Laptop lauches newfound interest

By Anita Doberman: Columnist

Computers, laptop, PalmPilots, BlackBerry phones, iPods, Mp3— technological devices are everywhere we turn. I am not sure what half of these “toys” can do, or what some of them look like. But I am an enthusiastic shopper. In my hands, technological devices become an opportunity to spend significant amounts of money.

On the other hand, my husband takes the time to research the products and manages to find good deals. Technology is not just fun for him. His purchases are usually right on target and not very expensive.

This week, I was determined to reverse our roles.

I needed to buy a laptop and with him gone, I would be the one explaining the different laptops and the best deals. I would say to him, “Really, when I buy a laptop you will be saving money, not spending it.”

Except that my husband knows me too well. When I casually mentioned my plan, he suggested that I wait until he gets back.

I explained that “I need to bring my laptop when I speak at conferences. Everyone has one these days, not that it’s a good reason to want one. But, even at home it’s difficult to write on the computer in our toy room/office with the kids always around.”

He told me to go ahead and get one, but insisted that I do some research first, especially before going to the store.

I did a search on Google and read some reviews. I came up with choices in my price range: two HPs and a Dell.

I was ready to apply my newfound knowledge when I entered Best Buy. I had only one of my five children with me (the baby), so I had plenty of time to shop around.

The store clerk must have sensed that I was an enthusiastic shopper because he immediately presented me with top-of-the-line and extremely expensive laptops.

He told me that I needed to get these models because I would be so happy with their features.

He insisted that I needed a large number of gigabytes, RAM, megahertz — he quickly lost me. For a moment, I thought that I should just get what he recommended. Then I realized that kind of thinking was the old me—the enthusiastic shopper.

I took out my list of laptops and asked him to show me the specific models. The clerk told me my choices weren’t top of the line — they were also more than half the price of some of the ones he showed me.

I went ahead and purchased one of the HPs in my price range and was proud of myself when I left the store. Perhaps this is the beginning of a newfound interest in technology.

This week I also launched my Web site
another technological adventure (with some help). Check it out and tell me what you think.

Next week, I will tackle the world of cars. When I take my van to the mechanic, I’ll make sure to know exactly what he is talking about. So much more to learn.