Sunday, October 03, 2004

Aunt and uncle and the new computer

Went to visit aunt Rimma and uncle Misha on Tuesday. It was a very rainy day and they don't live very close to the subway, but at least it was warm.

They are nice and entertaining people, although sometimes they have strange ideas of life. Rimma tried to feed me all day, without much success. It used to be traditional in Russia that the host offered some food and the guest refused regardless of whether he/she wanted it or not, but after two or three iterations either the guest ate the food or, failing that, the host stopped offering. I don't think Rimma quite gets that "the host stops offering" part yet. After 6 or 7 iterations it gets on your nerves. After 20 or 25 iterations it really gets on your nerves.

Thy tried to show me pictures and stuff on their computer, but the poor thing did not wish to boot. It has a 466MHz processor and 32MB of memory. After trying to boot it 4 times they declared that the thing belongs in the museum of ancient technologies, and asked me to help them buy a new one, and off we went.

On the way there we visited grandma's new rehab home. It is in Brookline and has 4 persons per room, but very nice nurses. Grandma has 3 roommates from hell, 2 of whom are Russian-speaking. Luckily she is fairly deaf, or else she would be bashing their heads in with her walker, and probably would have done a good job of it. Two of them are certifiably insane, but luckily they are deaf too, so they talk to each other in Russian and English, making no sence in either but with a full illusion of communication.

After grandma we went to Best Buy and got a computer for $567: Athlon XP 3200, 512MB, 160GB, 17-inch monitor and a printer. I'd say it's a good price. The funny thing was that the thing would have cost $599 without the monitor and the printer. Two employees tried to sell us 3-year extended warranty for $199, which caused a fit of giggles in all three of us. An employee explained that fixing computers by oneself is hard since every computer has its very own individual motherboard and they cost at least $150; we argued a bit and then went to the motherboard stand and found a wide variety of them for $80 apiece.

On the way back Rimma made excuses for the employee and said that women don't understand anything about computers, which was funny considering they'd just spent the whole day asking me for computer advice.

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