Monday, July 27, 2015

Alright Young Man

That's not something I hear too often.

It was in (that big computer goods store) after I finished having a little chat with the Apple fella who sold me my iPad. Not sure if he recognised me* but he got over that little trip quickly to give me some handy info about the Apple TV.

*lots of shop people recognise me after I go back in a few times. Wonder why that is. Perhaps it's the grin and me looking them in the eye when the grin comes out ?
Smiles are awesome.

Respect is too. I think the other reason why the shop people recognise me is politeness and respect vibes that I try to send their way. Retail is tough. Any customer facing job is tough. The assumption is that the customer is always right, even when the customer is being a blithering idiot, swearing and generally being rude to the poor person on sub-living wage trying to get through a day working in probably bad conditions in the shop or eating place.

So I try to pass on good vibes to make their day a bit better. And ... it gets me things like smiles in return (which always cheers me up) and hey ! it sometimes gets me bigger portions. Win.

So how come I was out there at the Mall tonight ? Simple - needed petrol and didn't want to get it from the supermarket this time. Bit too close to when I went shopping last time and I didn't need that much. But I do like to feed the car when it asks. I have maybe 70-80 miles from when the light comes on but it's daft to cut it too close to the bottom of the tank when you don't really need to.

(Snack count = snacks still present in cupboard) (although the popcorn is a little low)

Nah. I wanted to do a little scouting too. I have a couple of items on my techie wish list :

Apple TV. This is an interest thing rather than a big want. It's a device that feeds the telly (or in my case, my AV amplifier) with all sorts of things, like the usual internet TV subs (Netflix) and the rest of those. It also gives a pathway for sending pictures and audio from devices like my Macbook and iPad to the telly. Handy for streaming video, possible replacement for an Apple Airport Express which I think is failing.

I don't think I really need it though.

The other is a keyboard for my desktop. Mine is getting stiffer with age and I've had it for quite a few years now. There are two categories of keyboard :

Standard keyboards are either wired or wireless. Wireless is a complete waste of time for me and I'll actively avoid them. It's not just the need for batteries, it's also signal loss and lack of response from them. I almost put a bug report in on Star Wars Old Republic when I was playing the beta, because my character would just stop doing things for many seconds at a time. It wasn't the game, it was a rubbish and fairly new (therefore no excuse from low batteries) Microsoft wireless keyboard. The only reason to get a wireless keyboard would be for the Macbook or iPad and even there, the screen keyboard and Macbook keyboard are just fine.

I may get a standard keyboard to replace this one. No frills keyboards are what I look for. Elite emphasises that, there's barely enough room for this standard keyboard beside the flightstick.

The other type of keyboard is the gaming keyboard ...
Yep. Silly. These tend to add on extra buttons for macros, extra wrist rest things (non removable). Lots of protuberances that make the keyboard look special (translation - stuff that just gets in the way). These keyboards are too wide to work in the space I have available.

(Says he looking at all the rubbish I haven't thrown away that's sitting on top of the desk).

Oh they also come with mechanical keyswitches and a 0 added on to the price. A few keyboards ago, I had a mechanical keyswitch board and it was outstanding. I may have to look for it, I may still have it.

The big reason why I'll avoid getting a "gaming" quality keyboard is not the weird design or the extra buttons, although I'm tempted by having proper mechanical (noisy!) keyswitches again. No - it's the ridiculous price hike that gets attached to anything premium.

Flashy labels do not make a premium product, although they make the price premium.

Enough about the techie stuff - but I will leave you with a couple of rules there :

Look for function first of all. Does it do the job you want it to ?
Is it superfluous ? If you don't need it, don't buy it. Sounds obvious doesn't it ?
Are you paying too much ? I'm not paying £100 for a keyboard.
Does something else do it better ?
Will it last for you ?
Is it what you want to buy or what they want to sell ?

That last one is a biggie. Ask yourself your motive for spending money, are you being convinced to buy something that isn't the best for your money ? Beware the persuasive salesperson.

Even if they do posess a winning smile, wonderful dimples (this had nothing to do with me switching to Npower a good few years ago - honest) and a charming manner.

Although tonight - the one who left off a conversation with "Alright young man", emphasis on the young :

He can have all my money.
PS Leg check - all good. It's 90% repaired and took tonight's walking around at work and at the Mall in its stride. Not tested it as far as running across the road to dodge unsuspecting cars (who should have been indicating and looking where they were driving) yet.

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