repairs on iBook computers with a soldering iron, and what may break and what Radio Shack has in stock that I may be able to repair incase I fry a transistor or something. Best damn salesperson I've seen in awhile. (He got me to spend an additional $15 on soldering equipment.)
     
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Oct 31, 2006, 02:09 AM
 
Those guys are the exception rather than the rule. I've had so many bad experiences with big-box computer/electronic stores that I tend to walk in knowing exactly what I want, and able to brow beat/bullsh*t the employees into leaving me the hell alone.

I had to buy an intel mac mini a couple of months ago as a bench machine - just something to run ddrescue and pull data off a bunch of dead drives, 24/7. A Fry's sales drone wouldn't leave me alone, and wanted me to buy a G5 instead. No, I explained, I didn't need the expandability - I just needed something inexpensive to run a particular program. The guy pushed the issue, and explained that the only MAC (pron: em-ay-see) that was any good was the G5, and that the other MAC's were for kids and not for real computer users.

I asked him if the G5 would run a proprietary x86 custom database app I'd built, and if not, whether I'd be okay with Core Solo or Core Duo if I wanted to make the best of pre-emptive multitasking.

He got as far as the word "proprietary" and basically ran away.
All opinions are entirely those of my employer. It's not my fault.
     
   
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