Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Shopping around

I drove to St German's for the midweek Mass this morning and celebrated the memory of St John of the Cross, a suitable saint for this Advent season of waiting, given the part played in his spiritual teaching to longing for God and divine love. Afterwards I stopped for coffee in the church hall day centre, and met with PCSO Andy. It's the first time since I officiated at his wedding to Michelle back in the spring this year. He told me that they are expecting a baby this spring, and are planning a Christening at Saint Germans in early summer. As he's well known to parishioners, this is a celebration many people will be delighted about, me included, especially if I'm able to be involved in it.

Afterwards, I drove out to PC World to browse for bargains, but didn't see any. A young man took me through his sales routine for choosing a mobile phone. I think he underestimated my understanding of all the devices on offer, exactly what I wanted and why. He was so keen to promote state of the art stuff that he had difficulty in grasping my critical remarks relating to my actual needs and requirements for a purchase. Newest isn't always as good as tried and tested, or the issue of how much actual learning or adaptation is required to use a device as efficiently, if not more so than my existing one. 

I don't need a phone with a nano SIM cards fitting an adaptor tray on the phone. They are difficult to handle if you ever have to swap SIM cards. Taking it into a shop to do that when you could do it for yourself matters to me. Also having a removable battery, rather than one sealed into the case, currently fashionable and guaranteed to make the phone redundant after a year or so of heavy use. Young sales personnel may not need to use the word 'sustainable' as part of their sales patter, but it's part of what I need to know before investing time and energy in new kit.

After PC World, I went to Staples, which has put sales tickets on all its display stock since I was last in the store. I succumbed to the temptation to buy a 11.5" Acer Aspire E11 laptop at half the asking price. At £153, it's the cheapest Windows PC I've ever bought, and is small and light enough to take with me on my travels. It's not very powerful, but its specification is adequate enough for things I need to do when I'm away.

The machine wasn't factory reset when I took it from the store, and I had a problem setting up my own user area, as the ostensibly deleted demonstrator user account control mechanism was still functioning, and it took a trip back to the store to learn that it had no password. It works fine, except the the log-in screen still throws a Staples error message, although it logs in to my user account with administrator privileges as expected. If that doesn't clear with us, I'll have to factory reset it myself. Come to think of it, that's the first time I've not had to register the operating system from scratch, so I may be obliged to revisit this if I have any more hassles with it.

I cooked a prawn and mushroom risotto for supper instead of a paella, to finish off a bottle of white wine taking space in the fridge. I was quite pleased with the result. Then we sat and watched telly for a few hours before turning in later than intended. As ever.

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