Friday, July 01, 2005

it'll be quiet for awhile....

my laptop is dying a slow death.

Last night the screen started streaking black, and the streaking got darker and darker, and now I can only see my screen if I have an internet window open. (though it keeps threatening to turn into a black screen with the occasional back-out now...I think the end is near for my screen.) I can't explain why it works better with the internet running - all I can say is that this isn't fun. There isn't (and never will be) a "great" time for it to go, but considering I needed it until classes were over (yesterday) and I'll need it when I start rotations in a few weeks, this isn't a bad way for it to go.

My frustration is with how I am going to get it fixed. I had heard good things about the Geek Squad, and after looking over their price list and what they offer I found the perfect solution: an advanced laptop repair. It's $299 and in the description says things like "have you dropped your laptop? spilled coffee on the keyboard? got a blank screen?" None of those things happened, but if they can fix all that, then they should be able to replace my screen!

It sounded too good to be true, because it is too good to be true. That service - even though it's listed on a pdf file and put out on the web, doesn't exist. The people at the big box store I went to had never heard of it, and couldn't help me. They actually didn't believe I was speaking the truth until I asked them to look it up online - I, the non-computer geek, had to walk the "certified" geeks through their own website to show them what I was talking about. Once the file was opened the pimply teenage-looking guy with glasses falling off his nose simply said that he had NO IDEA what that meant, and he'd need to call someone. Three people later, and a few phone calls ("no one is answering" they said) they could only, collectively (meaning ALL the self-professed geeks there) come up with a lame excuse that it must not be a service offered HERE.

(as if HERE is the edge of the techno-advanced earth and I, because I am NOT a geek, have no idea what I am talking about....)

So I came home, and called the 1-800 phone number, figuring that a national number (and a whole host of new geeks) would know what the website said. Nope, it was news to them too. I had to, again, walk the geek on the phone through their own website so I could point out where the service was offered.

She told me it didn't exist and that they don't actually offer an "advanced laptop service." (as in, they don't have a payment code for it, they don't have a description for it, they know NADA about it.) I calmly pointed out that it's false advertising to offer a product that doesn't exist, and asked her to please speak with a supervisor (or let me do it, but she declined to transfer me) to let them know about this, er, glich. She then asked for information on me, so she could submit it for "tracking purposes" and curtly said "Thank you for calling us, we are here to serve you" before hanging up on me when I said No. The last thing a company who can't keep track of their services needs is my phone number and other contact info.

The next big decision is if it'll be worth it to pay (according to the HP website for my laptop) at least $538 for a new screen (no shipping/handling included, no installation included) or if it's time to buy a new laptop. Either way I'm going to spend what I was going to use on a spinning wheel to get this fixed/replaced, but I need to really sit down and weigh the pros and cons. I'm, at this moment in time, leaning towards getting a new laptop, but that may change.

I'll be in the loop as long as the internet screens stay clear, but at some point I think I'm going to disappear. I've got a lot of travelling planed for the next few weeks, (Quebec for a weekend to see the new Cirque show, a trip to Utah to see friends and (hopefully) meet up with Margene, and the first two weeks of August I'll be spending in the Albany, NY area house/cat sitting...I think there will be a trip to Boston again too (yes Laurie, I'd love to sit and spindle/smoke fiber crack with you!)) and so chances are good it'll be pretty quiet here.

(I'm still knitting socks, still contemplating a Kiri, haven't gotten much past swatching for Rogue, and have a few other sweaters that I've considered diving into. I'm still spinning, and this morning wondered what pink fiber was doing on a construction truck - it took me longer then it should have to realize that he had bits of fiberglass insulation strewn across the bed of his truck. Do you think it'd spin?)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

um - that particular pink fiber would be really really itchy to spin - the process of spinning and the product to boot!

Dang about the laptop. I'd say get a new one, if your current one is out of warrenty. Mac or PC? They've come way down in price lately, especially if you're primarily looking for wordprocessing and web surfing (not major memory hogging graphics/video editing etc.).

Have a great 4th! --Sara/

7:31 PM  
Anonymous etherknitter said...

Bad sign, Kristen, thinking that alien fibers would spin well. Look where that got me. You are welcome to come visit, and stay. I'll have some kind of a wheel in the house (ship date for the new baby is 8/26), and we can spindle angora/merino, or something equally lush.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Sorry about your lap top! Get a new one - the prices have come down a lot.

I know what you mean about assessing the fibre glass for spinning... I have just started and am addicted.

Have a lovely Summer!

5:37 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I was going to say much to itchy, but Sara beat me to it!

Sorry about the new allegiance is with Mac, but they are more expensive. If you run out of money for a spinning wheel, you can always get one of those Babe/PVC jobs. ;) (I wouldn't be caught dead).

Enjoy your trips!

6:16 AM  
Anonymous mia said...

definitely bad news, but I would advise new laptop as well. They become obsolete so quickly after you buy them that you'd be set for longer if you took the plunge and got a whole new one.
Also, let me know when you will be in Boston, I might be able to rendezvous. It would be easier for me than going to Maine! :o)

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back Tack stuff is on its way to you today! Hope you enjoy it.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Sounds like you have a great summer planned. Enjoy it!

11:21 AM  
Blogger African Kelli said...

I received my backtack stuff today and LOVE IT! Just in time for the big trip. Thank you so much!!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I don't know when you'll be in Utah, but be forewarned, it has been disgustingly hot here. Enjoy your vacation!

4:36 PM  

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