Wednesday, May 10, 2006

P C Hunt

Today I went on a wild goose chase to buy a PC for my 16-year-old cousin brother Jojo. The hunt began at Ernakulam and ended, panting and gasping for breath somehwere near Kottayam. My Uncle, Jojo’s Dad thought that this would be a good opportunity to learn something about computers, besides like vegetables he was convinced that he would get a better bargain at the next shop. Sometimes the next shop was the adjacent shop while most of the time the next shop was in the next town. The result was some delicious cuisines sampled at various hotels throughout the route but no PC.

Jojo is the youngest of seven children, his eldest sibling is married with kids. The generation gap between father and son was as wide as an Apple II and a MacBook Pro. (that’s many a generations even I know) And that’s why he cleverly managed to rope me in with some novel excuses like “Achchan is a fossil” and “Only you can talk some sense into Achchan’s brainless skull”. He loves his Dad so much you see. And the feeling is mutual.

First stop XYZ Electronics

Uncle to Salesman: We want to buy a computer.
Salesman: Would you like to go in for a Laptop or Desktop?
Uncle: Duh?...ahem you talk to my niece while I hmm...look around and don’t listen to anything my dimwit son says ok?!
Jojo: Dad!!!!!!
Uncle: Keep quite.
Salesman(smirking): Sure.

I watched as my Uncle, his mundu folded up neatly, hands crossed behind him sauntered around. He reached a display of PCs. The salesman behind the counter wearing a mundu and a red Pottu must have looked quite reassuring to my Uncle.

Uncle: What is the difference between this kompooter and that?
Salesman: Intel and AMD Processors Saar.
Uncle( not understanding a word): Oh I see! And what’s the difference between what you just told me?
Salesman : Cost and speed is different saar. Besides a few other differences.
Uncle (persisting): Like what?
Salesman ( as though waiting for the cue ): Well...Intel recently switched over their motherboards from the RDR memory to the DDR memory, which AMD was utilizing. There are three reasons for the swtich blah blah blah blah. Anyone who knows computers will tell you: heat is your enemy. Heat kills processors, plain and simple. The Pentium IV processor has major heat dissipation problems blah blah blah. AMD runs cooler because it's FSB has always been a constant 266MHz, and does not cause problems with DDR memory. The AMD Athlon blah blah blah besides it is priced lower.
Uncle: I see.

He turned smartly before the Salesman could say “Cheque or Cash?” and walked into the Laptop section and peered at the display, soda glasses straddling his nose. He went around one a couple of time like I have seen him do with the cattle he intended to purchase. A smartly dressed salesman appeared next to him.

Salesman: Anything in particular you are looking for?
Uncle (Pointing to a Laptop): what is this thing?
Salesman: It is a Laptop Computer.
Uncle: What is the difference between this and that…‘kompooter’?
Salesman (showing off): Laptop and desktop computers are very similar. They have the same basic hardware, software and operating systems. The primary difference is how their components fit together. Its screen is an integrated part of the unit, as is its keyboard blah blah blah.Unlike Desktop it is much smaller and blah blah blah and it is portable.
Uncle: “Portable??????” What’s that?
Salesman: It can be carried around.
Uncle: Interesting!
Salesman: (scenting a sale): Your son can easily move his Laptop from class to library to the caféteria. It also has DVD player so your son can watch movies too.
Uncle(incensed): Oh ho!!! No son of mine is watching movies in college when he should be studying!!
Salesman ( triumphant smile drying up fast): But... !!!
Jojo(in despair): Dad!!!!
Uncle: Keep quiet! ( turning to me )Let’s go to another shop and see if we can get something that will not corrupt this brainless fellow.

By evening, after going in and out of umpteen shops, my Uncle was elated with the knowledge he had gathered. Jojo and me were very tired and did not want to see a PC or Laptop for the rest of our lives. We also knew all there was to know about Monitors, Processors, Storage Devices, Sound, Graphics and Imaging and the number of Chai Kadaas on the highway and the differences in their tea/coffee brewing styles. And we were yet to buy a PC.

Me: Uncle, you better decide soon or we will have to take a room here. It is getting late.
Uncle: What a good idea!!! Tomorrow we can drive to Trivandrum I have heard you get better computer shops there!
Me: *groan*
Jojo: Zzzzzzzzz

We did finally pick up the PC from that first shop. My by-now-very-knowledgeable Uncle insisted on an AMD processor because...the salesman was so nice and had called him “saar”.


Arun said...

This is my first comment to your blog & that too the first one . Nice blogs studded with humor

Did ur uncle get a bargain for the 'kompooter' or paid the price the salesman said ?

Anonymous said...

hilarious! and I thought my dad was a fossil.....but it took more than a day and many a patient sales staff to convince my Dad.

Good job!

Kusum Rohra said...

This is the first time, i get to comment so soon other wise generally there are some 78452145 comments already here.

*kusum does the junglee victory dance*

You like the dance?

My by-now-very-knowledgeable Uncle insisted on an AMD processor

ROTFL what man silverine! You let poor jojo down! you let his achaan ruin his PC owning happiness!

Yikes thats like getting Fiat Ambassador as your first car, ask me, i went to school in one, througly embaressed.

starry said...

I hope JOJO is happy with his Kompooter. Enjoyed this post.

Sarah said...

oh silverine..u r sooo funny.. I llked the way uncle examined the kompooter like he does for the cattle...

venus said...

kompooter!! very hillarious :)
I usually take a break during my work and browse net, and your posts always makes me lighter :)
thank you for being so funny :)

Thanu said...

Very funny...
Can watch DVD, then NO. Pavam ur cousin.

Lost in trance... said...

jojo deserves a beer...!

Fleiger said...

AMD machine? HP? HP laptops are pretty heavy. So did you get "portable" laptop or desktop?

It's always fun shopping tech with your parents or their generation. Mucho fun...

calvin said...

=)). Poor dudes you two .. :D. You could have called...errr..contacted me ;)

Alexis Leon said...

So you are in Kerala now? EKM to KTYM to buy a PC..LOL

The generation gap between father and son was as wide as an Apple II and a MacBook Pro. ROFL

You should have gone to a shop in Pala a tried there. It would have been a much better experience ;-)

Nice post.

Unknown said...

Ur uncle seems a ditto of my Dad!
Complete with the "Kompooter"!

Rahman said...

An AMD user says, 'Being called Sir is not a reason to buy one. You will be called 'Sir' if you own one'

I'd say, u'd(u'r cousin) got one of the best.

BTW, all dad's are the same when it comes to buyin' or usin' PCs.

silverine said...

@Arun:Thank you for your kind words :) I did manage to get a good deal for Jojo.
@turncoat: Jojo knows all that one needs to know about comps and more. But then you know Dad's how they are? :)
@Kusum:I just loved the victory dance girl and did you shake the bon bon too? LOL That post was so funny :)) Have to think hard before I reply to your latest post. About AMD. Jojo wanted an AMD but we cleverly let Uncle believe it was his choice ;)
@Starrynights: He did and thank you :)
@IIC: It was exactly as I described :))
@Venus: Thank you dear :) You should have seen the sales people looking at my Uncle like he was a country bumpkin he he All he wanted to do was know a lil about computers, which he could have if he had only asked his son, but then Dad's don't do that do they? :))
@Thanu: He is no paavam and he and his friends are already planning to load the machine with the latest stuff :)
@lost in trance: I think he deserves something stronger than that :))
@Fleiger: It is fun, I have stomach cramps from giggling almost continously. My Uncle drove the sales people batty Lol
@Aashik: On hindsight I should have, someone great said that you must share your pain to lighten it :p
@Alexis: Thank you :) I am in Kerala for half a dozen weddings and an equal number of engagements!!! My Apple II Uncle is a rubber planter and his only brush with technology is the spark plug of his Vespa in the good old days and lately, the remote locking of his Scorpio :)) So you can imagine what we were up against.
@Rockus: That makes me feel better now :) My uncle is ok that way, just that he wanted to see all the "models" in a sudden burst of enthusiam.
@1.168: Lots of AMD fans coming out of the closet. Quite a few people approved of our selection :)

Matter of Choice said...

Seriously ROFL post :)). Boss had a surprised look as he just saw me laughing early in the morning!!!!!

Approximately 5 years ago, i had embarked on a similar hunt (alas with no niece to keep my dad nice!)

The computer hardware stores in kochi became putty to my dad's much reknowned bargaining skills. The ultimate dialogue happened at this shop.

Owner/manager/salesman (he was from the coastal region and had a typical kadappuram accent): Saar, this is too much..this bargaining is worse than in a meen chantha!

Dad (without a pause!): That could be...i dont know how bargaining works in a meen chantha...u seem to be rather familiar with it!

after a minute of spluttering/choking the owner gave us a deal that heralded the price cuts later seen in the PC industry!!

Of course dad still remembers the incident and often talks about it in a difft manner like "aaa meesa mulaykkatha payyan enne pattikkan nokki...njan avan janikkunnathinu munpu Type-Writing course pass ayatha"

now try to beat that :))


Safari Al said...

its been so long. i read through all the stuff that you have put up.

finally done with my exams and now shitting in my pants about what i am going to do about a job. another year of college to go.

hope you enjoy kerala. and hog some banana chips for me please!!!

Forex Starter said...

When we were buying a desktop, my dad too insisted on talking to a hundred million people before settling for a was a pain trying to simplify technical details in layman language..however in the end he relented and i got wat i wanted.

Nice post.

Jeremy Ryan said...


Jeremy Ryan said...

whoops.. I'm getting all orkutty LOL

Jim said...

Non-techs buying computers is so funny :) I get a good laugh every time I see a salesman working a customer with the smiles and the "saars" and the (usually) false "facts".

It's almost as funny as me buying clothes...

Shriedhar said...

I see, ur jojo is too obedient n u r too shy :D

Hey, my doubt is y din u speak any word wid the salesman , after all tht was the purpose of giving u treats in sm gud hotels thru out the PC hunt?? :)

neermathalam said...

r u studying for kalpana or working as kalpana...
hilarious..outright hilarious...

stan_da_man said...

hey...thanks for posting on my blog!
Well, glad I came to check out your blog, cos its ultra-kool! good writin gal!:) And i desperately needed to smile after sittin bored all day here @ work.

and yea..AMD been an ardent AMD fan for the last 6-7 years, ever since i got my first Athlon! :)

Anonymous said...

Came here via Sidin's Blog Roll. Girl you rock!!!

Presently reading the archives and trying not to ROFLAO in office :-D


Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Somehow the uncle epitomises the average Malayali Father to me. Doesn't he? A father who complains about his son's "kusruthi's" and especially a Dad who bargains a lot.

I could feel that from the commetns too.

Nice Post. I must soon take up net at home, other wise I am gonna get beaten up by my colleagues for the laughs I make at office :)

zimblymallu said...

eddi. what are you doing in kerala?
get out fast, while you still can...

silverine said...

@Moc:That was a classic remark from your Dad :)) Special thanks to your dad for heralding the price cuts later seen in the PC industry!! ROFL
@Safari Al: I will and I will have some toddy with it :)
@Srini: same here, we finally got what we wanted which was precisely the reason I went along :p
@Jeremey : :)
@Jim: It's almost as funny as me buying clothes... :))
@Shriedhar:Well my Uncle was on a learning curve and I wanted a good laugh :)
@neermathalam: Thank you :)
@ stan_da_man:Another testimonial to our good taste. Thanks :)
@Vinodh: Thanks for dropping in !
@Dhanush: Thank you Dhanush. My Dad is an exception, he came along and sat down quietly on the stool.When I had decided what I wanted he came and paid. The only condition was that the comp should meet with my brothers approval :)
@Zimblymallu: I will, after a dozen weddings, engagements and maybe a funeral (maybe mine) :p.

Jina said...

wow...applause for the uncle..i am amazed at his mom dint even last 5 seconds with my attempt on teaching her some computer basics...:P..maybe i shud take classes from those sales men

£ijo Isac said...

Think that there is some potential for any type of computers as long as they look computers in your uncle's place . He is from which part of Kottayam , me thinking of a dealership :)

Anonymous said...

haha, that was me its very difficult to buy "kompooTher" for uncles and aunty's!..I being the only soft engg in my family had to face a lot of humiliating situations which I don't like to remember:(

by the way you got transfered to EKM from bangalore?



T E Zacharias said...

What a coincidence!! I have a cousin Jojo too! And I have to get him a PC too!! And he's also around 16 years!! Are we related???

Patty said...

Finally found time to visit. Your post gave me a sideache I laughed so long and hard. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hope you got the pics of Ben. He played in the mud today, and was not happy when his reward was a shower. Fortunately, we both survived the ordeal!

Can't wait for some down time so I can read some of your previous posts.

Fleiger said...

Its always fun to watch your uncle/father generation talking to Computer salesmen. The salesmen start with a zeal to score a sale, and then... the hunters become the hunted :)

Dr. Pissed said...

All hail the underdog!!
Three cheers for the AMD win.

And mighty my, someone knows her processors eh? FSB and all, impressive!

silverine said...

@ursjina: Thanks for pointing it out. Uncle does deserves an applause especially since he had no clue about computers :)
@Lijo: LOL you have just the right attitude to become a successful businessman. :)) But there will be people like Jojo to play spoilsport. His generation is so knowledgeable!!
@Shan: had to face a lot of humiliating situations which I don't like to remember
I know exactly what you must have gone through :)) And I am in Kerala for my annual vacations.
@connors corner: That's an amazing co incidence. And if we are related then don't let that blackguard Jojo make you buy him another computer!!!! :))
@Patty: I didn't get the pictures as yet and I am eagerly looking forward to it. So he is been playing in the mud? That is so naughty and cute. Sorry but I am absolutely in love with him an am gonna find anything he does cute :)And thank you for the kind words!
@Fleiger: So true,I pity these guys, trying to explain a computer to someone who does not even know what a floppy drive is lol
@dr pissed:You said, it was an outright AMD win!! After hours spent at these shops I am now quite an authority in kompooters;)

Nikhil Narayanan said...

next time try thiruvandoooram also

hilarious piece...

Praveen said...

great blog as usual, laughed a lot too, your uncle must be pretty pleased to have a computer nerd like you around ;), what are you doing in Kerala, by the way, vacation?

Kusum Rohra said...

Aare silverine, that shaking of bon bon is little obsence, so can't do it on your blog lest I get thrown away, but it should work wonders at the time and in the company I described on my blog.

Will wait for ur comment.

Clever jojo, will use his maha mantra next time i go for shopping with mom.

mathew said...


He loves his Dad so much you see. And the feeling is mutual
hilarious scripting..

Mind Curry said...

lol..that was really funny..

especially how your uncle finally decided upon AMD..i think on my next hardware purchase, i will take his help.

sons and dads share a very complex relationship..there is so much love deep within, but on the exterior there is always an apparent animosity. reminds of the "road to perdition" which has a line "sons are born to trouble their fathers" :) well..its not that bad..but on the exterior it looks like that for sure.

sorry for the late comment..been busy in bengaluru.

If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya said...

hey you...good post. i was laughing coz i could relate with how my mom reacts when i teach her to use my lappie. ma gets all jittery or all over confident. when on the net, she clicks a link and wants it to open immediately! when i try explaining that it is a 48 kbps connection...she says...isn't that a lot?

my dad however is different. he got me these 10 inch floppies from office sometime back. i'm saving them. i figure in another 4-5 decades they will make wonderful priceless antiques for my grandkids.

Sreejith Panickar said...

You are smart as a whip Silvy...... Hope to read more of the same uncle and his senseless holy terror! Funny post.

shruti said...

hmm .good one .my parents are also very bad with the comp ..and my mom always ends up erasing the entire letter after she has taken a painfully long time typing it out .somehow she manages it everytime with almost equal elan . And u should ssee her hovering near me when i am using the comp..typical comments -
vow !! how do u click so fast
hey wher did u reach from tth page so quickly ..wait wait i cant follow u
uff no1 has any time to teach em anething( sulky face )
Not even ur younger sister ( and mom's pet- I am too much of a rebel for my parents to manage he he ) teaches me anething ( boo hoo)
By that time urs truely has given up on tryin to use the computer and fled from the room .

Anonymous said...

Really funny post! :)

Has to be me said...

LOL! Thatz a funny one! But glad that u actually suceeded in buying a kompooter!!! :)

Fleiger said...

That't the thing which you can actually enjoy. Just keep popping up questions in between, then sit back and enjoy.

But then, it is always difficult for me to convince my father (who has used a PC for at least 8-9 years now) that we need to upgrade our PC (the current config is absurdly non-current), so in a way, I can sympathize with those guys.

silverine said...

@Nikhil: Sure I will :)
@Praveen; Nice to see you around :) I was there to act as referee between father an son. Yes, I am on vacation.
@Kusum: arrey kusum, don’t worry about shaking anything here dear, this is a gals blog :) My comments coming soon.
@Mathew: Thank you :)
@Mind Curry: Busy minting the moolah? Hope so :) What you say about sons and dads is so true.
@IFITELLYA gal: I am also saving Floppies...for sentimental reasons. But thanks for the tip. Will keep it for mah grankids. My Mom is in the same boat as your mom. Presently she is learning to double… I mean she is been learning for quite some time now lol
@Sreejith: Thank you :)
@Shruthi: LOL she must drive you batty :))
@JJ: Thank you, just visted your blog. It was a fun read :))
@has to be me; How I love that dancing tiger :) Despite the dice heavily loaded against us, we managed to buy the kompooter :p
@Fleiger: The salesmen thought " here an old foggy, a gal and a kid. This will be easy ". Anyways I enjoyed the whole experience :))

anup.777 said...

"He went around one a couple of time like I have seen him do with the cattle he intended to purchase"

lolz .... U R So good at this! ... I really envy you 4 ur talent lady! :)

Thanks 4 the laughs .... again ... :)

d_grail said...

rolling on floor laughing

silverine said...

@Anup.777 and d'grail: Thank you :)

pr!tz said...

LMAO!!!!! ROTFL!!!
*laugher tears splashing*
How much do I have to pay you to write for me? My humour got lost in translation.

silverine said...

@Pritz:Thank you dear :)

Biju said...

LOL, Hilarious as usual :-). I've always wondered, do you take real life situations and compile it with a humourous note. Whatever way, you write well.

silverine said...

@Biju: Every single post on this blog are real life incidents. I just write it the way I see it :)