Re: Seeking perspectives on a computer purchasing predicament

  • From: "InthaneElf" <inthaneelf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2008 16:12:43 -0700

your not the only one, smile, though I couldn't provide him with the in home tech support, being way across the country as I am.

proprietor, The Grab Bag,
for blind computer users and programmers
Owner: Alacorn Computer Enterprises
"own the might and majesty of a Alacorn!"
Owner: Agemtree
"merchants in fine facetted and cabochon gemstones"
operator: Fruit Basket Demo Sight, where you can find a similar project done in several programming languages, along with its source code, so you can decide what language is right for you

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bryan Schulz" <b.schulz@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: Seeking perspectives on a computer purchasing predicament


i don't know what the price was but i'm sure i could have custom built something for close o the same price.

Bryan Schulz
The BEST Solution

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jamal Mazrui" <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 8:00 AM
Subject: Seeking perspectives on a computer purchasing predicament

About 10 days ago, I purchased a new computer from a Best Buy store in
Silver Spring, Maryland.  My hope was to get good value on the computer
and from the store's "Geek Squad" service that delivers and installs it,
including a wireless network.  I had not bought a new computer in several
years and was not familiar with hardware differences in current offerings.
I knew I wanted the home version of Windows Vista, and asked the senior
technical representative on duty for a recommendation on a computer that
used "industry-standard" components as much as possible, thereby
maximizing compatibility with the screen reader technology that I used. I
emphasized memory and hard disk space over a graphics card and monitor
intended for games.  The representative indicated that he understood my
needs and recommended a Del computer with relatively large memory and hard
disk specifications.

Last Saturday, a Geek Squad technician delivered the computer to my home,
installed it and the wireless network.  At the end of the process, he
mentioned that it was a 64-bit computer.  I was shocked and dismayed as I
knew that no screen reader worked with 64-bits yet.  As evidence, I had
him run a copy of JAWS, which immediately said it would not work on a
64-bit computer.  The technician acknowledged that it had been a mistake
to recommend such a computer, particularly in the context of my request
for industry-standard components, and without even asking me if 64-bits
was an acceptable specification.  He said he would return on Wednesday
with a replacement, 32-bit computer.

It had not occured to me to specify 32-bits because I had perceived it,
although changing over time, as still being a feature of high-end
computers intended for a circumscribed set of resource-intensive
applications, rather than for customers at a Best Buy store with a typical consumer interest in running a range of applications, including ones found
on the Internet.

The technician was scheduled to arrive between noon and 4 PM on Wednesday,
yesterday.  I took a vacation day from work to be there, though I had not
wanted to lose vacation time for this originally.  Despite repeated calls
I made during the day to confirm the appointment, the technician did not
call me until about 4:30 from the Best Buy store, where he said he
discovered no 32-bit computers available.  He discussed the problem with
others there and said their recommendation was to load a 32-bit version of Vista on the 64-bit computer I purchased. Although they had little actual
experience with this, and were unable to contact a Del representative to
confirm the approach, they were confident it would work except that only
3.5 out of the 6 gigabytes of memory would be addressable because that was
an upper limit for 32-bit Windows.  I asked but they were not willing to
call other Best Buy stores in the greater DC area to check if they had a
32-bit Del computer in stock. I said I would go along with this plan, now
scheduled for a Sunday installation at my home, but that I would have to
do immediate testing of various programs to assure myself that there were
no compatibility problems. Since it is a few days away, I thought it best
to schedule the re-install and do some additional research in the

With that background, I am seeking information and advice from list
members on a few questions.  Will there be no compatibility problems from
loading 32-bit Vista and drivers on a 32-bit computer.  Specifically, it
is a Del Inspiron Model I530-110B.

Is 3.5 gigabytes the maximum addressable memory in this case?  Would the
same limit be true on a 32-bit computer?

I had also purchased Microsoft Office Professional 2007.  They said that
the same version runs on either 32-bit or 64-bit computers.  Is that the

Does anyone have more experience to share about Best Buy and Geek Squad?
The representatives involved say that they usually sell 64-bit computers
now.  I find this surprising since I thought a majority of software still
requires 32-bits today. Is their statement credible? Is this the default
retail practice now?


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