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I committed laptop….

Last night after battling the HP site for an hour trying to find a simple customer service email, two very frustrated emails to the “CEO” (yeah, like that’s going to actually be delivered), three calls to their robot, who transferred me to dead lines (not even bad muzac to keep me awake) I finally got through to a real HB.

How?

Giving the robot a nervous breakdown with an endless string of nonsense responses. (Sorry, ms Robot.) The poor operator got the benefit of this late night, PO’d customer and put me in the “answer now before customer goes postal queue.”

Never got in that one before. Kinda nice. Within two choruses of “It’s a Small World” (small license taken here…don’t remember what the music actually was) “Joe” picked up the phone. “Joe”…not the “Peggy” I’ve gotten in the past. YAYAYAYAY Not only English, but “Can do” English. Double YAYAYAY.

A little history. When I bought this machine 2.5 years ago, I also bought a 3 yr policy on it. When I began having problems this fall, I tried phoning for help, only to be told my computer was no longer covered. I would say, but I’m sure I bought a three year policy, and they would say, nope. So…I muddled along on the assumption that when this one died…which I know it’s going to…there’s a mobo problem…I’d just buy a new one, one whose screen is less bright, and whose battery doesn’t burn my legs even through the lap table.

Well, last night I searched for the original packing slip and using the order number Joe finally tracked down what happened. The policy had never been activated. Never mind I sent in the paperwork. He activated it and I should be able to get Sparkle fixed up and good for at least a couple more years.

Probably more because she’s going to become our office machine. Joe and I talked about the new generation of the DV6/7 and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse…even tho I’d sworn I’d never buy another HP. (Well, Carolyn sitting over there saying “DO IT” had something to do with my decision.) But this new machine is less than I paid for Sparkle with the policy and comes with a native two year policy…and is on a whole different level, technology-wise. Sparkle has been pretty good at handling the graphics programs, but has really labored under the size files I create. (Probably the graphics card which has far less memory than I thought I’d gotten.) When I’m doing the final detail rendering, the visual lags way behind where I’m actually drawing and it is, to say the least, very disconcerting.

The new machine can handle higher level 3D programs, so photoshop/paint shop pro s/b a piece of cake for it. And maybe I’ll actually get around to playing with the modeling programs that I just got bored with because it took so long to see the result. (Have I mentioned patience is not my long suit? I do very little net crawling because I get so bored waiting for these sites to load…and I have cable! I can fiddle with details on a project endlessly but wait for a program to catch up with where my mind is? Not so good. The beauty of writing on a computer is that typing fingers and screen rendering of letters can almost…almost…keep up with where the mind is taking you. Certainly far faster than longhand! 😆 )

Also, the screen s/b truer than the one I’ve been working on, which should let me do a better job of prepping images for the websites. (Ever since I got this machine, I’ve had to create the cover/graphic according to what I see, then adjust it blindly for a more average screen. I mean, there’s always going to be variation, but this is sooooooo much brighter than any screen in the house, let alone across the world, that I had to adjust.

Anyway, the new guy should be here next week. I’ll get it all configured and then send Sparkle to get (hopefully) a new keyboard and touch pad at the least and maybe even a completely new mobo. The problem of the fading office machine is solved and I’ll have a machine that will actually let me do the 3D rendering of Chya so I can continue the Gate graphic! Whoopie!

Meantime…Homecoming Games is still moving along, though filling out the beginning is a more accurate description of what’s happening right now.  And I’m really glad I’m writing this before publishing the revised version of Harmonies.

Funny things happen when you actually get into the heads of characters and ask “Okay…what have you really been up to for the last ten years.” I knew in general, but the devil, as they say, is truly in the details. This book starts with a reunion, after ten years, of people with some serious history, and sorting out fact from fiction is proving to be really fun! However, it also involves tweaking who knows what and some attitudes at the end of Harmonies/ColdFusion...so it’s really good to be writing HG before CF is published.

Of course, the beauty of ebooks is that, even if I had pubbed CF, I could put out a new version…just like a new and improved version of a program.

Anyway…it’s now Wednesday AM, I’ve written one more comment to HP’s “CEO” telling him/her he/she should be very grateful to Joe, well…I said I’d finally forced my way through their roadblock and gotten to Joe and Joe had not only solved my problem but made me a happy camper…and now I’m back to writing.

Finally, please note the side bar: we got some of Carolyn’s new Hard Cover, Intruder, in and we’re having a little sale on it in celebration!  We’ve also got the PB of Betrayer in, but I haven’t gotten the cover scanned and the product up yet. I’ll get that this afternoon.

Geee…..so much news in one day…

Ja ne!

13 comments to I committed laptop….

  • arkessian

    You do know about this stuff, right? Free, but I don’t know how much longer…. http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d/free-3d-software-overview

  • Greenwyvern

    How much memory do you have in your old machine? When there isn’t enough memory it can slow things down considerably. The laptop may have shipped with only 1GB, which isn’t really enough. In that case it’s easy and cheap to add a couple more GB.

    • I’ve got 4G ram (the new one will have 8, count them 8 with max 16!) I always go with whatever comes with the laptop, then upgrade with memory from Crucial. They carry good stuff and much cheaper than buying from any laptop manufacturer.

      The real log jam is the video card. It’s an ATI radeon…a good card, but has only 1200+ mb of on-board memory. I thought, somehow, that it had more, and that’s really not enough when you’re manipulating files that are 100+meg. The new card has 2G onboard. What a difference three years makes!

      My real splurge on this new machine is the solid state HDD for the primary OS and programs. (Have I mentioned I’m not the most patient person on the block? :whistle: ) I can hardly wait for it to arrive. Joe said that they did a “load Windows7 from scratch” head to head test on a super high end machine with a regular drive and a little clunker with a solid state drive, (well, a so-so machine) An hour + with the high end machine and something like 15min with the other. WOW!

      I think I’ll keep my absolute active art files on the solid state drive, then archive immediately upon finishing on the second, normal drive. (A downside of Paint Shop Pro is how long it takes to save PSP files…which means I get sloppy about saving and curse a lot if the program crashes. Rare, but it has.) And data files I’ll just work off the normal drive. (It has two drives, a relatively small solid state (Hah! remember when we thought 5 Mb was HUGE?), then a good sized…500G, I think, regular drive.)

      I’m really excited. It’s not as pretty as this one, but then we’ve all been talking about CC skins for our laptops anyway!

      Ooo…I’m so excited. Gotta get back to work….

      • Jcrow9

        Wish you had pinged me, I probably could have helped find that packing slip, or at least receipt. And, the CEO does receive those emails… most of all am glad you ended up happy w/ the situation! 😎

        • Hi, guy!

          I should have. Duh. In some ways, tho, that w/b cheating, wouldn’t it? :ermm: It was (a) late night in Spokane, and (b) I was kind of building up a head of steam before I realized it. The second blue screen of the day freaked me out. Naturally, I’ve been blue screen free ever since! They know, these computers.

          I mean, a customer who doesn’t know a clever and helpful employee personally really should be able to get to a simple customer service email, I don’t care how complex the company. I really don’t understand that mindset.

          This is not just HP, believe me, and I’m sorry if I implied otherwise, but Dell has a million ways of getting help, and Toshiba has a very simple list of phone numbers to call, no strings attached. I just think HP really really suffers in the “user friendly website” category.

          And I’m glad to hear the CEO actually reads those. Color me surprised. :blush:

          As for happy…I love the feel of this machine. If the new one is the same (Hope hope hope…love this keyboard) and has all that yummy extra go-juice, I s/b a happy camper!

          I might even spring for an in-home service policy, if they have one. CJ’s Dell policy has been really nice, and frankly, i like being able to keep my eye on whoever is messing with my machine :ninja:

  • Arkessian, thanks for the recommendation. I want to play in 3D too, but budget (sorry for such foul language) is a problem. I can’t afford Lightwave 3D 11 or Poser. I’ve downloaded Blender, and I think it’ll be like falling into the deep end of the pool, but it’s the one option I see. So, I’ll have DAZ to try too. Good, thank you!

    Jane, I’m not sure what’s up with HP. I think I’d read late last year that they were getting out of the PC business (?!) to focus on other things. But after my last experience with Dell, I’m not a fan of Dell. That said, I have an HP desktop and Gateway older laptop. — I have been mostly pleased with HP and Gateway over the years, and was with Dell until then. I think you’ll get a good product. I hope you’ll be really happy with it.

    BTW, I am still struggling with :censored: Illustrator. Grr. — And I need to give time to an upgrade of Inkscape, which is (yay) FREE and open source.

    I am seriously considering jumping back to the Mac platform, when I next have to get a computer, which I hope won’t be for a couple more years. I’m convinced Apple is working toward merging the iOS and Mac OS into a single OS platform. The upside of that is, that makes good sense and is mostly good for ease of use.

    Best Wishes!

    • Looks like I’ll have to contact DAZ tech support. I registered an account but haven’t received the confirmation / activation email…and their site requires a login to see their support contact info, such as an email address to write them? Oh, come on!

      Still, can’t turn down the bargain (free!) software while it lasts.

      • After more searching, I haven’t turned up an email address for DAZ 3D customer support. I tried logging in again, and when neither attempt worked, I clicked “I forgot my password,” since that ought to re-send the confirmation / activation email. (That’s what it says it will do. The system says the account wasn’t activated.) Small wonder, since I never got the email in the first place. Rechecked my Spam folder and Inbox. Still nothing. Their system claims it’s now emailed me twice, but I haven’t received either. So I checked. Yes, I gave the correct email, no typos there. Dutifully, I attempted to login again, got to their reset/resend password page, where it says, if you still have a problem, then Contact Us. Aha! So I clicked it…and get a page with a nice graphic saying I’ve landed on a 404 Not Found page, with a fun graphic of…a dorky-looking flightless bird. One is reminded one such bird is called…a dodo, a particular extinct flightless bird. One really tries not to take that as a personal reference, simply as a cute/funny cartoon meant to amuse.

        But gee, how does it help if I *still* can’t login, can’t get an email through, or if I do, can’t get a reply back because either their system (probably) or my system (possible but not that I’m aware of) blocks it?

        You know what? I’m not opposed to them. Their products, Bryce and Poser, have been around since some years after I started, and I know they have a good reputation as good products, long histories. I’d *like* to get the software with this free offer and *buy* a couple of the model packages and learn the programs. But…I can’t get anywhere and I can’t get the software, so…really too bad.

        I’m going to try with another email account, different system, and see, but I don’t expect positive results. If that doesn’t work, I’ll give up on the idea. That’s really a shame, and it’s not the outcome I want.

        I think it’s a poor web design if it’s not possible for any visitor whatsoever to their company’s website cannot find contact information in the first place, to ask reasonable questions, or cannot then get an email through and get back a reply.

        Paint me a dissatisfied (and disappointed) (and didn’t-get-to-be-a) customer. I’d much rather be a satisfied customer.

        Arkessian — Thank you, all the same. Your recommendation was very welcome and appreciated.

        • As I recall, I had the same problem. Can’t for the life of me…

          I checked my old email and, yes, I had the same problem. I didn’t get the download/confirmation message until the next DAY…don’t lose hope yet.

          Ooops…just noticed you’ve already been a day. Well…shoot.

          • Thanks, Jane, that helps. At least now I know there’s a chance it might still get through. Gah, you mean it could be some poor secretary or intern going through applications by hand and approving? From the sound of it. See, I can have sympathy for a gopher or cubie underdog. 😉 (Undercat? Underalien?) 😉

          • Update: Yesterday, their system finally responded, so that on Friday I received two emails dated Wednesday. Long story short, don’t give up on them. Wait it out, and you’ll eventually be able to get that software for free, a tremendous bargain on software with a good reputation, and order any of the 3D model bundles at a reasonable cost.

            Note also, thanks to friendly recommendations at Shejidan, I’ve joined the scifi-meshes.com forums.

            I’ll be playing with Blender soon, and later with the three DAZ3D programs. 🙂

            Jane since art’s important to you and you have computer art skills, I’d urge you to give this a try. I don’t expect rapid progress on the learning curve for myself, but I’m going to give it a go. Yes, of course, it also means prioritizing what project gets attention at the moment. 🙂 I hope you have fun with things.

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