July 16, 2005
Buy a new emachines T6520 Media Center PC at Best Buy. The thing's loaded. Excited to replace my incredibly slow old machine, but very busy so it'll have to wait just a little while.
July 23, 2005
Set up new emachine. Spent about seven hours configuring, uninstalling unneeded software, installing new software, registering stuff online, and beginning to transfer data. Machine loses internet connectivity for unknown reason. Attempt to recognize internet is immediately followed by machine crash. Technician Elvis (yes, really, his name is Elvis) chastises me for not creating recovery disks before making changes and says he will send a set to me.
August 2, 2005
Still no recovery disks. Technician Jody tells me that Elvis entered my quandary into the notes but didn't actually order the disks. She will do so, and gives me a case number to prove it.
August 9, 2005
Still no recovery disks. Technician Linnay (a trainee, the spelling of whose name I have no idea) took my information, repeated things to me that Unnamed Trainer her was saying to her, put me on hold for more than 10 minutes, then disconnected me. Technician Walter says my order for recovery disks was just entered into the system today. Despite their repeated gaffes, they cannot send the disks express.
August 15, 2005
Recovery disks finally arrive. Turns out they can send express, as they arrived in a FedEx envelope.
August 16, 2005
Attempt recovery of crashed machine to no avail. The exact same thing is happening as did on July 23rd. Technician John thinks it's a bad motherboard. Orders an empty box and mailing airbill to be sent to me so machine can be shipped to them.
August 29, 2005
Receive empty box and airbill to ship machine back.
September 1, 2005
Ship machine back.
September 7, 2005
Machine returns with cryptic form that appears to say motherboard, hard drive, and RAM were all replaced after repeated attempted to re-image the hard drive and re-program the motherboard. Too much going on at work and home to set this up now.
September 18, 2005
Set up refurbished new emachine. Appears to be working, although it did not require me to go through the fresh-out-of-the-box new setup process. Spend a couple hours uninstalling unneeded software, installing new software, etc., and discover that one of the front USB ports doesn't work. Upon testing all four UBS ports, discover that none of them work. Technician Monica attempts to uninstall UBS ports from Device Manager so machine will re-recognize the hardware. Not a bad attempt, except the machine does not recognize it as new hardware. She has me start the destructive recovery process and tells me to call her back in about half an hour when it's done.
Five minutes later, the recovery process appears to be done having only used one of the five recovery disks. I call back. Technician Theresa says that Monica shouldn't have had me start the recovery process through Windows. She also thinks the brand-new-only-once-out-of-the-envelope recovery disks are dirty, and tells me she'll wait on the line (my dime) while I take them to the kitchen, wash them in warm sudsy water, rinse them, dry them off, an bring them back. She has me attempt the recovery through system configuration this time, and tells me to call back in five minutes when it's done.
Three minutes later, the recovery process appears to be done having only used one of the five recovery disks. I call back. Technician Mary thinks maybe the hard drive is bad. Customer Kelly intimates that she'd be keenly unhappy if one bad hard drive was replaced with another. (Sorry, I started talking in the third person there. How very Bob Dole.) She then talks with Unnamed Supervisor and returns to suggest that the recovery disk is probably faulty. She'll send new ones. Customer Kelly reminders her that the first time recovery disks were promised, it took more than three weeks to receive them, and that that sort of delay would not be acceptable. (There I go again.) She promises me, on her mother's honor and her unborn first child, that she will order them and escalate the ticket so that they disks will absolutely positively be sent right away via FedEx.
September 19, 2005
I decide that the second computer tower sitting on my desk with a keyboard and mouse on top of it might be a good message board (hey, magnets will stick to it, right?). I never had a message board that cost so much money, caused so much frustration, took up so much space, and required 104-key dusting.