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Morning and evening; the fourth day - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Morning and evening; the fourth day [Jun. 4th, 2010|11:51 am]
Zoethe
Still off artificial sweeteners, despite a number of challenges to my conviction. Challenges as in, my 6-month-old computer was diagnosed as writhing in its death throes. The hard drive was failing, it could no longer recognize the power adapter and wasn't charging, which meant that the motherboard had to be replaced as well since the internal power adapter is an integral part of the board.

This will probably be the last Dell I'll ever purchase. Between the problems Ferrett's had with his and the short lifespan on the components on this one, let's just say that they aren't exactly filling me with confidence.

(And before the Mac people get all braggy, just let me point out that I have business software that is not Mac compatible, so it's not an option.)

I will say that their customer service was excellent. I called support on Wednesday afternoon and once they had determined that parts needed replacing and that it was still under warranty, they offered me a warranty upgrade to onsite service. They said that the parts would go out on Thursday and I would probably get a call about the onsite visit at the beginning of next week. Instead, the repairman was here by 9:15 yesterday morning.

(Which makes me speculate that perhaps parts didn't need shipping out but instead are stacked up like cordwood in his shop. But anyway....)

By the time I got back from court, my computer was waiting to be set up, free of all data and software save for Windows 7. And I do mean ALL - the programs that came preloaded on this computer had to be reloaded. Followed by my own software. And then data.

The one good thing about the slow death of this computer is that I was able to back up pretty much everything (though I forgot to back up my bookmarks, which is highly irritating). So other than being extremely time consuming to reload bit of software and then upload all my data, it actually turned out to be quite beneficial, because a lot of the background junk that Dell had generously loaded for me is no longer on this computer, including that extremely irritating and useless pulldown bar that continually gets in the way. (Windows 7 users will know what I'm talking about.)

So Wednesday was "oh, god, back everything up and hope it all works because there isn't going to be a second chance" and Thursday was "download/upgrade, download/upgrade." And despite the stress involved I was less grumpy and less craving and didn't even think about going back to my favorite tea drink because I couldn't take it.

I am still waking up in the morning with my mouth anticipating that taste and having to resign myself to not getting it, but things are definitely improving.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2010-06-04 03:59 pm (UTC)
My two and a half year old Toshiba Satellite is also in it's death throes. I'm hoping the suped up Gateway my uncle is bringing over for me (because laptops cost twice as much here as in America and have different keyboards)last a while.

That said, it will be nice to upgrade from a computer with 1 gig of RAM and Vista to one with 4 gigs of RAM and Windows 7.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-04 04:07 pm (UTC)
2.5 years is still a short lifespan, AKAIC. I only retired my 4.5-year-old Compaq because it was too slow to run my business software, but after 2 years of huge temperature swings, being rattled down a mile of sidewalk day after day for two years of law school, and generally rough handling it's still completely functional even if very slow. Now that I know I have all the data off of it I should probably reformat it and find it a new home.
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2010-06-04 04:12 pm (UTC)
My laptop was a year old in April and while one of the USB ports is shorted out (and it's out of warranty and there's plenty of other USB ports so I haven't worried) it's been pretty much a brick for me. Of course, I don't travel with it often. Dave's Dell that gets dragged to work on a daily basis has been serviced half a dozen times, if not more.

I do think when we're ready to replace his (which I think will probably happen the moment something breaks when there's no warranty on it, given its history) we're going to definitely have to research laptops specifically made for being lugged around and abused.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-04 04:21 pm (UTC)
It's crazy to pay this much money for something that is basically regarded as disposable. I wish companies would concentrate on making sturdy and reliable machines that easily accept component upgrades. Hating on the disposable society.
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[User Picture]From: trillian42
2010-06-04 04:16 pm (UTC)
It's bizzare -- I've never had a single problem with a business class Dell. The "home user" ones do seem to be crappier, but the only way I've lost a business class one is by dropping half a cup of coffee in it, and then thinking I'd dried it all up when I hadn't. And yet I've heard SO MANY horror stories about them.

Good on them for the stellar customer service, at least.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-04 04:25 pm (UTC)
If Ferrett's hadn't had the same problems (failing hard drive, on his third power cord), I would not be as skeptical. But the service was, indeed, excellent.
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From: jennb45
2010-06-04 04:25 pm (UTC)
My Compaq is now 4 years old. And its never given me a day of trouble. My office Dell has had two motherboards in two years.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-04 04:26 pm (UTC)
I was sucked in by the ability to get this in purple. Otherwise I probably would have stayed with a Compaq.
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[User Picture]From: edge_ofthe_sea
2010-06-04 04:52 pm (UTC)
I had a ton of issues with my Dells as well and my mom's office almost exclusively had them, which majorly sucked when they all decided to start crapping out at the same time.

I have an HP; it's 2 years old and still running strong, despite my abuse of it. But it's a desktop and I don't know how good their laptops are.

My dad had a Toshiba (Satellite? It'd be an early version if it was) laptop and the damn thing lasted him around 5 years...it was slow towards the end, obviously, but he was a traveling salesman, so it got bounced around on a regular basis, probably dealt with some heat issues, and other such things. Megan has a Toshiba laptop that she got 6 years ago...also pretty slow these days, but our trucker friend is currently using it while on the road.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-05 12:10 am (UTC)
Alas, technology keeps outstripping the abilities of our machines.
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[User Picture]From: theinfamousmom
2010-06-04 05:04 pm (UTC)
If you use Firefox, install the Xmarks plugin and you'll never need to back up your bookmarks again.

I build my own computers, so nobody gets called for service but me. Thank goodness I haven't had to call myself in years. :)
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[User Picture]From: kudilu
2010-06-04 08:23 pm (UTC)
omg, this makes me ridiculously happy. thank you!
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[User Picture]From: dylia
2010-06-04 05:30 pm (UTC)
"(And before the Mac people get all braggy, just let me point out that I have business software that is not Mac compatible, so it's not an option.)
"


That's what BootCamp & Parallels are for, dearie. My mac can run Windows programs, no problem.
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[User Picture]From: weds
2010-06-04 06:17 pm (UTC)
This. Eric uses Boot Camp for games, but Parallels is sufficient for anything that doesn't require happy DirectX fun.
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[User Picture]From: indelikatt
2010-06-04 05:36 pm (UTC)
Eugh. I hate dells. Yeah, I'm a Mac person, but i understand the need for a windows machine. But Dells are pieces of crap. I always have to go fix them for my friends because of how often they break.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-05 12:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's my last one for certain.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-06-04 06:04 pm (UTC)
I don't know much about laptops, but regarding the anticipating the taste part, I know for me it takes a good couple of weeks to get over that sort of thing. It also helps a lot if I'm substituting a new habit rather than just avoiding an old one.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-05 12:34 am (UTC)
That definitely helps, I've noticed.
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[User Picture]From: teaa
2010-06-04 06:59 pm (UTC)
Whenever you use that icon I see my name instead of "tea" and giggle at the idea that I am what is needed after all major disasters. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-05 12:36 am (UTC)
You definitely are!
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2010-06-04 07:48 pm (UTC)
I'm okay with Dell desktops, but their laptops seem to run hot and burn out fast. At work the estimated lifespan is two years, before which you are not allowed to replace it, unless there is an accident. Mine, of course, died two months before that. Complete sudden hard drive failure and wouldn't even boot off CD.

Lenovo Thinkpads impress me. My three year old is still running strong and has good battery lifespan, despite daily use.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-05 12:40 am (UTC)
I expect I will be on the market in another two years.
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[User Picture]From: bunny42
2010-06-04 09:03 pm (UTC)
My Dell Inspiron laptop is almost five years old, had never had a problem (except it weighs a ton!)until recently, when it slooooowed down so badly and gave me so many javascript errors I was ready to toss it off a cliff. I tried everything I could think of, including dumping the cache, even re-installing Windows. No improvement. However. While searching around on the bottom, looking for hard drive stats, etc. I noticed that the air vents were pretty much completely blocked with dust and crud. I figured I'd clean them out while I was down there.

Would you believe, my laptop is now lightning fast again? And I haven't had a java error since. It seems Windows has a built in feature that throttles back the CPU if it is overheating. Who knew? What a great feature. Yay, Bill! But I'm particularly impressed that the hardware didn't just crap out entirely. Everything seems to be working like new. We're running two Dell PCs and a laptop, both new and refurbished, and they have been flawless. (So far... *knock, knock, knock*) And I second the comments about customer service. Excellent.

Anecdotal, FWIW.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-05 12:43 am (UTC)
That's really interesting. I should go check the condition of my old laptop and see if I can boost its speed!
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[User Picture]From: fitfool
2010-06-07 03:16 pm (UTC)
Such a comfort to get the chance to back everything up first!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-07 04:19 pm (UTC)
I know - as much as a pain in the butt as it was, losing that business information would be a billion times worse. I have been reasonably good about backing up, but from now on EVERY FRIDAY.
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[User Picture]From: bart_calendar
2010-06-12 12:44 pm (UTC)
It's finally iced tea weather here so I bought some of the Lipton Peach Flavored Ice Tea syrup they sell here.

(It's an effort for Lipton to be green. They condense the tea into a syrup. When you want iced tea your pour a small amount of the syrup into a glass filled with ice, add water and you suddenly have iced tea. The point being that in one metal bottle of this stuff you end up with as much iced tea as you would from 8 plastic two litter bottles of it in a non condensed format.)

Thinking of you I looked at the label and the ingredients are listed as "sugar, black tea, peach juice" and then something with roughly 97 letters that is clearly a preservative.

No artificial sweetener listed. Not sure if this product is available in America but it might be worth looking for it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-06-15 12:01 am (UTC)
Not that I've seen. Interesting. But I'm sort of getting used to water and thinking that it's a better plan.
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[User Picture]From: denyer
2010-07-19 06:03 pm (UTC)
I've had alright luck with Dell business hardware (my desktop's taken about three years of abuse so far, and our departmental laptops have also proven to be quite robust), but their home service left a lot to be desired.

For durable hardware, Thinkpads are still a good choice for laptops and reasonably priced on the used market. If you like Mac hardware aside from software requirements, you could run Windows on it -- but it's a pretty steep premium to pay for a system. And be a bit wary of Mac laptops as many models have had problems with overheating.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-07-19 06:23 pm (UTC)
Good advice, thanks!
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