Sunday, May 27, 2012

Electronic Market in Yongsan

Yongsan Electronic Market - source
Seoul has a fabulous electronic market in Yongsan. Just about anything a person wants in the line of electronics is there - computers, electronic dictionaries, fans, rice cookers and other kitchen equipment, audio equipment, GPSs - yep, you name it! I've been there a few times in the past - once to buy an electronic dictionary, another time to buy a region-free DVD player, and then five years ago to get a HP Pavillion computer with built-in panel for operating my music. Well, that computer in the last few months has been giving me troubles with the video player, and most recently when I try to watch video clips from YouTube or elsewhere, I only get to watch the first couple minutes before my low-visual memory warning comes on, and then KER-PUEY, the YouTube connection is broken. Next month I have an online class that requires watching long online videos, and there's just no way my unhappy Pavillion is going to perform ... so off I trotted to the Yongsan Electronic Market to see what they had.

An Acer! I had one years ago and loved it! This looks like everything I need ... but had to look around more.

Another Pavillion ... pretty much everything I want too.

Really sweet gaming computer - awesome sound, built-in keyboard for operating music ... but lousy button arrangement (with on/off button next to delete, and I just know I would constantly be turning off the computer by accident).
I ended up walking out of there with a HP Probook - the sound is pretty good, the keyboard is nicely laid out for touch type, and it had the features my IT Manager older brother suggested I get. Also it's fast and falls kind of under the category of a gaming computer, which I don't waste my time on, but good anyway, because I want speed! The only thing the Probook didn't have that bro suggested because I don't upgrade often was a core i9. I didn't see a single computer in the whole market that was core i9, so I asked, and all I got were puzzled expressions. No one in that high-tech place had yet seen or heard of the i9. Well, that said, I only asked 3 salesmen. The core i7 is the current top computer there in the market.

Some interesting facts I gleaned from the salesman I purchased from was that of course big computer sales are seasonal and the month leading up to Korea's two biggest holidays - Chuseok and Seolnal - sales are usually between 200 and 250 computers sold a month. Otherwise, his particular computer kiosk might only sell 100 - 150 a month. It was nearing the end of a Sunday when I made my purchase, and another man was finishing his purchase of a hot little computer with a pink keyboard (he was buying it for his girlfriend!). Anyway, I was the third (and last) buyer from the salesman for that day, and the kiosk was holding some kind of event. For the first three people who made purchases from that stall, there were unannounced prizes. [I still scratch my head on unannounced events. How do they up future sales when people buy computers so few and far between and returning to the same stall is unlikely as people buy products based on what suits their current interests/needs? But anyway, holding "events" is very popular in Korea.] My prize as third purchaser was a DVD drive dry disk cleaner set. Absolutely useful!

The guy was really friendly and helpful. He's worked for 8 years in that kiosk, loves his work and loves meeting and talking with people. Though with less English ability, he was more communicative than many other salesmen I saw and offered a lot of free tips on choosing a computer to meet my specific needs, and even though he had more expensive models, he even recommended a cheaper model than the one I purchased as being the one to satisfactorily be very suitable for me. I opted against that computer because I'll be using the computer for a lot of online videos and want speed in downloading ... this is probably a reaction from my tired HP Pavillion but still, I want a computer that's snappy. I upgraded the computer to a 8 GB, and he installed the programs to my specification, told me about HPs programmable keys so I could still have my music operating options at a touch, and on the Probook even loaded a generic anti-virus program that he says is much better than McAfee, which he said over and over is "Trash". I'll test the generic program out. He showed me the type of pages to avoid that smelled of virus (very helpful tip) and then wished me well.

Big smile! I think I got myself a snappy computer ... so bring on the online video course!

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