Monthly Archives: August 2010

That Wasn’t Quite the Plan

That Wasn’t Quite the Plan

So, I went back to Best Buy this afternoon and walked out… with a RAM module.

I got the numbers I needed for the store to pull my receipt from the 800 number’s Receipt Department (there’s a whole department for this?). Tech Two, who shall hense forth be known as the Geek Squad Yoda, pulled the receipt and asked if I’d like to pick out a new computer since HAL 9000 said that mine could be taken back as a return since it was quite borked. W00t, okay, new computer for Niner.

GSY hands me off to Computer Sales Dude, who shows me the Asus 1018PB (which I have since learned got CNET’s top back to school netbook rating) and I’m sold. CSG has to hunt down the MOD (Manager [on Duty|of the Day]?) because she has the keys to the storage kingdom. GSY does the exchange and since I have enough return credit, offers to install the 2GB RAM module. I’m annoyed and tired, so I say fine. Good thing I did, because when he pulls the unit out of the box, I realize CSG has pulled the previous model and not the one I wanted. Turns out, after some looking about, that no store in the district has it. The only other netbook in stock that does not have a combined headphone/microphone jack, and can be upgraded to 2 gigs of RAM is a Toshiba. Having had bad luck in the past with Toshiba computers I refused to even touch it. I suggested, and GSY agreed, that it would be just as efficient to give me store credit and I could buy the thing online. So I left the store with two gift cards and the RAM module for the new computer.

Best Buy gift cards and I do not get along. They have those scratch off (sadly not scratch and sniff) stickers on the back that hide the card number and security code. For the second time (ironically the first time was when I bought the original computer) I scratched the cover and the code off. Fortunately a helpful Customer Care rep pulled the number from the computer.

That was a long and boring story to say this. I will have a new computer sometime between tomorrow and Monday. Hopefully, this one won’t blow a fan (or rather, I suppose, have a fan that does blow).

This is why I like desktop computers. If something breaks, you just replace it. Not so easy with tiny little circuits.

A Productive Waste of Time

A Productive Waste of Time

For the past nonzero number of days my netbook’s screen as been flickering like mad after I have left it on for a while. Realizing my warranty expires on the 14th I decided I’d better hoof it to Best Buy and get it repaired or replaced before I was, by virtue of the labor costing half the price of the machine, forced to buy a new one.

I arrived and explained the situation to Tech One. Of course, in the tradition of all computers everywhere, when the guy who could fix the thing was present, it behaved flawlessly. Tech One was convinced that it was probably “a driver issue or something”. I let him run his tests and “check for updates” working in the fact that I work with computers and had already tried that. (I know, I know, I pull the same thing with my users.) Eventually it was his time to book off for the evening and he started what would be, “an hour or so” malware scan for Tech Two to take over.

Two hours later, Tech Two walks back over and says the scan was still running, does a double take, and asks, “What did you say was happening? Cuz I just saw it flicker like mad.” Withholding an I told you so, I pointed out that that was in fact the issue. He said the Graphics Processing Unit fan was definitely toast.

This is the point in the evening when my Total Nutbag Magnet kicks in and some random dude looking for “chiefy”, “you mean Chef?” wanders over and asks, “wait, you’re blind, how do you know the screen was flickering?” I just grimace at him and try to ignore him since he smelled of booze and cigars. Tech Two meanders off to take a phone call (thanks for that) and I am treated to a discertation on how Boozy Cigarface thinks we should use a B52 and carpet bomb the rich so and sos who live in the high feluting water front apartments, including his sister, and oh by the way, he was going to take his 80 year old buddy, who was a world war II vet, trolling for hookers the next time he was in town. If anyone knows how to demagnatize a Total Nutbag Magnet, I’m accepting suggestions.

Tech Two finally returns and spares me from any additional freakery.

Unfortunately, this three and a half hour trip will be supplemented tomorrow by a, hopefully, shorter one since the Best Buy computer can’t find my original receipt and I have to call corporate customer service to pull the transaction details. Ugh.

I was glad I was eventually vindicated because it feels very uncomfortable, being a self proclaimed geek, going to the Geek Squad in the first place and to stand there knowing there is in fact a hardware problem, but your machine isn’t cooperating and showing it. Ah, well, I’m right and will either be getting a repaired computer in a few weeks, or better, a replacement tomorrow.