Mostly about my amusement

Month: March 2009 (page 1 of 2)

Generally, I am a satisfied Dell customer

I am a repeat Dell customer. I’ve been buying their equipment for years and I have always found that they take care of any problems I have. If something is not working, I call them and get support.

I have had problems in the past but it has always been taken care of by Dell.

So last month I purchased a Dell MINI 9 netbook. The deal I got was the recent $199 Ubuntu special and my new toy arrived yesterday.

The built in wi-fi card is spectacularly dysfunctional.  It is not satisfied to just drop >70% of it’s packets, it has to give it’s all and interferes with my wireless access point.  When it is in wireless mode, no one on my WLAN is safe; it kicks off other PC’s and laptops.

The MINI 9 associates successfully with the wireless router.  My DHCP server logs the request, the server gets the ack, and the MINI 9 gets an IP address.  That’s about as far as it goes and after that the netbook is useless.

So I contacted Dell via their online support chat. They don’t support the Ubuntu version on the chat line and I was given a number to call.

I then dialed that 866 number that they gave me. That did not go so well; they insisted that my wireless router needed updating. I explained that there are many things on that wireless router that work fine and that the MINI 9 was actually interfering with the other devices.

We went back and forth and I finally told them that the Dell MINI 9 I received was defective and I wanted a refund. I received an e-mail with a link to get the shipping label and tomorrow I will drop it off at UPS.

What I was looking for was a way to make my MINI 9 work. Some setting or configuration in Ubuntu to get the wifi card functioning. What I got was “This is not our problem” and the implication was that they might not have granted me a refund.  That was never stated outright but I could not send it back without a return number.

So this all did not exactly go as I intended. The Dell MINI 9 is a cool device and I would have liked to have kept it. But I don’t have time to play games with technical support. Now I’ll probably shop around for another Linux based netbook.

Yep, that’s the deal with my son


This is the HG Hy-gogg I just built. I have been catching up on my Gunpla stash lately because of a deal I made with my 7 year old son. When he’s extra good in school he gets to build a model with me.

He’s been extra good for the last 4 school day so I have been busy for the last few evenings.

He does not want me to work on the model with him, he wants me to work on my own next to him. So here’s the one I just completed and later on I’ll upload pictures of his HG Rick Dom II Colony Color version.

He’s getting pretty good at it and he’s having a fun time. Soon he’s going to demand that we paint his model! It’s all good but his sister is beginning to get jealous so I better start including her on our model building sessions.

Photoshop Elements 7 pet peeves

I used Photoshop Elements 6 and liked it.  It worked and let me touch up my photos quickly and efficiently. I liked it so much that when PSE 7 came out, I paid for an online upgrade as soon as I could.

PSE 7 broke the small things. With version 6, the photo downloader just worked. When removable media was inserted into my PC, the service would see image files and pop up with a “Are you ready to download them now?” This was a feature that I liked and my installation of PSE 7, this just does not work.

I have to launch the photo pownloader by hand, select the media and then I’m good to go. It’s a small point but a pet peeve of mine. This after un-installing the software, wiping out all traces of it on the disk, my %AppData% folder, and in the registry. Twice.

The second pet peeve is the offer to backup/synchronize my photos on Adobe’s site. I get asked the following question more than half the time when I start PSE 7:

Hey Stupid. I see that you are not smart enough to use the free 2GBs of storage that Adobe provides you to save your files when your house burns down.

Do you

1) Want to stop being a moron?

2) Sign up for some real space at a fee?

3) Continue to jeopardize your standing in the family by not backing up online now?

I exaggerate but not by much.  The pet peeve is that I’ve been ask this question almost 50 times now. At what point does PSE 7 and Abobe get it? I have ~14,000 photos on my WD 1TB MyBook, it takes up 105 GBs of space. If I lose them I’ll feel bad, but I’ll just keep taking more pictures.

My last pet peeve is the thumbnail generation. Sometimes, not always, it refuses to generate a thumbnail for an image until I’ve browsed to that image. It’s as if it’s saying “Oh, you want to preview that file?”

Other than these points PSE 7 is okay. I rarely get into heavy editing and usually just adjust the brightnes and contrast. Since my files are all in RAW I also get to fix the white balance. The final results of my editing are worth putting up on Flickr.