Thursday, January 1, 2004

Are you being technopatronized?


By David Gewirtz

I'm traveling this week, with dubious access to a network connection. So rather than running a review or even the details of all the gear I'm taking (two PDAs, a Tablet PC, a digital SLR camera, and a GPS, along with half a suitcase filled with cables and chargers), I thought I'd run some interesting comments from Denise Watkins, one of our authors.

On January 19th, we ran this story on the news page:

Women buy more tech: A study by the Consumer Electronics Association says that women are bigger tech consumers than men. Electronics stores aren't too quick to catch on and women aren't at all happy.

You can read the full article at

Denise says:

I just saw the news item and had to laugh. Last week when I went to Staples to buy a 256MB SD card, I didn't see the one on sale and asked the salesperson (young guy about 20 or so). He said to me, "Are you sure that's what you need?"
I said, "Excuse me?"
He said, "Well, a lot of women come in and don't know what kind of card they want -- they just know they need memory."
My 18 year old daughter mumbled under her breath to my 20 year old daughter, "Oh god, this could get ugly".
I then went into high patronizing mode and and said, "Son, I carry two handhelds on two platforms and teach people how to use them, not too mention I am a contributing author to a handheld magazine. I pretty much know the difference between expansion media and since everyone in my household has at least one type of device that takes some sort of expansion media, yes I'm sure."
Sales people do talk to my husband in the computer store and he says to them, "Look I just buy what my expert tells me I need," meaning me, of course.

Denise suggests this is a good opportunity for a contest. She'd like you women out there to write in with the most outrageous accounts of being technopatronized.

As long as you remember I'm one of the good guys, send your stories in to me at We'll pull in parts of the more unusual accounts and, if possible, turn the most off-the-wall story into a full article with your name on the byline.

Now, let's see if I can get this thing uploaded. When I get back from the show I'm at, I'll tell you all about the gear I'm carrying, and the pros and cons of traveling with a ton of tech.