sumo, ergo bloggum (delta)

October 4, 2006

Oh, No! Not ‘Best Buy,’ Too!

Filed under: Blogging,Opinions,Rants,Technology — Rob @ 11:03 pm

I recently wrote a short post about my very negative experience with Dell technical support and at the end of the post recommended that current potential computer buyers forego the extended warranty and just call in the Geek Squad if and when necessary.

And then this evening, while perusing some Lifehacker.com posts, I stumbled across this:

http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/best-buy/welcome-to-best-buy-how-can-we-steal-your-computer-today-205101.php

So be very, very careful out there and above all, back-up your data!  Sheesh!

September 27, 2006

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)

August 30, 2006

People who put the “ass” in “class”

Filed under: Rants — Rob @ 2:22 pm

It’s bad enough that many dog owners don’t pick-up after their pets.  But it seems I have a neighbor who bags his (a woman wouldn’t do this) dog’s shit, in a rather haphazard way I might add, and drops the bag in my trash can on days I’ve placed it at the curb for pick-up.  Not only is this lazy and irresponsible, it’s disrespectful to the trash collector who has to reach his hand into my trash can to extract bags of legitimate trash.  He doesn’t need or deserve to be fishing his hand around in some dog’s poorly bagged shit.  And I don’t need to have him thinking I’m the one who booby-trapped him. 

So if you’re the perp and  if I ever catch you in the act, I’m going to make you clean the inside of my trash can with your tongue!

July 26, 2006

Abortion and Miners

Filed under: Culture,Humor,Opinions,Random Thoughts,Rants,Religion — Rob @ 2:03 pm

If you’ve listened to the news lately, you’re sure to have heard about the recent debate and vote in the Senate about making it illegal to help miners cross state lines to get abortions without parental notification or consent.

I find this extremely disturbing for several reasons.

First, from among the thousand (or so) occupational classifications in this country, why single-out people who help miners?  Why can’t they provide assistance with crossing state lines for this purpose without notifying the miners’ parents.  Can they help them cross state lines to give birth without parental consent?  Can they help them cross state lines to murder an adult without first obtaining parental consent?  Heck, most of these miners are probably of legal age anyway and most are probably male on top of that — so what kind of “help” are we talking about?  Cab fare?  So why pick on the few female miners under 21 who happen to get preggers and then decide to have an abortion in another state?  And what if such a miner lives 200 yards from a state line and the nearest medical facility is just down the street in an adjacent state?  We’re talking about only three or four people a year here, folks.

Second, don’t most miners (and presumably, prospective helpers) live and work in West Virginia?  So why make a law that disproportionately affects the residents of just one state?  It just doesn’t seem fair.  They send us their beautiful mountain tops in the form of coal so that we can continue to live our nice, cushy lifestyles and this is the thanks they get?

Third, what’s a state line anyway.  Has anyone ever actually seen one?  Is it like a voting district line in Texas — you know, the kind that can be changed willy-nilly if you have enough friends with enough money and your political party is in power?  I’d be hard-pressed to know whether or not someone has crossed a state line that 1) is theoretically changeable and 2) by all accounts, invisible.  So who’s qualified to enforce such a law?  And who could possibly witness its violation?

Last, I wish politicians in general, and our wonderful holier-than-thou Congressmen in particular, would find something better to do with their time than to meddle in the personal lives of honest, hard-working American citizens, especially those in West-by-God-Virgina.  Sheesh!  You’d think they’d be more concerned with the violation of child labor (npi) laws.  I’m sure the miners there (and, again, their prospective helpers) can dig that!

Disclaimer: I am not a miner, a prospective helper, or a West Virginian.

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