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"How can you be so obtuse?"

    Anyone who has seen The Shawshank Redemption, knows where that line came from. In the same way that Tim Robbin's character was literally flabberghasted by the seeming stupidity of the warden, we too are often, similarly amazed by the stupidity around us.

   A few other memorable lines are "You must be stupid, stupid, stupid!" Have you ever wanted to say that to someone but didn't out of a sense of common decency. Well, some people really need that said to them to get the point through their thick heads. That particular gem is from a movie - the title I can't remember - in which Matt Damon, played a lawyer battling a big insurance company that refused treatment to a boy dying of cancer.

    Although Dr. Phil. doesn't really say anything profound, but just regurgitates a great deal of common sense that most people seem to lack, he does come up with some good lines occasionally. One of his best was, "You couldn't be any dumber if we cut your head off!" Straight to the point, and oh, how true. That one was directed at a girl who had been having an affair with a married man for a number of years and she believed him when he repeatedly told her, "I will divorce my wife, I just need to find the right time". Get the guillotine!

    Now let's get down to business! Since the world is so full of complete idiots, it is about time we shed some light on the worst offenders. Let's start with companies, shall we?

Compaq computers

    Though we initially were impressed with the wide-screen Dell computer, they - in a classic example of fuck-wittery - did not offer international warranties. So when Compaq released its 1000 series, also with a wide-screen and more better made than the Dell, we were sure we had found our device. After all, Compaq is now part of HP, and HP offers international warranties across the board on their notebooks. Well we researched the computer, found it was exactly what we needed and just to make sure, shot off an email to Compaq to ensure there were indeed international warranties available. To our shock, and disbelief, Compaq, an international company, did not offer international warranties on its notebooks - devices that are designed to be carried around so people can work on the road. Just like the Dell notebook we had tried to purchase earlier, the expected us to ship a defective notebook halfway around the word for repair, rather than walk it down the street to the Compaq notebook repair center here in Korea. How can they be so obtuse?

    It should be noted, that the same Compaq notebook was released in Korea, and it includes an international warranty. What the hell kind of crap is this? Does that imply that Korean notebook users travel with their notebooks but US notebook users do not? Or does it show that the management of Compaq Korea, is several hundred times more enlightened than Compaq US?

    At this point, it looks like HP is the only company with the common sense to offer international warranties on devices that are designed to be carried around. And we have decided to wait until HP makes a wide-screen notebook to purchase new notebooks for our staff.

Dell computers

    Upon the release of Dell's new wide-screen notebook, we took notice and planned to equip our staff with them. As an international purchasing concern, we tend to travel quite a bit, and most of us, have two residences - one in the US, and one in Korea. Since notebooks are, after all, designed for traveling, we naturally assumed they would be covered with an international warranty. Unfortunately, that is not the case. According to Dell customer service, should a failure occur in the US, we would have to send the notebook to the Dell repair center since there is no center near our offices, and wait for it to be repaired and sent back. And should a failure occur while we are in Korea, we would be required to send the defective notebook to the US (for an exorbitant cost), wait for a long time for the international shipping, and then pray that after repair, and international shipping back (at our cost since Dell doesn't support notebooks overseas) it doesn't get damaged even further during its halfway around the world trip, lest we have to repeat the whole process again. All the while, we would need an alternate notebook for business. And in spite of the fact that Dell has a notebook repair center literally a stone's throw away from our offices in Korea.

    To recap Dell's stupidity, rather than walk our broken Dell notebook down the street to the Dell notebook repair center, they want us to ship it to the other side of the planet at great cost to have it repaired. Needless to say, we did not, and will never purchase anything from Dell.