Friday, July 2, 2010

Epic Fails

New spiffy laptop died again today. I say again because I have repaired the  thing four times since I chased the UPS truck down the street to get it off the truck. And by repair I mean totally restore the operating system to the original factory settings. No, my backup disks did not help. The recovery disk set did not work and even though I personally made a point of establishing "last known good configuration"s, well they were never actually saved. Makes me . For those of you without emoji's, that's mad x 9. You don't want to hear or read the actual translation to English so my emoji's are sparing you the "local color." You can't see them unless you are reading this via an emoji-apped device. Must be an iSomething. Sorry, but I need my emoji's right now.

It's an ASUS laptop. They make excellent motherboards--I put them in all the workstations, desktops, netserver, and the server we built (OK, rebuilt). You could safely say I'm their  to the tune of several thousand dollars. So the price was right and the specs were awesome and I now have ANOTHER large, silicon desk Don't think I wouldn't do it, either. Question is, what to shoot it with? Whole other post there. Actually two whole posts there.

Post One: Before: What to Shoot My Laptop With and Why.
Post Two: After: Attrition and Scat Go Laptop Hunting.

Fortunately, there is a smidgen of hope. This plasticated LED coaster has a warranty and since it has basically never worked--well, OK, it does great as long as you don't put any more than say 50 M of data on that 500 G hard drive--I want a brand spanking new one.

So I called and asked for that very thing. Had to go through the looooong list of steps (again) to prove it wasn't working. The tech services guy didn't really listen to what I was telling him AND he kept calling me "honey" which infuriates me when it really means "you poor little ignorant woman." I was nice. Took every inch of self-control I had. But I was nice. And I fought the urge to call him "dear." But when he asked if I was satisfied with my service, I did say, "no." Budy's eyebrows shot up in the air and I think he was about to take away my phone, but I didn't call anyone an asshat until I hung up.

If the tech guy had been listening, I could have saved everyone some trouble. I have a copy of Windows 7 that I know to be good. I just needed to know if my warranty would still be good if I loaded a different copy of Win 7 from the one it came with. I know the problem is the operating system or the hard drive. If it's the OS, I can fix that here. I do it all the time. But I need the warranty to keep. Easy enough question. Can I or can't I?


See? Emoji's are therapeutic (if you have an iPhone). Only one infraction of the moral code.

Part of what I am calling "the major malfunction" is the inability to backup data after a certain point. So here I am at 3 am  trying to eke out that last document plus my iTunes backup which is an esoteric thing at best. There are all sorts of limitations on how you transfer your iTunes files and the major one is you can only download from phone to computer once. There are others and the long and short of it is that my music collection (my favorite thing in the world) is now spread over three auxiliary drives and four computers at two different houses and one office like so many Easter eggs 'cause I just never knew when this thing would crap out again.

How psychotic!! It takes at least a week to get all my backups (music and data) synced on one machine again...then it dies before I can make a single, coherent copy. Every. Last. Time. For. The. Last. Two. Months.

So once again I have to sing the praises of the almighty Apple iPhone for continuously saving my keester while I'm without laptop. Singing the praises of Apple just chafes on general principle. This blasted thing does it all and I'm not having much trouble rationalizing the upgrade to iPhone 4 with as much memory as I can afford (OK now that the have to have that "bumper" case thing, yeah, problem there--I'll wait). I'm already running the software on my 3G and it's slick. Server maintenance and virtual terminal services take care of network sysadmin stuff. You'd be surprised what you can do WITHOUT the Office suite these days. I have only two complaints. First, low battery life!!  It's a power hog. That and it can't spell for . Lately it has changed "not" to "mot" every time. "Disk" becomes "Fisk" with a capital "F." Who's that? It also changes "desktop" to "despot" and you gotta wonder where it's comin' from on that one. I've know a few despotic desktops in my day. The last indignity of spellhelp is that it keeps changing "him" to "Jim" which is my ex's name. That's. Just. Weird.

The iPhone 4 allows for multitasking which solves my third and final issue. So, yeah, I'm ing for Apple as well. Just the phones, though!! I'd be toast without mine. But even the iPad is starting to look appetizing. (Did I just say that out loud??!?)

We'll see what ASUS can do for me on the laptop front. Hopefully it will be  and not . I hate when that happens. And I've made it 38 years without calling someone an asshat to their face. What if it kinda leaked out on the poor phone guy? Just sitting over there in India working his butt off at a job that he loves and really, really needs (we had our software branch there--great people, tough lives) and totally not expecting a nutso sysadmin lady. Maybe he doesn't know what an asshat is? Let's hope.

I already beat the hooey out of some folks in Turf Wars to blow off steam. That IS the point of the game, but today I REALLY liked it. I intend to like it MORE later on today. And then they complained in my comments about me fighting them (which is the point of the game). Meh.

Me before computers:  (angel)
Me after computers:  (devil)

It can happen to you.

P.S. After going to bed at 5 a.m. totally foiled again, I remembered another problem. Proprietary information. This has been an ongoing theme in Scat family history since about 1994 for various reasons. Things being what they are and me doing some of the things I do, I have eyes-only stuff on that machine and am bound by confidentiality agreements with teeth--the oil business is worse than the government ever thought of being. I'm supposed to destroy all the proprietary junk before any outside parties see the machine. Great. So here I am again. Trying to format an unresponsive hard drive and wondering what kind of pickle I'm in if I can't send it to be repaired because of the type of consulting work I do. Somewhere, somehow, a lawyer is laughing his or her head off. When I called ASUS, they asked that I format the hard drive if possible before shipping. They had no answer for "What if I can't?"

Lawyers. And Teeth. Bleh.

P.P.S. That thing I wrote about being able to curse in other languages more forgiveably would come in handy right about now as I try NOT to appear like a sailor in the mouth department.

Addendum: Confidentiality issues apparently nullify warranties. So...had to buy a new hard drive. Mrrrfffff.

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