Mr. Modem
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Dear Computer Manufacturer,

This has been a long time in coming, but we need to talk. There is no easy way to say this, but I think it would be best if we see other people. Itís not you, itís me. I didnít mean for this to happen, but it just did. I know you mean well, but gosh, how many times have I implored you not to load up my new system with lots of software that Iíll never use? You tell me that my call is very important to you, but your actions tell me that you donít care and donít respect me. With each new system comes even more crapware and it all makes me feel so cheap. Iíve begged you, ďPlease, no more AOL,Ē but you ignore me. Then, when I was most vulnerable, you thrust Microsoft Works upon me. Does your cruelty know no bounds?

You probably think of me as just another overwrought, ditzy user, but I have feelings, too. Itís my computer, so it should be my decision what programs are installed. Iím not trying to hurt you; I just want to limit my exposure to perpetual nag screens, phantom registrations, pop-up ads, spam, potential conflicts, and a startup folder that launches everything but the Space Shuttle when I boot up.

Iíll always remember the good times we shared, and itís in that spirit that I offer this suggestion: Rather than force-feeding programs to every purchaser, why not offer a list of applications you usually install, and let the purchaser check off the ones that he or she wants installed? I know itís a novel concept, but given a chance, I think freedom of choice could catch on.

When I called to break this news to you, you asked if I was seeing somebody else. I was hoping you wouldnít ask, but the answer is yes. Iím seeing a local computer builder in my hometown. He makes me happy in ways that you could not. Because he depends on his local reputation, he is very responsive to my needs, his pricing is competitive, and his friendly, helpful service is always close at hand. He makes me feel special, and in turn, I feel good about supporting a local merchant and keeping my hard-earned dollars right here in my community.

Itís not that I didnít enjoy calling your 800 number when we were together, because I really did. To tell you the truth, I became quite fond of the refreshing naps I was able to take while waiting on hold for your technical support people. Please say goodbye to my friends ďJasonĒ and ďHeatherĒ in Bangalore. I couldnít understand them most of the time, but they were nice people. And tell them that I appreciated their consistency, for no matter what problem I was experiencing, their sage advice was always the same, ďYouíll need to reformat your hard drive.Ē Good times, indeed.

Farewell, old friend; Iíll think of you oftenÖ but not for long.

Warm regards,

Mr. Modem

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