A plug for Office Depot and a warning off for HP computers
A major reason I’ve not been able to get updates in has been the computer(s) issue. Remember last fall when I got a new HP computer? Well, that sucker was nothing but trouble from the time I brought it home. I restored it to factory settings, updated drivers, replaced drivers and did everything known to mankind to try to fix the unending problems with it. It was under warranty, of course, and the technicians did everything possible and it still crashed and got the ‘blue screen of death’ at every turn. I’d bought it at Office Depot and the folks there were great. After their technicians determined that it had a major defect, they gave me a new replacement HP computer exactly like the Pavillion I’d purchased. That was two weeks ago. Less than an hour out of the box, the replacement HP computer got the ‘blue screen of death.’ The one and only thing that was installed on it was Firefox. Indeed, it went to the blue screen of death everytime Firefox was opened and continued to do so repeatedly. Internet Explorer faired not much better — the computer would simply completely freeze up with it. This was a huge issue for me as all of my computer courses require the use of Firefox (the better browser at any rate) to work with their blackboard and other course platforms.
I spent more than 36 hours on the phone with the HP people, including letting them take over the computer remotely and try everything known to mankind, before it became clear (just check out their support site) that there is some sort of non-fixable problem with the operating system (OS) with that iteration of their computers — in fact, they are discontinuing it and this is clearly one of the reasons. I got no joy from the HP folks. Their only solution was that they could send me an identical computer but with a 1 terabyte hard drive storage rather than the 500 G of the lemon I had. Right, it would, as the senior case manager acknowledged, still be nothing more than a glorified typewriter with an identical OS system that does not function with Firefox or, essentially, any other browser or anything that uses graphics, but hey I could put more stuff on it. This was the help I got having both the HP warranty and the extended two-year warranty I purchased.
The Office Depot folks were much more responsive. In fact, they were brilliant. Having already replaced the first lemon with an identical lemon, they were like yes you can bring it back and get a completely different brand. I did a lot of online research first, talked to my comp. sci professors for their advice (they all also work as their major jobs in the ‘industry’) and wanted a Lenovo (or Acer) in exchange and was willing to pay the difference in price. The Office Depot had neither in stock in their store but had a Lenovo at a store in a town about 45 miles away — the manager of the Office Depot was like let’s not wait for them to ship it here, I’ll drive out there and pick it up myself tonight and you can collect it here tomorrow. There was a slightly more than $200 difference in the price (about $750 vs $500) and a $100 difference in the 2-year extended warranty and when I picked up the new Lenovo they only charged me the difference in the cost for the warranty! I mean, really, you could have knocked me down with a feather. They could not have been more helpful or more customer-oriented or more expedient if they had tried.
The Lenovo works like a dream (tfu tfu, find some wood folks!) and I’m scrambling to catch up with all the school assignments.