Marv\'s Blog

Windows Migration pt 12:the saga of the faulty laptops from Novatech is nearly over

November 24, 2005
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I get the feeling Elaine Giles doesn’t like me.

So eventually, after having to wait a month to get the laptop in the first place, and having to wait nearly a month for anyone from Novatech to get back to me, it appears that even thought I desperately need a laptop for Uni, Novatech have decided to metaphorically prise it from my hands, forcing me to hand it over to them just so I can get a refund; to paraphrase:

It’s a company decision that if we wait until you’re finished using the laptop to collect it for a refund (December 16th btw), we will not give you a refund. Ever.

– basically, it seems that the emails I sent yesterday and today either pissed someone off or embarrassed someone enough

Your emails were quite sharp.

.

I was sick and tired (sick as in annoyed and ill btw) of having no contact from Novatech whatsoever, that I wrote an email on the smaller side of normal by my ranting standards, and CC’d everybody in the company who’s names I could find through Google and their own website. Funnily enough, several hours later I received two phone calls- one each from the members of staff I’ve been dealing with over this saga. Judging by the contents of the calls (the specific details I cannot remember because of those medical thingies), they’d just checked their emails and hadn’t spoke to each other as they had both covered information either had covered. With a few differences. They did however, by making these unrequested and unexpected calls make me later for an appointment, meaning I had to sit on a metal seat in the freezing cold bus stop. Which by the way, can apparently cause piles.

To summarise, if it were not for the helpfulness of my friend over at The Fragile, I would be without a laptop until I had spent ages finding just the right laptop, which i need effectively as a lifeline for Uni.

My experience of Novatech has been that while their ability to act as a components supplier is okay, their ability to act as a computer supplier (or at the very least, a laptop supplier), sucks to an abysmal level. Their after sales service also sucks to an abysmal level, as I found out that the woman I was in contact with was apparently the very person in charge of making sure it works. Hilarious when you consider the phone bill I rang up trying to get a hold of someone when their email system failed.

The behaviour of the employees Elaine Giles and Gavin Bridges, was in my opinion, designed to annoy me to the point of requesting a full and total refund of my order. This opinion gained more weight when Elaine Giles specifically asked if I was going to send my ethernet card & Cat5e cable back. Bear in mind I never mentioned any problems with those, and that the only problems I’ve had so far is just caused by the WinXP OS being dumb.

Right now I’m in the process of preparing the laptop to be wiped, as it appears that Novatech doesn’t share my view on data privacy & protection (or consumer rights for that matter). They also seem to like to sell second hand goods as new if possible, although they do have a clearence section.

To summarise, I would not recommend buying anything from Novatech should you plan on contacting the after sales at some point. If you do end up needing to phone Novatech’s after sales team, I’d suggest using their Google or Scoot to find their cheaper, local rate number instead of the one they give out.

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Windows Migration pt11

October 22, 2005
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Third laptop.

So now I’m onto the third laptop. This one doesn’t have dead pixels.

Now the reason I’ve got a third laptop is because I found out on Thursday that the wireless card was faulty. All the stress built up from having to wait a month to get what I wanted got to me and I just became too ill to attend my last lecture on Thursday- and missed Friday’s, mostly due to illness and partly due to having to wait in for UPS to pick up the laptop. DHL already came round to collect it earlier in the morning, but I didn’t request them to do so as I hadn’t finished sorting things out with Novatech.

I can’t check if this has a working ethernet/wireless card yet, as the battery hasn’t finished charging, and I don’t have a wireless access point at home. So I’ll be having to wait till Monday. Annoying thing is, at Uni, it was someone’s brilliant idea not to allow the students to have a secure wireless connection (there are two secured connections, and one unsecured one- just for the students). I might see if me and Anth can figure something out to fix that problem.


Windows Migration pt10

October 18, 2005
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New Replacement laptop arrived.

XP Pro is installing on the laptop right now, but there is now a totally new problem. Dead Pixels. Right in the middle of the screen (off center, but in main viewing area). I could stand it if it was off to the edge etc, but this is just annoying. The laptop with the broken DVD drive didn’t have DP, and the working laptop has a damaged monitor.

I don’t care what manufacturers say about their acceptable fault limits, it’s the equivalent of getting a glass coffee table with a scratch in it, or a CD with a small scratch in the middle of a track. Bloody annoying. ^Has requested a copy of Novatech’s DP policy.


Windows Migration pt6

October 14, 2005
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XP arrived.

I’ll be spending the next few hours fiddling with a nice clean install of XP Pro. Aside from the slight screwup over payment/shipping, GenStar have been helpful in correcting their error.

See you in a few hours.

PS:upgrade details.

I’m currently running win98SE, but the install is slightly buggy, what with it being win98 and all. There’s the fact that myself and other software has screwed around with the install so much it’d just be easier to wipe it.


Windows Migration pt5

October 13, 2005
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Pissed off even more.

First Novatech screwed up (although only slightly, but still by far the most inconvinient screwup so far), now GenStar screwed up.

I am formally revoking any positive opinion of the GenStar company.

Once I have recieved my copy of XP, or in the event they read this, take a hissy fit and decide to cancel the order on me, I will be posting the emails (censored of personal info of course). If I forget to do so, someone post a comment on here and I’ll get round to it.


Windows Migration pt4

October 12, 2005
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Delays in replacement.

  • The Cat 5 cable delayed the delivery.
  • The useless email system delayed Tech support response (they didn’t get the email sent from their website, I had to ring up).
  • The delay in teach support response put a delay on courier pick-up (they use one for deliveries and another for pick-ups).

Refunds and charges.

  • The missing DVD/CD-R software (Nero apparently) is being sent out today.
  • Their useless billing system overcharged to the amount of £0.01. The penny is being mailed by registered post- apparently it’s too difficult to put the penny in with Nero.

Compensation.

The compensation I am receiving for all of their delays amounts to this: £8.99 + VAT– a refund of the delivery costs plus free delivery on the replacement.

Conclusions.

  • I will not be buying anything from them ever again- they’ve just lost about £600+ in parts I was going to be buying for my network storage server next term.
  • I will be making the courier wait till I’ve checked the laptop works before I sign for it. It’s within my statutory rights as a consumer- you’re not supposed to sign for anything before checking it anyway, I’m just going to exercise it correctly this time. This’ll mean I’ll have to miss Uni for it like, but I’ve got no other choice.
  • Always shop around for the best deal. Doesn’t matter if you trust the place through past experience, they’ll beep up eventually.

Windows Migration pt3

October 12, 2005
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Laptop still doesn’t work.

It hasn’t started working overnight of course, and I’ve just gone and wasted £3 on my mobile cos of their crappy hold music.


Windows Migration pt2

October 11, 2005
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The laptop don’t work.

So my laptop got delivered while I was at Uni today, but there’s a problem. The laptop don’t work.

I ordered the laptop without an OS installed, and the computer just refuses to boot from any CDs (Ubuntu, Win98). There also appears to be a bit missing off the front, but I’m not sure if it is actually missing or if it’s just weird design.

Tech Support is closed at the moment, but if what I try doesn’t fix it (I am not going to open the case, I’ve had it less than a day and it’s still in warranty so I’ve no need to) I can’t get it to work, so I’ll be ringing them in the morning, or having them ring me.

Blog Shares.

I claim this blog in the name of me.

Listed on BlogShares


Windows Migration pt1

October 9, 2005
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I’m switching to XP Pro.

I’m switching, not because I want to, but because I have to. Windows 98SE just doesn’t cut it anymore. The kickass music player looks to be requiring Win2K or WinXP for the unicode support (and other things I presume). 3D Studio Max, which I need for my BSc course, requires them as well.

Also it turns out requires XP or 2K. Since M$ is dropping support for the 2000 OS soon, I thought it’d be a better idea to go straight for XP Pro instead of Win2k or XP Home, since I needed that extra flexibility with regards to screwing up the around with the system. Plus the Uni would be happier if I had XP.

Preparation.

My copy of the Academic Upgrade license still hasn’t arrived from Genstar yet, so it’s all prep work at the mo’. My laptop hasn’t arrived either, but thats besides the point as it’ll be blank and useless without XP Pro anyway.

Before I’m reading to migrate I’ll need to get all my and files in order. All the latest software updates need to be on hand as well. I’ve got an ethernet card on order with my laptop so that I can transfer files between the computer I’m on at the moment and my laptop. The entire contents of my music collection, my video collection, my image library and the software library probably won’t be going with me, as it takes up most of a 40GB hard disc already (the laptop is 60GB, but with XP’s bloat there’ll not be much room left.

The plan is to use the laptop as the main computer (possibly getting a keyboard+monitor switch, and the current computer as a storage and development server till next term.

Next term is when the fun starts.

I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I thought I’d let you know what I’m planning:

  • Purchase of a barebones system from , and the remaining parts needed to make a RAID 0+1 based storage & network server that is compatible with XP Pro and Linux (in case I decided to make the switch).
  • Purchase of networking gear (router/switch + cables) to create home wired Gigabit network (wireless may be easier, but wired is faster & more secure).
  • Installation of on current computer to create a hardware firewall for the home network.
  • Purchase of better computer chair. If the DSA claim won’t provide me with a chair suitable enough, I’ll be going shopping.

Term One Student Loan distribution.

This term my money is going on:

  • Board (to mother).
  • Bus passes (to Arriva).
  • Laptop (to Novatech).
  • Gigabit card (to Novatech).
  • Crossover cable (to Novatech, but if their suppliers don’t get their arses into gear I’ll be getting it from elsewhere).
  • XP Pro (to GenStar).
  • 512 MB RAM (to Crucial).
  • Second Life (to Linden Research, Inc.).

Most of the stuff for term one is to help with my Uni work, or is required for it. The only exception is the subscription to Second Life. The reason I’m putting it on the list at all is that it’s the perfect place to showcase 3D modelling, and it has it’s own scripting language. The idea is the more computer languages I learn, the easier my mind will be able to handle coding projects in one specific language. Kind of how driving different types of vehicles improves your handling of others.

The reason I’m subscribing as opposed to having just a basic account is for project I’ve had in mind for a while- I’ll not say exactly what it is, but it’s the kind of thing a geek/nerd might find really cool, but my girlfriend thinks is just ridiculous. I’m not sure if it even exists already in Second Life, but that’ll be one of the things I’ll be finding out when I play.

My Second Life Project.

It involves scripting, 3D modelling, photography and texturing- project management as well of course- all of these are part of the core modules for my course. So while I’m spending my recreation time in Second Life I’ll be learning and improving my ability to complete the course (and hopefully get a distinction at the end of it). Who knows, if it doesn’t exist already, I might make some money of it if other people want it. But I’m not in it for the money, I think the finished product would be really cool to have on my own house/back yard (I’m not sure how big I’ll be making it).


Lovely Megagear Goodness!!

August 2, 2005
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The package arrived!!

A few days ago I wrote about my shopping order from . It finally arrived this morning !!.

Surprise from the postal service.

As I said before, the delivery was a little late, but to my welcome surprise, there was no customs charge! Yet more happiness :-).

What I’m doing with my lovely goods.

I’m now proudly wearing my around my neck (I’ve got my keys hanging from it), the bell annoying my mother whenever I move :-P. I just finished reading , it was really great to read the old issues again, as well as the new Endgames material. However, until I get myself a , I’m a bit stuck as to what to do with the as I’d look a bit stupid with all of them attached to my , so I’ve got & on my t-shirt, and & on my .


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