Saturday, December 23, 2006

Will It Never End??

Today I got the call... "Come and pick up your computer! We've tested it and it is fine." I was thrilled, I was elated, I was... skeptical! But, with hope in my heart, I jumped in the truck and headed for the store. Upon arrival I was happy to see the 'computer repair' section of the store was pretty empty. In fact, I was a little surprised that the traffic and amount of people out shopping really wasn't too bad considering that tomorrow is Christmas Eve.

Taking my place in line I tried to keep my feeling of elation in check. I hadn't yet tested the computer, and this was the -2nd- time that it had been sent out to the manufacturer for repair. My turn came and I stepped up to the desk, gave my name, and pulled out what is becoming a large bundle of repair orders. Flipping thru I came up with the newest one and handed it to the tech. Smiling he brought me my laptop.... he didn't even make a demur when I stated that I wanted to plug it in, fire it up, and test it myself. Although, he did tell me that he and another tech had tested it and he was absolutely sure it was fine....

I boot up, I load up Photoshop Elements, load up a picture, click on crop with a shape, make my shape on my picture, hit o.k..... and watch the computer screen go black as it shuts down. HAH! This was why I wouldn't take the computer out of the store without checking it. Today was 12/23... officially my extended warranty ended 12/22.... I was NOT taking possession unless it was right!

The poor little tech guys face just fell... He claims never to have seen anything like it.. Could it be software?? No way, I say! I've been thru all of that and it is definitely hardware!!!! I then explain for the third (or is it fourth? or maybe Fifth?) time to a new person that it all worked fine -before- his store added a gig of ram to my laptop.

"But, it can't be the ram, we tested it!" He says confidently.

I ask, striving for patience, "I've asked that the ram be removed and tested, I assume no one has done that -still-"

"But, ma'am" (I hate when they call me ma'am {sigh!} "It -can't- be the ram... we tested it!"

"Humour me... let's remove the gig of ram and see if it works then!"

Treating me as if I was insane (at the very least), this is done...... and the computer performs flawlessly! I crop once, twice, three times... on the same picture! and then do the undo three times and return the picture to it's original size.

"I'll be d@mned!" the little tech dude exclaims... "Um... could you come back in an hour? Maybe go shopping or something? I ... um... need to check this out."

Feeling vindicated... and a little smug LOL! I agree. Off I go for an hour. My return is greeted with, "Just a tad more time, if we could?"

Another half an hour of wandering.

Finally he is ready for me.... "Ummmmm... well, we took video of the problem and we will have to send the laptop back.... But, -I- have sent a very detailed description with the video... I think we will be able to get something done this time...."

"Fine..." I say with a huge sigh, and not being able to resist, "You know, if the techs I've dealt with would have listened to me and allowed me a chance to show them, I wouldn't be sending my poor computer out to the shop for the -3rd- time.. not counting the 4 days it stayed with you guys!"

He was very apologetic, and I did feel a little superior to be proven right after all of those snot-nosed kids had treated me like I could barely turn a computer on let alone understand how it actually works! Maybe next time they'll listen to the lady who knows her 'baby' inside and out!! {sigh} But probably not.

Anyway, the bottom line is that my laptop is -still- in the shop, and I'm still having to beg, borrow or steal time online just to check my e-mail.....

Oh, for anyone interested... It works with the 1/2 gig, it works with the 1 gig, it won't work with ram in -both- slots... very odd, and obviously a -hardware- problem... Gee, where did I hear that before?????? LOL!

One more thing, in case you missed it, check out my Celebrations of Light and Hope entry. I know I repeat it every year, but it is one of my favorites and is fast becoming a Holiday tradition for me!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Winter Holidays

and still missing in action.....

I'm still missing in action, but wanted to drop in and make my yearly repost of my Happy Winter Holidays post. I originally posted this entry on my AOL Journal in 2004, the first year I blogged. Last year I reposted it in my AOL Journal AND in my Blogger journal that I had started in 2005. This year I find the message just as relevant as it has been for the last two years, so here it is again!

An update on my poor laptop: Remember that it spent a week at the shop before they decided it was more than they could handle and they would need to send it off to the manufacturer. I was thrilled when they called me after only 1 week to tell me it was back. I immediately jumped in my pickup and flew into town to pick it up. Arriving at home I was thrilled to be connecting to the internet with my baby. I surfed, I e-mailed, I caught up on all my friends lives.....

Around Midnight I decided that I would make an "I'm Baaaack!" entry. I chose the photo, I brought it up in Elements, I cropped it....... I watched my screen go black as my laptop shut itself down. BAH!!!! That was the reason it was in the shop to start with! The nice tech people received a call the -moment- they opened the next morning. "Bring it back" they say. SIGH! So, back it went, and it's been gone another week and a day as of today.... I don't expect it back till after Christmas... Sniffle!

So, how am I making this entry? And for that matter the comments I have made on a few blogs? Well I had a laptop prior to my beloved baby. I had passed it down to G. so he wouldn't ask to use mine to check his e-mail and things. The shoe has been on the other foot the last couple of weeks with me asking HIM if I could please check my e-mail! LOL!

Why no entries? G.'s laptop only has the bare minimum of programs on it. He has the normal Windows stuff... paint, notepad, write..., but no Photoshop Elements, no PSP7, no LIveWriter...He literally only uses it for e-mail and internet access! So I've just been waiting (semi-patiently) for the return of my baby to post again. But I couldn't not post a Happy Winter Holidays entry could I???

Be sure to scroll down one entry for the mentioned Happy Winter Holidays Post... And, just in case I don't post again till after New Years... Happy New Year!!

Celebrations of Light & Hope

This is a repeat of an entry that I've made the last two years on this day. It still says what I want to remember about this time of year, so I'm doing this 'reprint' again for the third year in a row! <g> Our jobs have changed, our address has changed, as have other circumstances, but the main message of this post that I originally made on December 21, 2004 has remained the same. I hope you will enjoy my take on the Winter Holidays... even if it IS 2 years old LOL!

PreviewToday is the shortest day of the year... and the longest night. It is the first day of Winter. It is the celebration of Yule. It is an acknowledgement of Hope. That Light and Warmth and other good things will always return after the darkness. It is the day that G. and I celebrate as our personal Winter Holiday. In ancient times, this was the festival of the rebirth of the new god and a promise that after today the days would get longer, the nights would get shorter, and warmth and Spring WOULD come.

Yes, secularly we, like so many others, celebrate Christmas. In the United States, Christmas is no longer just a religious holiday. With the gift giving, and Santa, and the decorations... Christmas has become more, and less, than what was originally intended. Everyone takes the pieces and parts of the holiday that works for them. Some embrace the religious parts, and try to ignore how secular it has become... others embrace the secular with it's parties, lights, Santa, and presents and ignore any religious beginnings of the holiday. But, at it's heart, it is still a Winter Holiday.. A celebration of Hope. And every religion/belief system seems to have a celebration of some type that embraces this.

I grew up in the States, and therefore my memories of a Winter Holiday include all of the above. And Christmas itself is as much a melting pot as the United States itself. The Christmas tree is German, and Santa is the culmination of a blend of traditions from many countries. Mistletoe? Druid. Christmas Cards? England. You see what I mean. G. and I will be celebrating with my brother and his family on Christmas Eve at his house. That's the day we all have off together. Christmas Day G. is working so a co-worker can be home with his small children for the Santa Claus ritual <g>.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't Previewmatter who you are, or what your core beliefs are... There is a place in the Winter Holidays for all. But, please, take a moment this season, whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Yule, or Christmas, to remember that the REAL reason for all of these celebrations is to celebrate HOPE in all of its forms

graphics by useless graphics

Saturday, December 02, 2006

(About to be) Missing in Action

I am about to go missing for 2 or 3 (probably more) weeks. This is not my fault!

I think I mentioned here that I decided to add a gig of ram to my laptop so that my Photoshop Elements would run better. A gig and a half of ram! I thought that my problems would be over!! Silly, silly Me.....

After having the ram installed by a 'qualified' technician I happily brought my laptop home and began to surf and play. Things went great until I opened up Photoshop Elements and tried to do something with a photo. Each time I would do more than 2 things to a photo my computer would shut itself off. Thus began the ordeal......

First I did the repair, uninstall, reinstall drill that we all know so well. Nothing worked. And, the only time the computer did this was when I worked on photos. Since all I really use the computer for is Internet and photos... well, you can see the problem. So, I phone the 'qualified' techs and they tell me it could be a software problem.. No, I already thought of that.. O.K... then bring it in and let us take a look...

Tuesday I took the laptop to them and they said they would need to run tests. My understanding was that they weren't that busy and would get to it that afternoon. I call back 5 hours later.... And am told they needed to stress the machine and it would take 2 or 3 DAYS!! I freaked, but sucked it up and figured I was at least getting my $69 worth of testing. Meanwhile I went to dig up paperwork and realized that the laptop is still under the extended warranty I bought till Dec 20th... Yippee!! Calling the techs I am told that my $69 would be refunded when I picked up the machine... Double Yippee!

And I waited...

And I waited...

Finally on Friday evening at 7pm they call.... they can't keep the machine up and running long enough to do the rest of the tests and want to send it in to be worked on.... and it would be gone 2 or 3 weeks.. EEEEEeeeeeeeeekkkk! Did I want them to do a backup before they sent it off? (at a cost of $110 not covered by my warranty?) Ummm... NO! I would come and get the box, back up any photos not already on my external harddrive and any game saves (most things are already on the external, I try to do that once a month anyway). Well, I could try they said.

I pick up the box, bring it home and check e-mail, Bloglines, read journals/blogs etc for like 3 hours..... but the minute I bring up Photoshop... Phhhhhhht!

So, I am going to go online and schedule the bills to be paid for the next couple of weeks, make an entry to both Blogger and AOL Journals so you guys don't think I had some awful accident, back up a couple of random things...... And return the box to them to be shipped out... Whine!

Update: I just got off the phone with the store and they said that the laptop wouldn't ship out till Monday if I brought it in today... so I'm keeping it till Monday. LOL!