sumo, ergo bloggum (delta)

September 27, 2006

Technorati

Filed under: Blogging,Technology — Rob @ 1:59 pm

Hey, I just registered this blog with Technorati. So now what? Something about badges? Or RSS feeds? 

Dell “Support” Sucks!

Filed under: Opinions,Rants,Technology — Rob @ 1:08 am

I’m just a little pissed at Dell. I have a two-year old Dimension 8300 and have lost the use of 6 of 8 USB ports — 2 in the front and 4 in the rear. They just died one day. Only my keyboard is operating on the remaining good port. If I hadn’t been able to borrow an old PS2 mouse from work, I’d be up the proverbial creek.

This happened back in early June and things still aren’t fixed. I got the extended warranty (thinking it meant something) and still have 2 years of coverage but am just not able to get results from Dell’s technical people. I’ve had 3 chat sessions with them, after each of which I had to perform some procedures that they outlined for me. They wanted me to print their instructions but, yes, you guess it, my printer’s not working either. Of course, to perform the procedures, which I copied in longhand from each emailed chat session log, I had to logoff and break my connection with tech support. Needless to say, all the tests I ran (which I think I ran correctly — no one to check with since I had to logoff, duh!) showed everything to be working properly and none of the procedures restored the ports.

My last attempt was via a phone call. I got some guy I could barely understand. I know he was speaking English and doing his best but his accent was so thick I just couldn’t get past it to the content he was trying to impart. It was maddening! I gathered that he wanted to walk me through reformatting my hard drive and then reinstall my OS and other software but that was/is just overwhelming to me. The prospect of reinstalling two year’s worth of security patches, etc., is incredibly off-putting. And everything would have to be backed-up onto CDs or DVDs and that whole Roxio formatting thing just makes me nuts.

So clearly, part of the problem is me. I just haven’t got the heart or stomach or liver for going over all the hurdles that it’s going to take — especially when there’s no guarantee that doing so will produce the desired result. In addition to lack-of-requisite-vital-organs, I haven’t got the time for this either. I have all I can do to just use a computer. I never signed on to be a repair guy.

I wish they’d just send out somebody to troubleshoot and fix the damn thing. Or at least install a menu on the phone support number that allows me to select a native English speaker. Or had a warranty policy that stated, for example: if our suggestions for you to fix the problem yourself are beyond your tolerance or ability, we will come out and fix the problem (because we don’t want you to think you paid good money for a worthless warranty).

I’m going to take a day off work in early October to give this one more go — and after that, I don’t know what…. My brother swears by Apple — has a laptop (MacBook Pro ?) he loves. Maybe that’s where I’ll end up.  Or maybe I’ll just crack my case and install a board with USB ports.  I think Best Buy sells them pretty inexpensively.

A bit of irony: I work for the government and do a bit of procurement. Not just the buying but the actual selection and justification for purchasing. In the past six months I’ve purchased over $25,000 worth of Dell computer products. Unfortunately, I can’t use the tech guys at work to repair my personal equipment (possible ethics violation). But it sure is tempting. 😉 

In the meantime, my recommendation to new buyers is: don’t get the extended warranty. Save your money and then, if necessary, call the Geek Squad to fix any problems that may arise.  Or maybe just go with an Apple. (See 10/4/06 post)

September 19, 2006

Prosser — 1st CD now available

Filed under: Culture,Miscellaneous,Music,Opinions — Rob @ 10:10 pm

If you like guitar and cello music, go to the Prosser link on my blogroll and check-out Eric’s and Dylan’s first official Prosser CD.  It will be released in stores about mid-October but you can buy it now through their website via Clickpop.

And if you live in the Seattle area, you can see them perform at some of the local venues there.

September 12, 2006

Benchmade vs. Emerson Folding Knives

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Tools — Rob @ 5:56 pm

I just got a Benchmade 551SBK Griptilian knife (Mel Pardue design) with a 3-3/8″ black BK1 coated 154CM stainless steel ComboEdge blade with thumb studs, 4-5/8″ black Zytel handle, super smooth and strong “Axis” lock, and black stainless steel reversible pocket clip (right or left hand, tip up carry).  It’s a very impressive piece of work — opens with just a flick of the wrist.

But I have to admit I was (still am, in fact) considering getting an Emerson Commander (or Mini-Commander) with the “Wave” feature.  Aside from design/style, I think the only differences may be blade thickness and length, locking mechanism, handle material and cost.  I really like the deep finger notch on the underside of the handle.

Am wondering if anyone can offer any insight about which knife might hold up better through so-called “hard use” and why the Emerson’s are a bit more expensive. 

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