Monday, September 15, 2008

No blog today, no thanks to Vista

Well, my apallingly awful brand-new Microsoft Vista laptop was crashing up a storm today. So I went to look for some tech support. Microsoft wanted to charge me $60 for it. Screw that!

After a bunch of frustrating rooting around for help, I managed to get into a cheesy online instant-messaging help session with a Gateway representative named "Lance_GWER9067". It was very slow and silent, like Lance was talking on the phone and eating a burrito and taking lots of trips to the bathroom and checking the sports scores while he "conversed" with me. And he never really did help, he just gave me a weblink to follow that had instructions on how to reinstall Windows Vista. Which I did.

The reinstallation process took 2 hours, and, of course, it didn't fix anything. But it did cause the sound on my computer to completely stop working. "No Audio Output Device is installed". Ha ha.

First thing tomorrow morning I'm taking this godforsaken piece of CRAP back to stupid Walmart and getting my dang money back. I don't know if I'll get a new computer right away, so this blog might go on hiatus.

Here's a final picture I made to express my frustrations.



Catapulting Aaron said...

go back to XP?

Bill said...

Yea, avoid Vista at all costs!

Especially Vista Home which ships with most standard new PC purchases (especially when bought at large retailers such as Walmart). Vista Home has a track record similar to Windows Millennium, if you remember that OS garbage from a few years ago.

Order a PC online and get it with XP Professional installed, or if you definitely need Vista (DirectX 10 is pretty groovy if into high end gaming), I recommend definitely getting Vista Ultimate.

James Douglass said...

Well, the last thing I want to do is give MORE money to my abusers at microsoft...

...But after I return this lemon, I might get a cheaper computer that comes with XP already installed. Then I will have money AND xp.

Catapulting Aaron said...

or -- to truly spite micro$oft you could steal xp :-D

Ian Berger said...

I definitely don't want to bring up old, tired arguments, but have you considered a Mac? You could use it and install a Boot Camp partition. This will allow you to run WIndows natively whenever you need it but use the Mac OS for surfing, MS Office, or any other daily tasks. I'm on a four year-old Mac laptop now, a cheap one. The only trouble I've had with it are dead keys, and that's because of me pounding on it. Yeah the games suck and there are some applications not written for the Mac, but if you need Windows, just use the Boot Camp partition. That will require a copy of Windows, but if you're retiring a PC, you probably have a copy of XP lying around anyway.

Macs are a little more expensive, but not too much, especially when you compare a similar computer with the same features and software. The Genius Bars at the Apple Stores offer free technical support (but not free repairs).

Sorry to sound like a fanboy (guilty as charged), but at least give it consideration.


James Douglass said...

Ian- I dig where you're coming from and am happy to report that yes, I WILL be getting a Mac for my next computer.

In the meantime, I'm bringing a laptop home from work for evening blog updates and such.

Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for at Wal-Mart. Cheap computer usually means cheap components.

Vista still sucks.

John said...

ya don't buy vista dude that operating system sucks. It only runs good on a top of the line computer, which most people don't have. I would recommend getting a computer with xp on it like the rest of the guys

Ian Berger said...

James, I used to be a Mac tech. Let me know if I can help you with any questions.


G-42 said...

Dude, I feel your pain. Vista is definitely to be avoided - too much hassle for too little benefit.

BTW, if you want XP, you now have to pay around a hundred bucks or so to "downgrade" from Vista when you order a new machine from the manufacturer. Funny how they manage to wring money from having released a completely flawed product.

In your particular situation, you've got some choices:

Buy a Mac (great consumer machine, just works, plus you get to do shell scripting if you're so inclined - not that you need to for anything most people would want to do with their computers).

Keep the cheap laptop from Walmart. Download Ubuntu Linux. Install Vista in a virtual machine (using your recovery disk). Do most thing you might ever need to do on Ubuntu (super stable and pretty neat OS). Run Vista when you absolutely have to; easily restore your Vista VM to a last-known-good config if something goes wrong with it.