Monday, November 24, 2008

Gateway tech support

I am coming out of Blogger retirement to share this with the Internet. The following is an actual transcript of an online chat with Gateway technical support for a call about a new Gateway monitor with on-screen static. I have edited only the names. I will let you draw your own conclusions about their efficacy:

GATEWAY: Thank you for contacting technical support. My name and badge number are [edited out]. Please hold while I review your issue.

GATEWAY: Hi. According to your submission and my data, the serial number for your Gateway system is [SN] and the limited warranty expiration date is 11/6/2009. Is this correct?

ME: The serial number is correct. I don't know when the limited wty expires.

GATEWAY: Thank you for verifying your information.

GATEWAY: You mentioned that your monitor have a static and shimmers. Is this correct?

ME: Yes

GATEWAY: Can you tell me exactly when this started and describe any changes you made around that time?

ME: This started this morning. There were no changes made last night that I know of. The video driver was not updated.

GATEWAY: What troubleshooting steps have you already tried?

ME: I have turned the monitor off and on again. I have plugged the monitor into another computer to make sure the problem wasn't in the video card. The same issue presents itself with the other computer. I have tried lowering the resolution setting. Nothing had any effect.

GATEWAY: Can you please provide your computer model.

ME: It's a Dell inspiron 530

GATEWAY: Is that the model of your monitor?

ME: No, that's the model of the computer. You asked for the computer model.

GATEWAY: Can you please verify.

ME: Verify what?

GATEWAY: The computer model.

ME: The computer is a Dell inspiron 530. The monitor is a Gateway.

GATEWAY: Can you please verify the serial number of your monitor.

ME: I did that already. [SN]. It's on the back.


GATEWAY: I suggest that you need to reseat your video card or reinstall the driver.

ME: It's not the video card. Like I told you, I plugged the monitor into another computer and the same problem presented.

GATEWAY: Please hold.

GATEWAY: Thank you for holding.

GATEWAY: It seems that we need to service repair your monitor.

ME: So I need to take it back to the retail store. I've had it for less than 2 weeks.

GATEWAY: Yes you can replace it.

GATEWAY: They will replace your monitor. [No they won't; it's discontinued]

ME: Is this a common problem with the model I purchased?


GATEWAY: Is there any other concern that I can assist you with?

ME: No

GATEWAY: It was a pleasure working with you. My name and badge number are G[edited out]. Thank you for using Gateway Remote Assistance and have a great day.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I've been tagged!

Well, you can move out to the suburbs, but the gangs follow you. Fortunately, the gang members in my neighbor- hood haven't caught on to the whole thug culture thing yet. But, apparently, they are tagging. I was going to water the dead grass in my yard when I noticed this message spray painted on the side of my house. "Hi," yourself. Next time maybe you can meet my friends, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Spy Show Themes at the Symphony

Hi all,

I know at least one person who says he is still checking this blog to see what I've been up to, and of course there have been no updates in a while. So today I'll write about last night.

Yesterday I was looking for something to do and saw that the Houston Symphony was doing a concert dedicated to James Bond: Relive the music of James Bond through songs like 'Goldfinger', 'You Only Live Twice', and 'Diamonds are Forever'. Your fingers will also click to spy-themed favorites like 'Mission Impossible' and 'Pink Panther'. Spy shows had the best music, so I decided to go. (Although I don't think the Pink Panther is a spy-themed favorite.) I didn't buy a ticket online because sometimes if there are unsold seats you can buy them cheap with a student ID at the box office. When I got to Jones Hall and stood in line, a gentleman came up and asked the lady behind me if she needed a ticket because he had an extra one to give away. She said no, she had extras and she was in line to try to return them. So I spoke up and told him if he was giving away a ticket I'd be glad to take it! He handed it to me and went inside. I looked at the ticket: ORCHESTRA ROW F. This was an $85 ticket that placed me on the ground floor, six rows from the stage. Even better, I was right in the middle behind the conductor! Best seat in the house, free? To quote one of my daughter's TV shows, "Yay me!"

It turns out most of the Bond themes they played were from the John Barry days, which was fine by me. They opened with the main theme, of course: that attention-grabbing staccato introduction followed by the slow and deliberate swirling of the strings. Then "Goldfinger," another favorite, its luster diminished only slightly by the absence of Shirley Bassey's vocals. Then "You Only Live Twice," which was not great only because the accompaniment was too loud. After the theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service and "Diamonds Are Forever," they played the theme from Batman (the movie, not the TV show!), the "Love Theme from Superman," and the theme from the Spider-Man movies, all of which were excellent. After intermission we heard some Henry Mancini music: Clouseau's theme, the Pink Panther title music, and a medley of Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky. (How could anyone not love the Peter Gunn theme? The Mancini tunes were a big hit with the audience; I think a Mancini-themed concert would do well.) After a spotlight performance by a new violinist from Bulgaria, it was back to Bond for some music from Casino Royale and the big finish: a medley of themes including "The Spy Who Loved Me," "Live and Let Die," the "Raid on Fort Knox" from Goldfinger, and the title them from Thunderball. The show closed with the theme from Mission Impossible. It was great fun and I'm glad I went.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's the economy, stupid!

Well I haven't posted anything in a while...

I've been working at the new IT job for about a month now, and I still don't feel like I've settled into the role. I've been on a couple of minor projects but they've been focused on providing documentation... other than one minor troubleshooting issue, I haven't had to actually DO anything yet. They want me to be the go-to guy for Exchange 2007 so that's what I've been spending all my time with. They are paying me a good wage, with great benefits and even an allowance for my cell phone. Brilliant!

What about the law degree? I know, I know. The attorneys at the Firm are giving me a hard time about not working at a law firm. They say I should "strike while the iron is hot" and say I'm throwing my career away for not taking a job with less than half the pay. They say I need to pay my dues. Well. I worked 18 weeks of unpaid internships and worked a midnight shift doing document review for peanuts. All I have to show for it are a stack of letters from firms saying I have a nice resume but their needs have already been met through their summer interns, etc. So don't call me a quitter, call me a rational maximizer. Hopefully I'll find a way to combine my IT background with the law degree, but in the meantime I've got student loans to pay!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I passed!

The Texas Bar Exam results were posted around 1:00 pm on Thursday, May 3. They post a list of passing exam takers on their web site. They don't post the fail list, but if your name's not on the pass list, well, then, you know. Results were due out Friday, but sometimes the list is published early. I had spent all day Wednesday and Thursday morning checking the site. Sometimes I would get obsessive and press F5 a dozen times, refreshing the page. I suspect a lot of other people did the same thing because the hit counter went crazy. I was attending a class that day and paying much more attention to the web site than I was to what the instructor was saying. We took a break for lunch and after some really good (and free) pizza, I checked again and the link to the pass list was up.

After the list came up, I jumped up and went outside to call everyone and let them know. People keep asking me how much I passed by, and I don't know. The pass list is just that--a pass list. Scores come in the mail sometime later. Someone sent me a contratulations text message, but I didn't know the number. So I wrote back a "Thanks!"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Status: Employed!

I just accepted a new, full-time position with a computer job, starting Monday. I'm also going be doing drafting part-time for the Firm that I used to work for. In this way I'll make money, keep one foot in each career field (computers & legal), and hopefully find a way to merge these two at some point in time. I'm very happy to be going back to work, and the company seems like good people. So we'll see. I'd drink the champagne I bought for New Year's, but I'm saving it for the bar exam results. Either way it goes, I'll feel like a drink. Heh.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Playing the waiting game

The document review job is dying a fitful death. Last week we only worked three days. We did work Monday, but then they told us not to come in tomorrow unless they called first. Sheesh. I need something more steady, even if it is temp work.

Bar results in T-16 or 17 days. Those of us who are working late nights on document review aren't as thrilled as the Fortunate Sons who are at the big firms and can expect a champagne party and a bonus when their results come in (but we're not bitter!) Honestly at this point I'm more looking forward to Spider-Man III coming out (same day as the bar results are scheduled to be released).

I have a nibble on a computer training gig for next week. Details to follow, if that nibble turns into a byte. (Hey. It's computer humor. That's as good as it gets.)

Update: False alarm. They found someone local. But they were impressed with my resume and they'll keep me in mind. If I had a nickel...