The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

One unhappy geek

Posted by David Leslie on October 18, 2005

I am a unhappy geek.

UPS shows up at quarter to 5 so I have about an hour to get the the new rig, a XPS 600, unpacked before Jean needs to leave for her first client.

The box is frigging 75 pounds and the UPS guy struggled to get it up the drive way.

Unpack the monitor and see the first sign of trouble. The VGA cord that is already attached to the monitor has parts of the Styrofoam packing fused to it. Since Im going to run in DVI, I shake this off and put together the rest on the monitor.

Unpack the beast. Notice right away that the media card reader is three inches deep in the computers chassis. Since the box wasnt even nicked, this had to have been something at the factory.

Hook everything up and fire the beast up. Monitor is stunning. Notice the machine is running about the same as my P4 at work which is strange not because of the dual core but because the 1 Gig of RAM at work vs 2 GIG of DDR2 RAM in the beast. Oh and the DVD burner isnt working. But my does that screen look nice. John even thinks that the fish are real in the aquarium screensaver.

Since Jean has to work, I close the office door to avoid temptation and play with John till about 8:15 when its time to start getting him ready for bed. I first call Road Runner to double check the network settings so that I can bring the beast online. In the middle of rebooting I hear two beeps and the status light reads a solid 4. Time to call Dell tech.

As this is to be Dells primo system, its said to have its own dedicated support team. Hunting for the phone number, I snake my way into the Dell tech support queue and get a guy in India.

This goes about as well as could be expected. He has me unplug all the USB lines, nothin. He then has me unplug the monitor, nothin. Next we open the case

I want to stop here and mention that it was between Dell, Alienware and Velocity Micro for my business, Dells monitor deal plus this primo XPS support was what tipped the scales to Dell.

Now my worse boutique vendor fear has come true; the rig is on its side, case open and I\’m digging for something in the bowels because the stupid thing doesnt work.

We try about 10 different ways to reseat the RAM. One dim allows the system to boot while the other one doesn\’t. When I move the good dim to another slot on the board, nothin.

So now the tech places me on hold so that I can be transferred to the Customer Care team for a PC replacement.

The hold music is so bad it must be intentional to get the weak of will to hang up. 5 minutes and zip. The tech comes back to tell me hes on hold and that it will be just awhile longer. 5 more minutes and I\’m in full buyers regret mode, the hold music now taunting me. While this is going on I\’m repacking the system for what will be its now inevitable return trip to Round Rock Texas. Thoughts of even if I had gotten that HP from Best Buy, I would have the satisfaction of running it back there run thru my mind. .

The tech comes back. Customer Care is now closed. Theyll have to call me tomorrow.

So now Im back on my Dell Dimension XPS B733R. Can\’t even use the monitor since my video card can\’t push an LCD screen.

So if the Dell Customer Care person isn\’t willing to comp me something. After all the rig has already dropped $100 and their kicking in Office basic for free. Then I\’m just going to tell them to take it back.

I feel sick.


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