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Black box appears in Denver; no identifying marks

My new computer was finally delivered a bit after 5 pm today.

First surprise: two women working the delivery. One with the sign-here tablet, the other hauling the 70-lb box to the porch. I know, it’s not PC for me to notice there were women working the delivery, but I did. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered female delivery persons when a heavy shipment is involved. Impressive. (Is it sexism when a woman says that?)

The Alien

Actually, what really caught my attention was the box. Yep, the cardboard box. What a fine example of brand name merchandising. The box is solid black. No labels or marking beyond the shipping label itself, except for a small strip of tape at each end, marked with that distinct black-and-yellow diagonal stripe pattern that usually means “Caution” or “Warning” — each said “heavy.” Oh, and the packing tape down the middle that sealed the box is solid black. The source of this marketing expertise: Alienware.

The company is owned by Dell and makes gaming machines. Their line of desktop systems is designated Area-51, their logo is an alien head, the website is predominantly black. The computer cases themselves are vaguely reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica’s cylons. My marketing instructors would have given Alienware an A.

No, this old lady hasn’t completely lost her marbles (if I had, would I know it?). I didn’t set out to buy a computer that any teenage gamer would kill for (although the launch of Warhammer Online next week was definitely relevant).  My last three computers have been Dells, and I was ready to buy from them again. However, this time their options didn’t include some of the components I wanted, and I found them at Alienware. I’m guessing Dell has passed off some of its high-end items to Alienware. Anyway, I have this theory that a good gaming machine, by default, is going to be capable of handling almost anything else you might want from it. True or not, it’s a great rationale, so don’t go shooting it down now.

I’m not looking forward to the impending set-up operation. Crawl around under the desk, disconnect all those cables, pull the old computer out, get the new one into place, reconnect all the cables, install, reinstall, troubleshoot, etc. All this in a tight little space with bad lighting. I don’t do “on my knees” very well anymore (should I rephrase that?), and just thinking about all this is making me tired.

[continues with Grandma vs. the Alien: Chapter 1]

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