corenn: (Bleggh)
[personal profile] corenn
A couple of you have bought computers from me, or have gotten recommendations from me, at least. I try to get you the best possible machine for your money, right? I'm up-front about what you're getting, and if there are problems, I try to fix them promptly.

So why don't other computer resellers do that?

I just picked up a seven-year old Dell Inspiron for a client, and whereas I would have reinstalled Windows, brought the system up to date, and installed some sort of anti-virus, the guy I bought it from left it in a mess. And not just the software, but the hardware. It's missing KEY screws, and that wasn't disclosed to me. Granted, I should have taken more time to examine the thing, but it was 34 degrees out, and it booted up and looked fine.

Later on, I discover that it works, sure, but the screen could separate from the rest of the laptop very easily, and the hard drive could just FALL OUT. Automatic updates and system restore were OFF, he sloppily deleted programs (oh, but just their shortcuts - all the program files and support files were still cluttering up the disk), and the damn thing isn't even clean. At least wipe off noticeable crap from the LCD, okay?

I like the guy I bought this from. He's got ADHD out the wazoo, but he's easy to get along with, and he's a good trading resource for random PC/laptop parts. But this is the first time I've actually bought something from him, and I'm honestly not sure I'll ever do that again. His definition of "ready to be sold" differs vastly from mine, and I don't always have time to put in the work it would require to bring things up to snuff. I want to be able to give my clients a timetable and a guarantee. I can't eat the cost of a replacement screw set every time I need to buy a used laptop.

...Bah, I'll stop ranting now. I'm just really, really annoyed, and I have to face my client tonight with an inferior machine that will need servicing in a week, which means I'll be intruding on his life again. I want to make things as easy and unobtrusive as possible for clients, and that doesn't seem to be as easy as it should be.

Signing off.

Date: 2008-03-19 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This just goes to show how awesome you are. You care about your clients, and this is going to make all the difference :) Love you!!!

Date: 2008-03-19 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*sigh* :-)

Thank you, Bethie. I do try. And I love you, too! You're an awesome friend!

Date: 2008-03-26 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
D'awww... *huggles*


Date: 2008-03-22 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, while escaping the nightmares of XP and its abject lack of tidiness is relatively easy (, the rest of your problems...aren't.

I've tried for years to come up with solutions to the same quandaries you're encountering here, and in all honesty, I haven't yet found a good easy way to do it.

It's like the old adage says: "Good, fast, cheap. Pick any two." Replace "fast" with "easy" and you have an approximation of the reality of the matter.

The only solution I found was to cease purchasing hardware for clients. I didn't have the money when I was doing consulting (and, of course, don't need to consult now that I have money, the tradeoff being that I have to program COBOL instead) to eat the cost of additional parts and "I changed my mind" situations, and finally opted to recommend hardware down to the part number, but never to actually make purchases on the client's behalf.

If you figure out a good way to make this work, do let me know. As far as I'm able to see, though, there are numerous rocks and hard places strewn about with little means of navigation between them. To make matters worse, last time I tried I was attacked by a rabid marmoset.

I suppose the lesson to be learned is to avoid serving as the store whenever possible.

And to watch out for those frakking marmosets.


Re: Easy-peasy?

Date: 2008-03-24 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

This is actually why I stick mostly to Mac hardware. iMac G3s are dirt cheap, plenty fast for kids' games in OS 9, and cake to repair. Plus, I have more fun troubleshooting Macs than Windows. With Windows, my first instinct is just to back everything up, tank the whole OS, and install from scratch.

So my business model only extends to Windows machines when I'm doing a favor for a friend. In this case, I was trying to help two friends out - buying a laptop from one friend to sell cheaply to another. Won't be buying from this particular friend again, I guess.

Re: Easy-peasy?

Date: 2008-03-26 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mmmmph...ohhhhhmyfrckinGOOOOD, OS9. You have twice my own intestinal fortitude if you can stand troubleshooting it. I used to be good at it, swear. And was then spoiled by the Terminal, after which I realized "What the yotz was I doing with an OS that requires manual memory allocation for applications?"

I will say, though, that old Macs have a certain character where hardware is concerned. My best friend's ex-girlfriend (this is The O.C., now, for those who weren't paying attention) had an iBook G3 - one of the coloured clamshell models, and I was surprised at just how much functionality they managed to pack into it. My initial response was "Are you SURE it's a G3?" And then, "Firewire, onboard 10/100, CDRW, and how big's the HDD? ...8GB? Oh...yep, G3."

As for format-and-wipe being the best Windows fix, you're not the only one. Before I stopped consulting due to psychos and cheapskates (primarily the psychos - I'm so through dealing with mentally unstable people, Isweartofuckengod), my warning was "Back up everything you can ever conceivably see yourself needing in all of ever, because it's all going bye-bye." Got lots of groans but people usually felt better when I got their software reinstalled and Windows booted in less than 30 seconds (down from 5 minutes or even more in some really bad cases).

Shocker of shockers, my brother, infamous for having every bizarre, niche-market Korean online RPG in Internet history installed on his PC (complete with every available hack, bot, XP doubler, and who-knows-what-else to go with said games), actually wiped his spywared-to-hell laptop and installed Gutsy on it. I never thought it would happen due to his propensity to game (which isn't always the easiest thing to do under WINE), but he's loving every minute of it. Brings a tear to my eye - he'll be learning to hack in no time flat.

Re: Easy-peasy?

Date: 2008-03-26 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Man, I just need to email you, don't I? I miss our hard-core nerd-offs. :-)

Bonus points for "yotz" - Oh, my Dominar!!!

Date: 2008-03-26 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know that I'm much of an OS 9 troubleshooter, per se. I get by. For the most part, it's just not necessary. The iMacs running only OS 9.2.2 are 350 MHz G3s with no FireWire, so I market them as "for educational games only." They have the bonus USB port if the family wants to track down a supported printer (good luck - I have two, and I'm hanging on to them for dear life unless including one would make or break the sale), but for the most part, there are no driver issues because all the kids are doing is playing games off of a CD or the HDD. And if either breaks, it's not too difficult to replace them, or hell, to just replace the machine outright. I can find them for about $40 these days.

Anyway, I definitely agree with you on the "psycho" point. I think it's not so much that Windows users tend to be crazier. I think it's just that Windows is so prevalent that you're bound to run into a much larger slice of the population, in all their mentally-unstable, smoke-filled, low-rent glory.

I'm glad your brother's seen the Linux Light. I've tried Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn, Edgy), and it's not for me. But I respect the open source community, bask in the beauty of a distro running on "obsolete" hardware, and recommend it as a legitimate alternative to anyone who's remotely savvy and/or fed up with the Proprietary OS Blues. :-)


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