Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Dell Experience

Excuse me folks, for not posting much last week. I've been busy with a toasted hard drive, the replacement of which has added to my already ghastly Dell Experience with my 6400 piece of junk.

It all started a year ago, when I bought a hot, new dual-core with dynamic flibbermemory, fifty glurps of RAM, and a quad-sided DVD writer that produces four-dimensional recordings.

Five minutes after I turned on the machine, I was staring at something Windows users fondly refer to as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

This screen is, not surprisingly, a fetching shade of blue and festooned with messages such as: Bad_Pool_Header in CXOOOF4 or Your Frinmplewass lorgfoo Caused a Really Awful Crash.

Looking up the error codes on the Web was fairly useless. I was often told to modify registry settings, but then warned that doing so would make the hard drive froth or cause the entire machine to be reduced to a glowing pile of laptop molecules.

Technical service kept replacing bits, and the thing worked fitfully through the summer. It had an erratic Autumn--two new motherboards and a video card. It barely escaped a hot bubblebath during a particularly trying Day of BSOD Wrath.

Alas, just when I was getting used to actually doing some work on the thing, I came into the office on Thursday morning to discover that the hard drive had ceased to function.

When the new drive arrived Friday, I plugged it in, turned on the machine, and watched a totally new BSOD appear: Unknown Hard Error. It was followed, after numerous reboots, by other, more cryptic messages, one of which was adorned with a festive red box.

I spent most of the weekend on the telephone with Dell tech service, where I discovered that the world's best pineapple is grown in the Philippines and the weather in Delhi was very nice this winter. What I did not discover was how to fix this lemon and MAKE IT WORK.

The fourth gentleman I spoke with finally agreed that the machine should be returned to the Computer Hospital where, I was assured, they would repair the dynamic flibbermemory, give me a penta-sided DVD writer that could record in five dimensions, and actually make the thing stop giving me BSODs.

Your guess is as good as mine. In the meantime, I have been too busy poking futilely at keys and dutifully writing down error messages to do any knitting, embroidery, or eating.

I hope next week will be better.


Lacefreak said...

Dear God! And you are still sane? My weekend was spent trying to find out why the laptops in our house could not connect with our brand new router. We got the brand new router when our older one ceased to function. We too have had many hours of conversation with persons locataed in India. We even took the laptops out of the house to several other locations where we connected with no problem so we knew it was not the computers themselves. Finally, We are, in fact, connected having changed channel settings. I do not belive my sanity would have been able to sustain the insults your poor mind has had to endure with your computer system. Here is hoping you will get back a computer that will function for you! You have my heartfelt sympathy!

Lori said...

Oh dear. So sorry about the computer catastrophe; I'd recommend a typewriter, but then I couldn't read your posts... I'm barely hanging onto the lip of the chasm of technological knowledge - I know all blue screens are a bad thing though! Hope it can be quickly repared/replaced.

Anonymous said...

Poor you. I hates that kinda' stuff. I'm amazed at how every Earthlink tech in India is named "Bob," "Pete," "Sam," or "Jack." I've grown quite fond of these guys. After the last two lengthy chats, one where I informed them that yes, indeedy, there was an OS called Vista coming out, (they had NO idea two days before the event), I hung up and fixed it my ownself. Praise be, the cheap-o big-box laptop is doing just fine. Earthlink, however, is about to be replaced. But I'll sure miss "Sam" & "Bob."
How many jars of peanut butter have you packed, Fleegle? Check those lot #'s. Not anon., just Lori.

fleegle said...

I figure 4 jars of Jif SuperCrunch peanut butter and six bags of coffee will see me through three months of Japanese food.

Anonymous said...

Something called the Red Flashing Light of Death afflicted the Xbox at my house this weekend. Ah, the tyrannical machines!

Anonymous said...

You have my sympathy and empathy. My fairly new Dell (last fall) drives me crazy. There's always something... including a DVD player that sounds like you're crinkling wax paper whenever someone talks. The guy in India couldn't help, even after 4 hours. Then... he called me back to give me a case number... at 1 am!! I've bought my last Hell, I mean Dell.

Time to knit... get back to the fun things in life!

Batty said...

I just bought a Mac. And this is why. So sorry you're having a frustrating time of it!

Silvia said...

This might help :)

Japanese Haiku Computer Messages

The Web site you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist


Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.


Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.


Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.


Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.


Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.


Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.


A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.


Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred?


You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.


Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.


Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.


Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.


Now isn't that better than: "Your computer has performed an illegal operation"?

Arachnera said...

Darn it. I typed a long comment and I got a "request could not be processed" message. Anyway, the Gateway I use dates from '01 or '02. It now runs Windows XP and (as to software) works fine other than always crashing this one rarely used game. The printer has a problem. The computer insists that there is more than one printer/scanner connected to it. (HP printer/scanner/fax[not hooked up]/copier is connected to the computer) This would not be a problem--but only one of the printers/scanners will work. And it is not always the same one! I have actually renamed one of the "printers" after a fictional villain.

An old (1996/7) Compaq Presario obviously has less capability and will sometimes continue playing a CD when all signs of operation have ceased and the computer appears to have shut down with no reason. Another story:

For a while, every time I tried to run RealPlayer, I'd get a computer crash. And on that same computer, every time you'd log in, it would come up with "installing.." or "updating", something like that, this program.

I now use Firefox rather than IE and I love when Firefox message-OK boxes say "The page at says "Blah...Blah.blah." (Obviously, that was a "John Doe" message with totally fake data filled in.)

What operating system is your computer running? (Windows, obviously, but ME? XP?)I'm just curious, as it seems to be the hardware part of the computer, but XP seems to get fewer "blue screens of death" (in my experience)

Hope you get a computer that will work well!

Anonymous said...

Computer hell. Know it well. Going through lots of drama in my household at the moment too. But at least my computer, and connection, works!

I'm really writing to ask if you worked out the Japanese superimposed pattern? I've just done a swatch of the shell motif of pattern 360 - and it looks wonderful. A fiddle, but with practice it will get better. Now I'm going to swatch the whole pattern to see if the method is too much of a pain when you have several motifs to work.

Silvia said...

thanks for all the nice comments on my blog, never had so many :).
When I will start the japanese patterns you will be the first to know as I will be probably in deep translation 'trouble'. I do not think I will try another entrelac project soon ( as I am still recovering after the last experience :)) but the lace tops are fab. Anyway just wanted to say your posts about the japanese kntting have been a great inspirations. And I loved the spider story - we've got a huge spider in the living room as well, for about two years now and we manage to accept each other in the end. Never been disapointed with spiders as I've been with men :).
Good luck with your computer - hope you can sort it out soon.
best wishes, Silvia