March 19th, 2001

Lord Yupa

Why?

Why do we feel compelled to do stupid things, despite knowing that they are stupid, and that we shouldn't be doing them?

Especially when it's little things, and we really know better.

Case in point: Last night, it hit around 11pm, and I thought to myself, I should go to bed. All I'm doing is screwing around with my Linux box, IRCing, and browsing random web pages. This is something I could do anytime, I don't have any need to be doing it now, and I should go to bed. Especially since I have to be up at 6:30am for work. In fact, that's exactly what went through my head.

At 2am, I went to bed.

Where is the sense in that? How do we manage to. . . I don't even know how to put it. I knew the whole time I was sitting there that I should go to bed. I readily acknowledged it, and easily admitted to myself that if I didn't go to bed soon, I'd be feeling like absolute crap today.

And I do.

Humans truly are such silly creatures.
  • Current Music
    Queensryche - London
Lord Yupa

Lunch.

Do I go out for lunch, or find some mangled monstrosity from the cafeteria here at work?
  • Current Music
    Black Sabbath - War Pigs
Lord Yupa

Copyright, or Copywrong?

I just found one of the best write-ups on what's wrong with our current copyright system. It also discusses some of the future problems that will occur if we're not careful.

The article is here.

If you have any interest at all in your rights, and how we're losing them, check this out.
  • Current Music
    Stabbing Westward
Lord Yupa

Impressive oddity.

I'm not entirely sure what to think of this. I was browsing Dell's support site, looking for any updated information on my laptop, when I came cross this recently released utility.

Now, I should explain. When Dell's laptops boot up, like many computers these days, they display a splash screen with Dell's name on it, instead of the "old fashioned" POST[1] information. (I've actually tried disabling it, as I like to see POST information, but I have yet to find a way to do this.)

Now, Dell has released a little utility that actually lets you set the initial splash screen to any 640x480x16 bitmap that you want. The image is saved into NVRAM, and loaded from then on. This is just nifty, and I'm gonna be playing with this a lot, I think. I never expected I'd be able to have a picture of Tux, or the Debian logo, or whatever, as a BIOS splash screen for my laptop.

[1] POST, for the non-geeks out there, means Power On Self Test. That's what happens when your computer first turns on, and you see it checking memory, searching for disk drives, etc. ;-)
  • Current Music
    Van Halen - Fire in the Hole
Lord Yupa

Laptop annoyance.

This bugs me a little. I noticed today that there is a slight problem with my laptop. When I use headphones and the modem, it spits out some nasty static over the headphones.

So, I decided to do a little checking, and I noticed that, despite the number of 3com advertisements on Dell's website, I have an Actiontec mini-PCI NIC/modem.

Why in the heck do I have an Actiontec NIC/modem?

Doesn't it make sense, that if you see a webpage say: "Available 3Com Mini-PCI helps free up both slots in your notebook and offers low power consumption to help preserve battery life.", and there's only one option for a Mini-PCI adapter (which, in the config part, doesn't specify a brand) that it would be a 3com?

As if that didn't annoy me enough, I've now been on hold for 35 minutes waiting to talk to someone from Dell. If they aren't really friendly and offer to swap this defective piece of junk for the network card advertised, I'm really gonna be upset.
  • Current Music
    Pantera - The Art of Shredding
Lord Yupa

The angry customer.

Things are going downhill.

I've been jerked around for nearly two hours now, and gotten different stories from each person.

The first Tech Support guy I talked to said that if I was having problems, he could send out a replacement, but he could only send out the exact same thing that I already had. So I asked him who I could talk to about this, and to find out why they're advertising one thing, and using another. He transferred me to someone in Customer Service.

The lady in Customer Service said very little, other than "Let me look into this, and I'll be right back."

Instead of coming back, she transferred me to someone in laptop support. The lady there told me that Dell was no longer using 3com Mini-PCI adaptors for their laptops. Despite the fact that their website specifically says otherwise. And it's not just that one, they have numerous pages about their Inspirons that mention 3com adaptors by name. Her response?

"Oh, that page must be out of date, then."

Bull. That's a load of crap, and I know it. The mention of 3com by name just appeared a month or so ago. I know, because I remember when I first saw it, as it was one of the things that made me want to buy this laptop.

So, I ask her who I can talk to about this, to express my disappointment in Dell and see what else can be done, and she says she'll transfer me. I then get disconnected.

What the hell?

Now, I'm not a quick tempered person. In fact, most of my friends would prolly say I'm among the most laid back, easy going people you'll ever meet. I never raise my voice, and I don't express my anger. I'm getting really annoyed at this, though.

I'm honestly starting to wonder if I should just ship this thing back, and tell them to forget it. Not only am I disappointed in the modem (and I feel cheated, and lied to by getting something different than advertised), but one of the other main reasons I went with Dell was their reputation for quality support. However, if this is the 'support' they provide, maybe I'd be better off with a laptop from someone else.
  • Current Mood
    very annoyed
Lord Yupa

A light at the end of the tunnel?

I might be getting somewhere now.

I called back, after being disconnected, and the guy that answered has been really cool. We walked through a few things, and he actually even went to the website to see what I was talking about.

He also agreed that, having seen that, he'd assume he was getting a 3com card as well. He asked around to some other techs, and having found no answer, he suggested we contact Customer Care to see about getting this resolved, possibly by sending me a 3com replacement.

Yes, we. He said it might take a while to get through, but he's keeping this call active, and he would stay on the line with me, to explain to them what is going on, and try to get this resolved.

I'm having (a little bit of) my faith in Dell restored.

If it continues on like this call has so far, I think I'll be a happy little customer. And that's good for them, because I had no intention of giving up until this was resolved to my satisfaction.
  • Current Music
    Muzak (on hold)
Lord Yupa

WooHoo! [Updated [Updated Again]]

The guy from Customer Care is placing an order for the correct network card right now. ;-)

My faith has been restored. ;-)

(And, I'm gonna try to find out who that tech was, so I can inform his manager of how happy I am. ;-)

Update: Ugh, this sucked. Just as I was about to ask the guy from Customer Care for the name of the initial tech I talked to, so I could get a hold of his supervisor and give him props, the phone disconnected.

Update II: Luckily, I got enough out that the Customer Care guy kenw what I was gonna ask, and since he had my phone number, called me back. He's gonna look up the information for me, and call me back in half an hour. Life is good again. ;-)
  • Current Music
    Muzak (on hold while he places the order)