Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 12, 2007
BLOG: Computers Bad

I am writing this from my wife's laptop. Why, you ask? Well, I finally had to get a new computer, since my old one was 7 years old and wheezing badly (still running Microsoft ME).

Having had quite enough of malfunctions and Dell tech support over the years, I decided to buy a Hewlitt Packard, having heard good things generally and seeing as how the company is doing so well, I assumed the products would be good. My HP Pavillion Slimline with its state-of-the-art LCD monitor arrived early this week, looking sleek and a significant upgrade in every way from the old desktop battleship.

Except it will not work. Just keep getting this "Monitor Going to Sleep" message. Tech support seems convinced that the problem is the computer, not the monitor; in either way the thing is entirely useless. Tonight they tried to get me to take a screwdriver and open the thing up...a brand new computer out of the box! They gotta be kidding. Now they want to send me a box and have me send them the computer back to fix, taking who knows how long, and in the meantime I had essentially dismantled my old PC.

Unbelievable. I just can't seem to buy anything that works on the first try.

UPDATE: So, HP has decided it's the motherboard, and they are sending someone to my house on Friday to replace it. It took some talking to get them to agree to do that even though we have the warranty/home service contract and even though I'd already been through two prior calls to establish that it didn't work, but at least now we hopefully will get a functional machine.

Meanwhile, my iPod is no longer on speaking terms with my wife's laptop, which is supposed to run the iTunes. I can't win...

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:53 AM | Blog 2006-14 | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

get a mac. you wont be sorry.

Posted by: John at May 12, 2007 1:37 AM

I think they might kick him out of the Republican Party if he bought a mac.

Posted by: Rattling the Kettle at May 12, 2007 10:28 AM

hahaha... I bought my wife a mac since she wanted to get into photos and videos with our new baby. However the thing turned off permanently after two days - while I was traveling.

She called tech support, they made her walk through the diagnostic steps. Take it to the mac retail store. Nothing doing - same steps. Take it home, ship it back, start fresh. Tough luck if you had already put data on the hard drive, its gone for good.

My biggest problem is that the Mac store should have just given her a new one, and taken the broken one. Would have saved over a week in shipping time, or for a broken mac they could spring for the overnight shipping. Nope, had to wait a week.

So any computer can break, it sounds like its hardware on your end Crank. I would give it back and get a new one.

And if you are used to Windows, the mac change over is much harder than its made to seem. At least for me, I've been on Windows since the beginning, and using my wife's Mac is nearly impossible.

Posted by: Brendan at May 12, 2007 1:01 PM

x2 on the mac. dell is still my favorite for laptops, but their desktops are too heavy and kludgy. The Mac Mini can do oh-so-much.

and go download Ubuntu, load it on the old one. it's easier than you think, and you'd be surprised at how much life it can give an old machine - desktop or laptop.

now that will REALLY get you kicked out.

Posted by: dave at May 12, 2007 1:10 PM

Crank, I was among the first mac buyers in 1984. I now have a Mac network home, with two PCs on it, and they work well. In the office, we have a PC network only, and right now they have been off line for a week.

Leave the Dark Side Crank. You'll never be sorry. And the one Intel Mac I have runs XP faster than the Dells in my office. Any questions? Go to any Apple Store. They really know and love their product.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 12, 2007 2:32 PM

Assuming you have not thrown away the monitor from your old computer, plugging that in could verify whether it's a computer issue or a monitor issue (it's almost certainly the computer). That would be one less thing to debug. I would assume it's some sort of power-saver setting.

Posted by: Jerry at May 12, 2007 3:51 PM

I'm not joining the cult buying a Mac.

The tech support guys had me plug in the old monitor, that's how they decided the problem was with the computer.

Posted by: Crank at May 12, 2007 9:33 PM

Crank, did you get an American tech support or the high quality outsourced tech support?

Posted by: Javaman at May 12, 2007 11:44 PM

Crank, it's a cult when a bunch of wierd people get together to believe in something strange, and probably "unduplicatable." Say, the Cargo Cults of the Melanesian Islands, who believed that one day the Navy would bring valuable cargo again, or the modern version: Buying a Wintel computer, and hoping that the funny cargo machine out of the box would never produce the Blue Screen of Death.

As consumers, especially computer consumers, we've tolerated poorly released products that were never more than a beta version for years, having all sorts of deficits that would have bankrupted Sony decades ago, had their TVs acted like compters now, or an old ATT phone, that worked through anything. Since 1984, you get a Mac out of a box, plug it in, and start working. My last two macs I think have crashed possibly once between them in the last 2-3 years. My PCs crash 4 times a week each.

I guess the way I see it, you are in a cult, and I am working and using my computers all the time. All I have to do is switch it on and chant, "iPod! iPod!"

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at May 13, 2007 8:59 AM

check your power settings and try to disable all the auto power stuff.

Our company does tech support you can check us out at

of course we aren't the warranty support that you have with HP right now, but if that doesn't work we're here.

I'm a tad suprised you were using ME as a primary computer, we tech call windows ME as windows MeSS

Posted by: Peter at May 13, 2007 12:00 PM

of course we are good techs here, but we can't spell to save our lives, that's what I get for hitting post without previewing.

Seriously you might want to check and see if the monitor has it's own sleep settings as well.

Personally I'd have gone for an xp system, vista hasn't impressed me much except for a feature or two.

Posted by: peter at May 13, 2007 12:07 PM

I bought a Gateway 5 years ago, my third from the company. It was DOA. After hours (seemed like years) with tech support, a supervisor told me it was the motherboard. I insisted they ship me a new system, and they agreed. Then they shipped me a motherboard only. ("You install the motherboard yourself, Bud.") I eventually sent the whole thing back and never ordered another Gateway.

Seems to me at a minimum they should have to send you a system that works at the beginning. It shouldn't be your responsibility to remove and install new parts. I'd give them about three more days to straighten it out and then I'd go elsewhere.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at May 13, 2007 4:31 PM

Try getting a Compaq. Ive had mine for a while and they are relatively inexpensive too.

Posted by: Matt at May 13, 2007 7:43 PM

He did get a Compaq (more or less). Compaq merged with H-P five years ago.

I've got Mac Mini (with the PowerPC chip) and it rocks. I'm looking to get an Intel Mac Mini soon. You can get one with Windows XP installed for less than $800.

Posted by: zaphod at May 14, 2007 2:47 AM
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