Checked, Not Operable

[Go over to O’Ceallaigh and The Quill.  That post is much more fun then this one.]

I am online with my own computer.  I have been since yesterday afternoon.  I hesitated to say anything because I am not certain how long this will last or what will go wrong next.

Some of you will recall that the hard drive died on my brand new computer when it was just a few weeks old.  The crash took with it a truckload of awesome photographs, some of which were posted online, thankfully!  Those not posted are with Clemintine, “lost and gone forever.”

So, I sent my computer back to Gateway and in just 11 days they returned the machine to me with a new hard drive and a notation on the invoice (no charge) saying all systems had been checked and were operable.  Except when I plugged the machine in and started it up, it said I had no wifi.”No wifi!”  I shrieked, “Why not?!”  And the utility quite happily told me that my machine had been returned sans drivers. 

Checked and operable my ass!  If all systems were checked, then my wifi would have drivers, right?

So I called Gateway.  Some dude answered the phone.  Probably a stoner judging by the amount of brain cells he employed in my aid.  I told him I had no wifi drivers.  He told me to go online and download them.  Hello?!

So, I read to him the little paper about all my systems being checked and operable.  He responds, “Well, if that’s what the paper says, then that’s what was done and your machine is in optimal working order.  Thank you for choosing Gateway.”  Click.

What the — ?  I went to bed.  Time enough to haggle on the phone in the morning.

So, the next morning I again call Gateway.  A young woman answers the phone and walks me through the system utility.  We try to reinstall the driver.  No go.  She transfers me to a gentleman who takes me through the same steps she just did, plus several others.  No matter what we do, we get a “Code 10” message — which I was told, means there is no driver to access.  After several attempts this gentleman says, “We need you to make a back up system disc.  Do you have any CD’s?”  I tell him I have 4.  He tells me I need 7.  I ask what good backing up the system is going to do.  He tells me that we will use the system disc which I make — from my system — to reinstall the drivers.

Uhm, hello?!  “My system has no drivers!”  I said it right outloud — loud being the operative word.  He said, “It only seems that way.  They’re in there.  Your machine just doesn’t recognize them.”  I want to know, “So how will it recognize them on the disc?”  He says, “Trust me, it will.  I know you don’t understand this stuff but I am a pro.”

Okay.  I get CDs and call back.  Oops.  I don’t need CDs.  I need DVDs.  Lovely.  I call my sister Jackie and ask her to bring DVDs to the island when she arrives for her visit.  She arrives having forgotten the DVDs.  She said she’d mail them as soon as she returned home.  No problem, I was going camping anyway and wouldn’t be needing net.

I returned home from camping and found a phone message waiting from Jackie.  It seems there are several types of DVDs and she didn’t know which one my machine needed.  Neither did I — and without net I couldn’t even look in my online users manual.  So — again — I called Gateway.

A young woman answered. I thought I heard gum popping as we talked, but in retrospect I am thinking it may have been her brain misfiring.  I brought her up-to-date on my trials and tribulations.  She told me my machine would work with either type of DVD, plus or minus.  She also told me I need 7 DVDs.  I said, “Why so many?” She said, “You are copying your entire system.”  “Well, yes,” I answer, but my comp only has a 1 gig memory and a DVD is 4 gigs.  Shouldn’t I need only one?”  She answers firmly, “You will need 7.”  Okay.  It doesn’t make any sense, but okay.

I then ask her the missing driver question.  I still do not understand how a driver not in my computer is going to miraculously show up on a disc made by my computer.  The girl tells me, testily, “Before we can do anything else you have to make the back up disc.  Without that, we can’t help you.”  She assures me the driver will be on the disc and that she knows what she is talking about.

So, I make the back up disc — one, ONE DVD — and try the reinstall.  No go.  I still get a code 10 error.  Big surprise, huh?  I call Gateway.  Yet another tech answers — named Mike — I brought him up-to-date on my trials and tribulations.  He immediately said, “Of course the disc didn’t work.  You didn’t have the drivers in your system in the first place!” 

Well, duh.

I said, “I mentioned that to the other techs.”  Mike tells me one of them actually noted that in the log!  He also said, “They were following the proceedure manual, not using their brains.  If they had actually stopped to think … oh, never mind.”

Then he asks for my address and says he is sending me an email with a link to the necessary drivers.  I tell him that without wifi I can’t check the net.  I ask if I can download the drivers onto a disc.  He tells me I need to hook my machine up to a land line.  I explain that we don’t have such a critter.  He says, “Look, you’re at a college facility, right?  Go to the computer lab and ask their tech for a land line.  Access your email, click the link, and your driver will reinstall inself, no problem.”

He was correct.  I followed his instructions and here I am online.  So, where was he three weeks ago?  Charley says they don’t haul out the intelligent trouble-shooters until you’ve called in about seven times …

As we ended our conversation Mike said, “Thank you for choosing Gateway.”  I responded, “You know, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t.”  He said, resigned, “I understand.”

It’s Back — Sort of

My laptop returned home from the Gateway fix-it folks. The hard drive is fine. Now the wifi won’t work.

The laptop was returned to me with a note that claimed all systems had been checked and were in good working order. I find that highly suspect since my wifi has no drivers. How the hell could they have possibly checked it?

You’ll be happy to know that their automated system — the one you have to go through before you actually get a live person — assured me that the problem was wholly fixable. All I have to do is log on to the internet and download the drivers. Hello?!

Finally, I got a real-live person on the phone — several of them. They all exhibited less personality and compassion then the automated system. I spent almost $700.00 on a laptop that crashed, destroying all my files within just a few weeks of it’s purchase. The laptop was repaired and returned promptly — sans my wifi drivers. A phone call to that effect left me speaking to no less then 4 people over 7 hours. None of them were kind, considerate or compassionate. All of them were condescending and spoke to me as if I were short on intelligence. Why shouldn’t they? I obviously am short on intelligence. I bought a computer from them, didn’t I?

I would strongly advice you not do the same. I am still borrowing computers to check my email and post.

A Tale Of New Cities

Y’know, it’s one thing when you yourself pull stakes and move to Honolulu.  But it’s quite another when someone else decides to throw in with you.  Really makes you think.  Like, here we are, planting ourselves on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  What have we got to look forward to?  I started a list …

Mangoes.  Goes where?  I mean, c’mon.  I just got here, and you want me to leave already?  You call this hospitality?!?

No, I haven’t eaten one.  I ain’t even touchin‘  ’em.  The mango tree belongs to the poison ivy family, for crying out loud.  Yes it does.  For me to eat a mango, it would really be a rash act.

Papaya.  Now, I’m glad to see that the Great State of Hawai’i thinks good thoughts about fatherhood.  But I don’t see how that’s going to get us very far, unless they’ve got some mamaya hidden away someplace.  Look, Jesus of Nazareth may have walked on the water and risen from the dead.  But he didn’t give birth to no kids.

The myna.  The starlings of Hawai’i.  (Actually, starlings and mynas are close relatives on the family tree of birds.)  They’re everywhere, and they’re usually in your face, begging for handouts.  Or overhead, letting you know how they feel about not getting any.  Makes you wonder what would have happened if they’d imported the majah birds instead of the myna ones.

Or maybe, it was the Irish who brought the myna to Hawai’i, thinking that they’d stand in for the leprechauns which would have been hanging out in the forests and caves if the Polynesians hadn’t gotten here first, Neil.  I’ve been a myna for a heart of gold …

Hibiscus.  The rose of Paradise.  Lovely flowers, found in the hairdos of all the pretty girls – and some of the guys.  Man, don’t go there!  Trouble is, they’re all on tall plants, trees and shrubs and stuff.  That leaves a hole in the horticulture, dude, a lacuna in the landscaping.  Some enterprising botanist needs to invent discover a hibiscus that grows small and flat, so it can serve as a groundcover, perennially festooned with those lovely flowers.  Which the owner of a needy hairdo can simply reach down and get.

Of course, some snarky people would insist that any such plant be called a lobiscus.  I’m not naming names …

Aloha.  So low you can’t hear it.  I guess we’re not amused.  Proof positive that Hawai’i has a royal family.  Patterned after the British nobility, no less.  Victoria …

What was that you said about the airport, Quilly?  Hello?  Hello?!?  Sigh.  Oh well.  Plan B.  Taxi!

O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2007 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.

My Sisters: Laurel & Hardy

Jackie, my sister who blogs, and Caryl, my sister who doesn’t blog, are a great comedy team.  Fun to watch, but somewhat difficult to interact with. Picture me watching this conversation like a tennis match ….

Jackie:  Caryl, you’re over-watering.  Everywhere I dug in the garden, the holes filled up with water.

Caryl: I only water for a half an hour every day.

Jackie:  That’s too much.  Turn off two days and only water every third day.

Caryl: you fix it.  Make it water for 15 minutes every day.

Jackie: to get strong roots you need to water deep, but not too often.  Turn off two days and only water every third day.

Caryl:  Okay.  You can program the timer.  But I still need it to water for 15 minutes every day in my flower garden, so don’t change number 5.

Jackie: Okay, don’t change number 5 and everything else is every third day.

Caryl: number five has to run every day.

Jackie: yes.  And everything else?

Caryl: fifteen minutes every day.

Jackie: you want me to go program all the sprinklers for fifteen minutes every day except number 5?

Caryl: No.

Jackie:  Okay.  What do you want?

Caryl:  I want everything programmed for 15 minutes every day, except number five.

I cracked up laughing.

Jackie (to me):  It’s okay.  We do this all the time. We’ll get it sorted out.

Me: Just go program the sprinklers however you think is best.

Jackie said:  I should, then she can just yell at me when she doesn’t like it.

Caryl:  Yes.  Do that and I will yell at you later to fix it right.

Jackie:  Okay.  Fifteen minutes every day, except number five?

Caryl: No.  You said I shouldn’t water every day.

Jackie:  Okay.  Then what do you want?

Caryl: fifteen minutes every day, except number five.

Jackie: All righty then! (and she gets up and goes outside.)