The lightweight makes a game out of trying to trip up techs, salespeople, and any other peons who make their living trying to keep them happy.  This can get them reasonable satisfaction when they’re trying to return a sweater or shake down a crooked mechanic, but it falls flat when they try it on someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Case in point:  Remember back when Intel started branding its Pentium-M chipset as “Centrino”, and kicked off what eventually became the ‘light and thin’ trend for laptops?  Prior to that, a “portable” computer had a realistic range of about two hours from an electrical outlet, if you were lucky.

So, the lightweight asks me “So what’s this ‘Centrino’ thing?”, implying that I have no idea, even though I’m paid to answer questions exactly like that all day, every day.

“”Centrino’ is a standard that uses a mobile processor to achieve lighter weight and better battery life.”  Please note that it made sense to omit unnecessary details when answering questions like this.  This is not the answer I would have given a fellow tech.

“WHAT?  Gimme a break!  What’s the processor got to do with the battery life?”  He must have been restraining himself from adding “Gotcha!”

I subtly slow down my speech, until I’m talking at a pace usually reserved for talking to Big Bird.  “A lower-voltage processor uses less electricity.”


“Using less electricity, will use less battery power.”

“That makes sense, I guess…”

“Using less battery power, will generate less heat.”


“Generating less heat will require less fan power.”


“Using less fan power also consumes less electricity.”


“And using less electricity will ultimately make the battery last longer.”

“Please… stop…”

2 thoughts on “Lightweight

  1. Sometimes you just can’t dumb it down enough. At one of my previous jobs, I had the responsibility of writing work/assembly instructions and my boss told me to write them as if a trained monkey was going to be performing the work. I thought this was a bit insulting, until I saw some the questions that came back regarding said instructions. Apparently, I was thinking too highly of these monkeys.

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