July 18, 2003

The Sky is Falling!

At the risk of being Chicken Little, I think it's safe to say we are very close to telling Mr. Dell that his little empire is falling apart one XPS at a time, and there may very soon be one on its way back home to Austin from Goose Creek. The latest hoop (and the very last) that I am jumping through is going to Creative and downloading drivers to reinstall. Uh, hello. Does this system not ship with the latest drivers, or have they changed since I started juicing this lemon on Monday morning?

And so dear hearts... if not Dell, then WHO should I trust to put a reliable system on my desk in the PDQ? I am truly at a loss... of five days of my life, to name one... and a loss of confidence in this particular machine and it's vendor as well. However, the monitor is very nice and the Great Gumball of Technical Support has been kind, and Jason is a nice, knowledgeable and sympathetic guy who just happens to work for a Monolith of Technology.

And dang it all, I had a half dozen things I wanted to tell you about today, not to mention a buncha pix I'm dying to post. Well, they way things are is the way things are, as the little mice would say to Babe, the pig. Can't argue with that wisdom.

I'm assuming I'll be able to access the net during this transitional phase (that seems to go on and on and on...) so let me hear if you have hot tips about trusty computers you have known. See ya 'round.

Posted by fred1st at July 18, 2003 02:40 PM | TrackBack

"Mac, mac, mac" the crowds start chanting.....

Posted by: Lisa at July 18, 2003 04:09 PM

I know it would represent a big disruption to change operating systems, but may I suggest that you check out:


Sure, Macs are "more expensive" out of the box, and you may have to get some new apps too... but overall cost of ownership is decisively lower.

Fred, if you'd like to talk to me about the possibility, drop me an email and we can arrange a phone conversation.

Yes, I own Apple stock. But I own Apple stock because I've owned and operated Macs with great pleasure since 1984.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at July 18, 2003 04:36 PM

Looks like the macintarts are out to get you.. lol
can't say that I disagree with them tho.
I use a mac at work every day and they are very nice. if you can afford them and you don't have too much of a software investment on the pc side, you might want to look into getting one.


Posted by: Jeremiah at July 18, 2003 07:44 PM

We have four computers linked at our house and have found EMachines to represent a great value. We buy new machines every year or so, mostly online from places like outpost.com which is owned by Fry's. You can also get EMachines from Office Depot. Just pick the one which suits your needs. We have had great success with Windows XP and recommend it highly. It is head and shoulders above Windows 2000, 98, or 95...

The Emachines come fully configured and we have never seen a case where we had the kinds of problems you have had. Check them out at Office Depot if you want to get some reality on them.


Posted by: David St Lawrence at July 19, 2003 01:29 AM

Hey Fred,

My offer build you a high quality PC is open-ended. As future neighbors, you will also know where I live (if a meltdown occurs):} Work on the new driveway is scheduled when things dry up a bit, so we should be visiting the property soon.


Posted by: Reggie at July 19, 2003 10:43 AM

I have been very happy with my 6 month old VPR Matrix that I go from Circuit City. This is the first time that I've gotten a computer from a store instead of over the Internet, and it has been the most pain-free machine that I have had.

Posted by: bogie at July 20, 2003 07:35 AM

Perhaps I missed reading some of the symptoms that you've posted, Fred; but, it sounds more like a software problem than a hardware problem to me. I had all sorts of issues with Windows 98; but, no serious ones with XP. It sounds like a bad load. Had you not bought the most up-to-date version of the computer, I would have suspected that the original load on the computer was not XP--that the old operating system had been uninstalled and XP installed. This happened to me once with a machine on which Windows 95 had been uninstalled and Windows 98 installed. I had all sorts of problems. I eventually wiped the disk and reloaded Windows 98, myself.

Posted by: Cop Car at July 20, 2003 12:15 PM

Personally, I wouldn't go any further with this machine. you didn't buy a used or refurbished computer. Dell will replace it. Write down the service tag number on the back of the machine and go here:


Then call support and escalate to a supervisor, inform him/her that you are not willing to accept a damaged product. That you find Dell's support unintelligable and unsatisfactory and are returning the computer for immediate replacement.

You must make it very clear that you are a squeaky wheel they need to address, that you will not accept a faulty product. That they WILL send another and you WILL NOT pay any shipping for return or delivery of the replacement. Also inform them that if you do not have a replacement within a given time line you will return the entire order and challenge the credit card charges.

Companies and the banks that provide merchant accounts do not like charge reverses (charge backs). Even a behemoth such as Dell tries to keep the charge back percentage as low as possible as it effects their ratings and the percentages they pay (dings the ole profit margin) for the service.

Posted by: feste at July 20, 2003 01:18 PM

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