monkeyinabox: look here....or you could just go through life and be happy anyway

the daily banana

The End Of The Asterisk

01.16.2009

Damn Cows

Springtime in January is simply amazing. No need for jackets, gloves, mittens or hats. It might be a bit too brisk for shorts and flip-flops, but with the lack of frost threatening my extremities, I made it up Pilot Butte twice already this week. Obviously, this was on the minds of others as well, since the path and road were crowded with people, some even wearing shorts. Is this really January?

The sky was filled with colors as the sunset drew closer last night. I packed up my camera, and was pretty much alone at the summit as the colors became vividly orange with streaks of purple mixing in. Not a bad deal, and I could tell my legs didn't fall out of shape during the last few months lack of butte climbing. Heck, I even jogged up a small portion near the top where I wanted to pass a group of slower walkers. Game on.

Since I can't complain about the weather, onto something else.

On the technology front, it's no game for the dvd drive on my laptop. Not a problem since it's under warranty, right? After the drive flaked out on occasions, I finally decided last October to call up and get the drive replaced via the warranty coverage still valid on my Gateway laptop. This was a laptop that was purchased through work, and thus was sold under the small business category. In 2007, the "professional segment" of support was acquired by MPC Corporation. This included pretty much all the warranty coverage excluding home user purchases.

I was pleasantly surprised when I called up support and found out they were based in Nampa Idaho, and everyone seemed to speak perfect English, despite living in Idaho (just kidding). There was no having to ask them to repeat anything, or explaining that I couldn't understand a word of what was just said to me. Nice. I explained my problem and they shipped out a replacement drive.

I opened the box, and surprise, it had the wrong drive. Close, but not quite the same one, and that meant it wouldn't work. I called up support, and was told that they'd get it right. No big deal really. Of course, the correct drive was back-ordered, so that meant it would take a bit longer. Oh well, what can you do?

I called up again a few weeks later, and asked what was up. I was told that the drive was in and they had it "in the cage", and it would be shipped out shortly. A few weeks later and nothing. I called up again and there was a general message about shipping issues and delays. Maybe the guy in shipping had some bad Taco Bell and was out. Who knew? I left for my Australia trip and figured the drive would be here when I returned.

Ha! Boy, that was wishful thinking. Nothing. I called up the support line when I returned and heard a message that MPC Corporation had filled chapter 11 bankruptcy, and was in the process of reorganizing. Not a good sign. Not good indeed.

A pretty raw deal for the professional customers, schools, or companies that purchased extended warranties. Well, at least I only had one laptop and not a room full of Gateway servers. Still, it's frustrating to have a valid warranty, and have to resort to stuff like this and eBay to fix my Gateway laptop.

Do you think my next purchase will be Gateway? I don't think so. Of course that could have more to do with the fact we've had motherboards replaced, as well as other issues. Sager is a much better option, and I'm having no doubts that will be the direction next time.


Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |

Comments

keeneye said:

First: I love Nampa. I drive there about once a month to do shopping for the restaurant & to get my fix of the "big city".

Second: I hate Gateway computers. Had the same problem as you YEARS ago and I seriously wrinkle my nose and make my ugly-face when I even read their name in print.

Third: Shorts in January? You Bendites are psycho.



Jake said:

Hard drives are universal (for the most part) and optical drives are, too -- they just sometimes need to be dismantled to make things work right. 9 times out of 10, the optical drives on laptops will work in other laptops, you just need to dismantle the casing around the dead optical drive and insert the good drive (removed from the wrong casing). They're generally all referred to as slim optical drives -- the only thing that differentiates them is the casing around them. I've gutted them out of dead laptops and used them for servers, even.

Of course, if I totally misread this, feel free to ride your bike over here and smack me ;-)

I have an old eMachines here that my wife uses (emachines is gateway, too, I think) that's still kicking and my first "I bought it all by myself" computer was a Gateway WAY back in the day (it was a Pentium 200). Now, though, I've had far better luck with HP/Compaq, Lenovo, and Sager stuff than anything (at least for support).




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