All entries for Sunday 15 April 2007

April 15, 2007

Silly enough to buy the latest technology

Follow-up to Retro Vista from George Riches: Complaints from a middle aged layabout

With 20 years professional experience with software, I should have known better.

A catalogue of the woes I’ve had with my first notebook:

  • For the first few days I focused on establishing internet and desktop-notebook connectivity. I then discovered a DVD entitled “Upgrade you Windows Vista Experience”. I ran it, expecting a few bug fixes. Instead after turning on the notebook The Windows Vista home Basic product key you typed in is invalid for activation appeared.
    Selecting “Access your computer with reduced functionality” allowed my browser to run, but no other application programs. At the bottom right-hand corner of the screen Windows Vista™ Build 6000 this copy of Windows is not genuine appeared. I tried activation by telephone – phoning 0800 018 8354. I had to enter 54 digits by touch tone before getting transferred to a robot with an American accent….... I did get it activated in the end.
  • Lotus 123 (Millennium edition) 9.0 won’t install – it works fine on XP.
  • Zonealarm won’t install
  • AVG Anti-spyware will install, but when it runs, The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000142). Click OK to terminate the application always appears
  • It took me four hours to get DVD videos to play. When I put a video DVD into the drive, Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because there is a problem with digital copy protection between your DVD drive, decoder and video card. Try installing an updated driver for your video card appeared. Needless to say the problem was nothing to do with the video card. After upgrading the BIOS and installing the latest audio codec driver, DVD videos (and audio CDs) do play.
  • I had to install winhlp32.exe manually
  • I can’t associate more than one program with a filetype

Perhaps a local retailer would have been better than Dell. Dell seem to have a rigid attitude to technical support. After 30 days their policy is that “all non-hardware related issues, e.g. software questions, virus removal, etc.” will only be dealt with via their chargeable software support telephone service. As I didn’t discover the problem with the audio until 44 days after delivery, that’s not very customer-friendly to me. A local retailer might have been more flexible, giving free support as long as the total time taken wasn’t excessive.

So far I’ve spent 25 hours setting up my notebook. I’ve yet to get any use or pleasure from it.


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