I was greeted by a store colleague and explained that I was looking for a video editing package and asked what her recommendations were? She told me that she didn't stock any video editing software and that I ought to go to PC World for either Roxio or Ulead.
With no software in stock, she added it was important to ensure that I had a: "top of the range PC as specifications are very important with video editing." She asked if money was going to be an obstruction. I told her that it wasn't as long as I got a machine that met my needs.
She offered one laptop – a HP DV2750 laptop priced £799. Its specification included a 250GB hard drive, 14.1-inch monitor, Windows Vista, Intel Core2Duo Processor, 2GB RAM, remote control, webcam, an Nvidia GeForce 8400 Graphics card, 5-in-1 Memory card reader and Bluetooth connectivity.
She was trying to sell me something that I could not see due to the product not being on display. Of the stores visited so far, at no point did any of the sales people indicate that I could use Vista's Movie Maker whilst showing me hardware that they had for sale.
Both Currys stores I visited didn't stock a wide range of software packages which left me wondering what I would be thinking if I was an actual customer.
I approached a member of staff and told him what I was looking for. He smiled and asked me which type of camera I had. I explained that I had a miniDV camcorder. 'OK – well it will be difficult to edit as the format of these are AVI and you cannot edit, you will need a DVD encryption.' This was a bit too 'jargon' for me.
Anyhow, I pursued the enquiry. There was no software recommendation so I asked him about hardware.
He took me to the HP Slimline S3350 Desktop PC priced for a 19-inch monitor. With no software editing package, I asked him to explain Microsoft MovieMaker included in Windows.
He launched the program and explained how it could be utilised to edit video. I found this helpful, but would have preferred to see some other software titles.
Before leaving, I noticed there was an Adobe editing software on the shelf, putting a dampner on what had otherwise been a fairly informative demonstration.
After about ten minutes I was approached by a saleswoman, who clearly wasn't the 'best person to speak to' referring me quickly onto a colleague.
He asked what I was looking for and I quickly explained that I was looking for a way to transfer my video to PC then edit it. He told me to buy a Belkin Firewire four-to-six pin cable priced £14.99 to transfer data.
He asked how much l wanted to spend on a PC. I didn't give him a price, allowing him to have a free reign on his recommendations. He went straight for the Sony VGN-FZ31M.CEK laptop priced £799.99. This had a 15.4-inch monitor, Intel Core2Duo processor, 200GB hard drive, Windows Vista, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M and Blu-Ray.
He opened up Windows Movie Maker reminding me that the laptop also had VAIO Video and Photosuite. He told me that whatever software l wanted to put on it, the laptop would be fast enough. Whilst there were no other recommendations the knowledge gained was very good.