Computer Problems Stink -- Fortunately, Dell Rocks. (posted by Lani)
First of all, let me apologize for being among the missing for so long here. Among other things my poor long-suffering laptop died a dreadful death. I worked on it; Steve worked on it; sadly, there were obviously major major problems and we resigned ourselves to having to replace it. We sat down and built a new desktop and placed the order, and I resigned myself to being pretty much offline for the several weeks it would take for that system to arrive.
Then, in a fit of despair, I called Dell. I was rather hopeless, expecting them to say the polite equivalent of "Too bad, so sad, nothing we can do for you" ... and let me tell you, I was very, very pleasantly surprised. Not only was I still under warranty, but their support personnel, although yes they were offshore and at times there was a bit of a language barrier, were wonderful. Our internet is still dreadfully slow and that had to be frustrating to them as they tried to have me download this diagnostic tool and that driver and attempted to run their remote software, but they were patient and seemed genuinely interested in fixing my problems.
Sadly, Steve and I had been right -- those problems were not to be fixed so easily. But you know what? Dell ordered me a new hard drive, a new video card, and a new LCD screen, and then dispatched a technician TO MY HOUSE to install same. The parts came in, the technician called me to tell me they were in, came to my house the same day (without even complaining about us living miles from civilization!), and rebuilt my computer in less than two hours. Kudos to Dell, seriously, for the kind of customer service you can usually only dream about.
In non-computer news, we almost had spring here for a few days. It warmed up to over 40 ... the snow started to melt and Pippin was in heaven, exploring parts of the yard she'd never seen before. Sadly our little heat wave only lasted a few days before the snow was back, but we enjoyed it.