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Cut Tech Talk

December 27, 1987

I have been trying, for almost a month now, to buy a word processor. (More specifically, a personal computer with a word processing program.) I am willing to spend around $2,000--and I will--as soon as a computer salesperson lets me.

I'm looking for someone who speaks English. Although their command of a foreign language (computerese) is certainly impressive, I wish computer salespeople would state things simply. "MSDOS256KDRAM20MBHARDDRIVE" sounds good, but how does it address my needs? How will it solve my problems?

When I tell computer store employees what I want, they don't believe me. Apparently, they have their own agenda. They start telling me about balancing my checkbook, playing video games, "computerizing" my students and about how, in general, their products will change my life.

That's great. But I want the ability to edit, store and print information with a personal computer having an adequate word processing program. Right now, that's it. And from what I hear, $2,000 is enough to get me started.

When I find a computer salesperson who speaks clearly, and who listens to me, I will hand over my money. Happily.



The writer is a communication consultant at the University of Southern California.

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