Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just claiming my blog

for Technorati. Just ignore this little message. It's for the bot. bu9depx8my

Saturday, June 27, 2009

School starts up again

Really, I shouldn't have let them have that 3rd week off, when they were begging to start school work again. I'm amazed at what was lost in 3 weeks. I can't imagine the damage 12 weeks would do.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do NOT buy a Gateway Computer EVER!

For the last 9 years, I've owned multiple Dell computers. Mostly because they were recommended to me by co-workers in the IT dept when I was still working. At first, I was greatly impressed with Dell and their customer service department. On my second and third Dell purchases, the computers weren't so great. There were constant lock-ups, peripheral problems, etc. Whatever was covered under warranty was deftly handled by the CS department, but I felt the quality of the computers themselves had gone down.

So, when the time came last year to buy a new computer (the older Dell had finally crapped out for the last time), I decided it was time to change brands. So we decided to give Gateway a try. The computer arrived all gleaming and shiny with it's piercing blue light. It was very exciting. It's worked great until about a month ago. Then it started locking up quite a bit. Yes, I had Anti-Virus/Spyware/etc. on it. I thought we had bought in April 08 and so didn't check on the warranty. It got steadily worse - we tried cleaning, defragging, all the stupid things non-tech people do to salvage what they can without paying for it.

Last Wednesday, I turned it off when I went to bed and Thursday morning it was dead. It wouldn't complete the boot up cycle. Oh, I panicked! I needed my Callidora files and photos badly! Just start up ONE time so I can retrieve my files! Max tried a couple of things from the boot menu but nothing worked. So I pulled out the Recovery disc that came with the computer. You know that one that says, "WARNING: Inserting this disc will erase all your files. Use only to recover your Windows Operating System." So, I put the disc in. It had a Repair function which I tried first, but no - computer cannot be repaired. Then I went to the Install option, and it booted up. Yay! All my files were still there too!

However, the disc had partitioned my hard drive and created a very small C: only big enough to hold the OS files. I could SEE my files, but couldn't use them except for photos. I couldn't access my programs and I couldn't merge the 2 partitions. So I found Gateway's website, looking for support, and low and behold! I had warranty until June 25, 2009! I decided to call right away.

So as not to kill you with the HORRID details, here it is in a nutshell:
I ended up speaking with 6 different reps and a supervisor. The first 4 reps all gave me different solutions totally unrelated to each other. Reps 3 and 4 said that I should have never put that disc in my machine. It was HARMFUL to the computer and they no longer sent it out to customers! I immediately demanded to speak to a supervisor.

Yes, indeed, it's true - THAT DISC IS HARMFUL AND GATEWAY DOESN'T SEND IT OUT ANYMORE! Well, pray, tell me what is Product Registration for than to give you a way to contact your customers in the event you need to recall something. He said, that if I had used that disc in the first 90 days, they would have covered it under my software portion of the warranty. But since I waited until the week before the warranty expired, they could do nothing but offer me the option of backing up my files for $129.95 or receiving a new disc for $19.95.

So, I broke my computer using a disc that was sent with my computer. Gateway knows this disc is harmful and no longer sends the disc out, but hasn't contacted it's previous customers to warn them against using it. Or better yet, with an offer to replace it. I called again to see if there was anyway to fix this after Max spent 4 hours removing my files to another computer. Reps 5 and 6 told me to put this disc into the computer in order to put it back to factory settings. In my shock, I asked if I was supposed to use the disc they acknowledge as harmful to do this. Oh Yes! It's no problem. I asked again 3 times if they really meant for me to use this HARMFUL disc again. Yep, you bet - or however you say that in Punjabi. I said fine and did it. I got an error message.

Oh you need a level 2 tech. Great. Well Steve gets on the line and tells me the error code means my disc is corrupted and he'll sell me a new one. I laughed out loud and said "Did you say SELL me?! NO YOU DID NOT SAY SELL ME!" He said "OH YES I DID SAY 'SELL'!" I asked why I should pay for a disc that I've only used once, is harmful to my computer, and was obviously defective to begin with. Shouldn't the company replace the defective disc. Well, if I had found that out in the first 90 days, they would have replaced it.

I asked if Gateway expects it's brand new computers to crash within the 90 days. Because there is no other reason to use this disc. Oh no, of course a Gateway computer wouldn't falter in the first 90 days. So how am I supposed to know my disc is corrupted in the first 90 days when I have no occasion to use it. Too bad, my problem. I hung up in tears of angry frustration.

That was 2 days ago. I'm writing this now on said computer that has been totally reformatted, wiped clean and reprogrammed with Linux using Ubuntu, Mozilla Firefox, and am using for my programs. Microsoft can go to hell with Gateway in the lead.

Do you want to free yourself from the Microsoft matrix? You can, it takes a little effort, but it's all free and when you get everything up and running, it's as familiar as Windows with better programs and no glitches. Start with Ubuntu. Firefox and OpenOffice come with it automatically. You'll need download Flashplayer for Linux once you're up and running, but it's easy. Ubuntu has an unbelievable image editor, accessories, games, music player, burner, sound recorder, and lots of cool stuff.

So DON'T BUY A GATEWAY! Their Customer DISservice Department sucks!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Break is almost over :(

Well, we took a 3 week break from school work from the middle of May until now. The kids were begging and whining about how school was dragging on. I was tired and frustrated, trying to get them to focus was impossible. That's the nice thing about homeschooling - you just take a break when you've all had enough! They kept telling me 3 weeks wasn't going to be long enough. I said, "oh no! You'll get bored, trust me." "No we won't! We're sick of studying. The weather's nice. We wanna play for 6 weeks."

Yeah, right. I stopped arguing. Last Friday, the end of the 2nd week, Ronan pulls out his math book and says, "Can we do Math now?" I said NO and told him to put the book back. I reminded him that we still had a week of break left. He whined. Yes, he did. We argued about him not getting to do his math. Hahaha, can you believe it?! This past Monday, I had the exact same argument/conversation with Miranda. SHE wanted to do math and was complaining of boredom! I reminded her about wanting 6 weeks off - she groaned. I said, "it's okay honey, only one more week of break. Aren't you glad it was only 3 weeks?" She actually said yes.

Blaise turned 12 on the 29th. He WOULD be happy with a 6 week break, but his laziness is driving me crazy. Max, of course, only had 2 weeks because he's taking an 8 week PreCalc class this summer.

So Monday, we start again. But I'm excited! New subjects, eager children, fresh workbooks. I love homeschooling :)

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Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

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