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Archive for February, 2007

Living La Vista Loco (Vista OS Hassles)

Posted by bobheske on February 19, 2007

I am NOT an early adopter.

But my computer shit the brick right when I was in the midst of a deadline for two feature rewrites. And the damn prices for Vista-loaded notebooks just about forced me to take the plunge.

Yes, I did my homework. I even asked the tech guys at the company I work for. They told me: Wait six months.

Instead, I went to Staples and, as my tech guys like to say, put myself on the “bleeding edge”.

After three weeks of late nights talking to HP Tech Support (AKA – India), I feel like I have been sequestered to Guantánamo Bay. Oh the torture I’ve undergone!

Hence, I have put together a brief guide of “What You Should Know About Vista” before you take the painful plunge:

1. You’re An Island – No one has experience with this monster, so your pain will be your own.

2. You’ll Be Forced to Buy New Hardware – You’ll get a great deal on your notebook, but you’ll get reamed when you realize none of your peripherals older than 2 years have drivers. My Compaq 3000 wouldn’t work on Vista. Lucky those Sunday flyers had deals on new printers – forcing me to get rid of something that worked great on XP.

3. iTunes Doesn’t Work – You’ll go to the iTunes site and your stomach will sink when you read – “Don’t do Vista until we come out with a new upgrade”. If you do take the leap, you’ll find you need to uninstall like I had to do with my Iomega CD driver R/W. Thank God my wife is still on XP and I could adopt it to her.

4. Tech Support is a Misnomer – Oh, the joy you’ll feel when you call HP’s “JP Powers Award-Winning Tech Support” and be told – “Nope, we don’t handle that. But we can connect you to our ‘Smart Friend’ tech service for the low cost of $69 for 45 minutes.” Whatever happened to paying by the hour? No-no-no my friend. It appears international rates in India have eschewed the US “hourly rate” model and only go by 45-minute increments. Less time is more money!

5. Even if you have an HP peripheral, you’re screwed – I thought I had HP over the barrel when I told them I have an HP printer I was trying to share on my network. They asked for my serial number and told me my warranty had run out. But – GREAT NEWS! – for only $32 I could extend my warranty for 1 year and get FREE TECH SUPPORT. Yippee-kay-ay!!

6. You’ll get sick of HP Support and Try Geek Squad – I did. And spent an extra $89 to get my wireless connection running. The service was OK. Until I pushed the envelope and tried to download their “FREE TRIAL” online backup service. 3 out of 4 people on the Geek Squad customer service line never heard of the product. It took me 3 hours to install the service – get the wrong files backed up – and then uninstall and cancel my subscription (otherwise, after the “FREE TRIAL” they bill you without notice).

7. Just When You Think You’re Set … You’ll find out that Final Draft doesn’t have a bug-free upgrade for Vista. Nor do they support it.

As for me, it’s another night of being chained to my keyboard and talking to HP Support (AKA – India!!). It’s 1:16 in the morning. I’m weary. Cranky. And I am the only one in my office that has to work on President’s Day. Oh, and even better news. They just gave me a new computer. I pray to God it isn’t Vista.


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