The Rise of the Billionaires Leaves the Middle Class Stranded


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Saturday, March 26, 2011


I used to know everything about computers. Of course, that was when high tech required floppy disks and your back up was a pencil and a yellow legal pad. So when my computer became conflicted pondering the morality of down loading my E-mail files, I was as lost as a yacht with engine trouble off the coast of Somalia. Everywhere I looked were “experts” flying the Jolly Roger, who offered to save my floundering vessel in exchange for a share of my cargo. I paid their price more than once, invested in the new programs they suggested, struggled with the new manuals they led me to, and the end was always the same, on the telephone arguing over service verses payment. Once I even cancelled a check just to get some attention.

In desperation I searched the internet for a friendly logo, somebody who followed a different business model. And it was there that I stumbled across a news story in the local paper about a local company that was rebuilding computers for school kids. The name was CBL Computers and Repair out of Lafayette, Indiana, and I sent them an E-mail begging for help. And out of the mists of future tech came Craig Martin and his magical fingers. And his brain, which worked very different than my own.


I didn't want my computer to make me breakfast. I didn't need it to anticipate my moods. I did not expect it to win Dancing With the Stars. But if I had, Craig could probably have coaxed that out of my machine. He arrived with a smile and a quiet self assurance. He joked with me and exhibited an impressive desk side manner. And he tolerated my constant talking in his ear while he remained more interested in my hard drive than my hard drive-luck story. Craig's been doing this for almost ten years, and he's heard all these sad somebody-done-somebody-wrong songs before. Amazingly he's a little too short to be Superman. But he does a really good impersonation of the man of steel. I guess you could call Craig the man of silicone, ecept that sounds a little weird.


I do not twitter, I do not tweet. I burp occasionally. And when Craig saw my internal porch light flicker, he stopped trying to explain what he was doing to my machine. I learned I did not need to know how my machine does what it dose, any more than I need to know the compression ratio of my car's engine is. Press excellerator, car goes. Turn on monitor, computer goes. And watching Craig's fingers fly accrross my keyboard, I was reminded of the way a Hollywood script doctor can turn an eighteen year old teenage girl into a ten foot blood sucking vampire lobster-man without losing the underlying story line of hope and remption. That is my field of expertise.


I saw graphics flash across my monitor I had no idea were hiding inside my mystery box. I saw diagnostic displays that made the stuff on Star Trek look like a children's art show. It all appeared and disappeared with such rapidity that had Craig not ceased explaining them to me, it is likely my head would have exploded.


I was glad to write Craig a check. I felt I had gotten more than I had paid for. And knowing that part of my money would go to supply computers for kids, made me feel that I was playing a small part in passing forward the future to the kids of working familes. The future does not belong to techno-drwarfs like me. It belongs to those kids, who will probably use their technology to make me as obsolete as my copy of “Foretran for Dummies”.

So I urge you to give DBL a call, at 765-490-2978, or e-mail them at .
I assure you, you will not be sorry.

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