LIFESTYLES

The last computer in Warwick

Posted 5/20/20

By DON FOWLER So there we were, watching a movie online, when a message about a "e;disk read error"e; appeared on a black computer screen. After holding for a "e;technician"e; at AOL for over and hour, we paid $179.99 to be switched to one of their

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LIFESTYLES

The last computer in Warwick

Posted

So there we were, watching a movie online, when a message about a “disk read error” appeared on a black computer screen.

After holding for a “technician” at AOL for over and hour, we paid $179.99 to be switched to one of their subcontractors who informed us that the problem was a malfunctioning computer. We knew that!

Since the computer was over 10 years old and still functioning with Windows 7, we called Best Buy and got an appointment for 4 p.m.

Upon arrival, we saw a line of masked customers and employees in front of the store. The one with the clipboard seemed to be in charge, so we give him our names.

We were informed that the Geek Squad could not see us for at least two weeks, so we decided to assume that the computer had died of old age, and to look at a new one.

A salesman was assigned to us and brought us to the Computer Section, where we stared at empty white shelving, similar to the toilet paper section at Stop & Shop.

“We don’t have a single computer in the store,” Charlie told us. “We’re waiting for a shipment. We don’t know when.”

“But we need one today,” I pleaded. “I have to do my Beacon articles, pay my bills, and stay in touch with my kids.”

Charlie explained that with the pandemic, all the computers have flown off the shelves, as people changed to working at home, home schooling, and the best means of staying in touch with family and friends.

“What’s that taped box underneath the display counter?’ I asked.

It was an all-in-one HP computer. Plug it in, program it, and no need for a tower.

Someone had returned it, the Geek Squad checked it out, and except for a minor scratch, it was ready to go – and $100 off.

We walked out of the store with the last computer in Warwick!

Now came the challenge of two octogenarians setting it up. Joyce, the brighter and more patient one, was assigned the task, which she completed, with a few glitches, magnificently.

What about all the information stored in our old computer? There was a chance it could be retrieved, but it couldn’t be looked at for weeks, and, of course, there was a healthy charge.

Right now, we’re trying to adjust to Windows 10 and the new changes, and re-writing some of the articles stored away in the old computer, happy that we have what just might be the last computer sold in Warwick – or anywhere.

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