Beware of Circuit City and other Computer Dealers

I have plenty of experience working on computers. As a result, I gladly assist friends and relatives when they need help. One of my biggest frustrations is dealing with the lousy installations that come from manufacturers. They put on tons of software (garbage) that nobody uses. I don’t have the statistics but these apps significantly slowdown the machines. Most people won’t notice the loss of resources. The machines run fine when they first get them. After you install all your personal applications, wallpapers and backgrounds and then run the larger applications that are memory intensive, you already expect the machine to run slower. You never get the opportunity to run the applications in a pristine state so you don’t realize how nicely the machine can run. The biggest annoyance that the user may notice is on startup. The amount of time it takes to load the OS can double because of these garbage apps.

These garbage apps have several negatives. The consumption of valuable resources is significant but there is another side consequence. Because the vendors have contracts to load this junk, they purposely don’t provide you with the operating system media (CD’s). Instead, they want you to use the recovery disks if you have a problem. The recovery disks preserve all the garbage applications. They also offer few options for reconfiguration. Believe it or not, everyone doesn’t want to install the OS (i.e. Windows) the way the manufacturer does.

It is downright criminal to sell someone a copy of Microsoft Windows and not provide them the CD’s to install at a later date. Frankly, the situation is good for everyone but the consumer. Microsoft doesn’t have to worry about a CD that may get pirated and the manufacturer’s costs are less because they don’t have to provide the CD’s.

Some may think that uninstalling the applications is good enough. Consider this; I worked with a software product once that made over 3,000 changes to the Windows registry. The uninstall program for that product removed about 300 of those registry entries. As bad as that is, you can expect less from the garbage apps being installed by default.

When you purchase a computer, make sure you get the CD’s for all the applications you purchased. If they won’t give them to you; tell them take a hike. I called Circuit City about this issue and their recommendation was to buy a new copy of Windows. That’s right. Spend another $250 just to get the CD’s.

Like I say, it’s downright criminal.

School Vouchers

I believe in school vouchers. I believe in vouchers for the rich and poor. I believe in choice, competition and the free market. I believe school teachers and administrators are government employees. While many are good and hard working they suffer as employees of a huge, monolithic system.

Vouchers are good for everyone.

  • Children with specific interests
  • Children with special needs
  • The little boy getting picked on
  • The teenage girl who has an eating disorder
  • Parents who don’t want their kid reciting the pledge of allegiance
  • Parents who believe in prayer in school
  • Parents who can’t stand “Investigations Math”
  • Anyone who feels public schools are not serving their children
  • People who believe in school uniforms
  • People who love public schools and want smaller class sizes
  • Arguments against vouchers:

    Public money shouldn’t be used for religious schools

    I don’t hear arguments against pale grants going to students of Notre Dame, BYU, Pepperdine, TCU, Baylor, Duke or any of the other hundreds of religious colleges and universities.

    The Rich

    I’ve been debating vouchers on blogs for months. Those against vouchers always return to the rich vs. poor. The crux of the argument seems to be that people who want to put their children in public schools are rich snobs. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve only known four people with kids in private school. None of them were rich. I know one guy who makes decent money but he has 5 children in private school. He is paying $25,000 out of pocket a year. That’s just for tuition. That expenditure cuts extremely deep. That is after tax money. He does it because his children are #1 in his life. He worked with the system in two different districts and was dissatisfied.

    Accredited Schools

    Accreditation is important on a university level because you want your credits to transfer. But on the elementary level it means nothing! The same is true for junior high and high schools. There are hundreds of organizations that accredit public schools. They all have different standards and they are all run by teaching organizations.

    Accredited Teachers

    My local elementary school is loaded with student teachers, teacher’s assistance, volunteers, etc. I don’t hear the UEA squealing about that.


    The UEA complains about bureaucracy yet they want the money to go to the biggest bureaucracy in the state. They give an example of wasted money on vouchers–do they really want to get into a debate on wasted money in public schools?

    Vouchers Take Money from Public Schools

    Not true. They don’t take money from public schools anymore than building a new road. Voucher money is coming from the general fund. The problem is that UEA thinks the general fund should be the education fund.

    Competition is Not Necessary in Education

    Try an experiment. Some Saturday wake up, read the paper, pay your bills, going to the grocery store, eat out and perhaps finish the day with a movie. At the end of the day, write down all the goods and services you consumed and write down which one’s you which didn’t have competition. Send me your list.

    The Rich Do Pay Their Fair Share

    Dick Gephardt and many other liberals are constantly preaching that “the rich need to pay their fair share”. These statements that are designed to inflame class warfare are alive and well in Utah. Despite the fact that voucher dollars almost exclusively go to the poor and middle class, I frequently hear, “I don’t want to pay for some rich person to send their kid to private school.”

    Here is an old fact that I love to recycle on a regular basis:



    Even with all the tax breaks, looholes, shelters and off shore bank accounts; the rich do pay their fair share.