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The Computer Buzz August 20th, 2009

Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Fact


On the Road Again

Last week Alan Hopkins, Carlsbad Senior Center PC Users Group Host, invited us to address the Users Group at the Center. Alan is a great host and MC and the group was well informed and interactive. We had a wonderful time.

The Carlsbad Senior Center and Alan are both amazing resources for Carlsbad seniors. The facility, its layout and equipment thoroughly impressed us. Congratulations Carlsbad, you’re doing a great job.

We love taking our show on the road. We put on our “Dog and Pony show” for PC user groups, service clubs, schools and just about anyone who asks. We talk about what’s going on in the world of personal computers, how it got there and where it’s going. Then Igor (my trusted assistant) shows off some of the latest gadgets and playpurties.

Our background allows us to share a unique perspective. The heads of companies like Dell, Microsoft and Intel can spin interesting stories from their perspective at the top of the food chain. We can do that too. I served as founding Vice President and COO of Packard Bell, for a brief time the largest PC maker in the world. What they can’t tell you (and we can) is the truth about what happens where the rubber meets the road.

For the last 15 years we’ve worked directly with end users and small businesses designing PCs for their applications and repairing and upgrading Dells, HPs, Compaqs, Gateways, Sonys, Toshibas, Emachines et al. We’ve suffered side by side with users when Microsoft, Intel and the others have blundered badly and tried to conceal their mistakes. We know where the skeletons are buried. We also know the positive stories. The good guys in our business who continue year after year to produce honest, quality products.

In our talks, as in this column, we try to expose our public to the kind of information not seen in the media. Intel and Microsoft drive the entire PC industry. The PC industry spends billions every year in media advertising. This money buys these two giants a free pass in the press. When mommy finds a fingernail in baby’s Gerber Smashed Squash the news circles the planet for a week but Microsoft and Intel gaffes that cost consumers billions never get a mention. The information all of us are exposed to on a daily basis is the propaganda bought and paid for by the companies who stand to make money by influencing our purchasing decisions. It’s called advertising.

The difference between the PC business and most others is that Microsoft is a monopoly and calls all the shots. Whatever Microsoft says or does, right or wrong, gets 100% support in the industry because there is no alternative. When Microsoft gets it wrong, as with Windows ME and Vista, everyone suffers in silence and Apple celebrates big time.

When we speak to organizations, I do bring my trusted assistant Igor. Don’t even think about asking me to bring Cactus Jack.





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