Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dell... oh how the mighty have fallen!
So now Dell does not even include a recovery CD with their computers, no OS, no drivers. You have to create your own, what fun for people who truly don't know very much about computers! So not only do you pay $99 for standard shipping, it takes the pc about a week to get out of the warehouse, and you get no support CDs with it. WOW. I'm at a loss for words.

UPDATE 02/26/06:

Golly. They didn't even bother to push in the modem all the way. After about an hour of troubleshooting I popped open the case and sure enough, the modem was half out of the slot. Nice work!


I have to say, Dell has redeemed themselves a tiny, tiny bit. After the PC arrived with a statement advising no rebate was to be had, I contacted customer service and they issued me a direct to credit card rebate. Still pretty pissed about the whole situation, but what can you do? A little less pissed now.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Bennett and Dershowitz
A good article from Bill Bennett and Al Dershowitz regarding the press capitulating the Islamists. The decline of western civilization continues...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dell and Microsoft, the Rebellion Must Start NOW
So, being a DCSE (Dell Certified Systems Expert) and working on Dells professionally for about 5 years now, when my aunt and uncle needed a new PC I recommended Dell and offered to set it up for them. When I went to the Dell website and arrived at checkout, I quickly and painfully realized that they no longer offered free shipping. Not only that, but it was going to be $100 to ship a $250 system. After doing a bit of surfing, I found a site that advised Dell may offer free shipping if the customer picked up their pc at the post office. I found nothing of this sort on the Dell site, so I called them up wanting to ask if this option was available, and if not could I get a better shipping deal? Well, what I found out is the Dell customer service reps are programmed to get you on their Dell Preferred Program at ANY cost, even if it costs them the sale of the PC. When I tried to divert the rep to answer my simple questions, she hammered away until I gave her my SSN to verify my credit was stellar (a little less stellar now that they've verified it). After verifying, I again tried to ask my question. I was informed that as soon as I'd finished signing up for their credit, I'd get an answer (more or less). At this point, I was done arguing on the phone. Unsurprisingly, the Dell customer service email was not easy to find on their commercial site. Having sent a mail relaying my experiences, I received back an offer for $20 off and next day shipping. They could absolutely do no better than this, the email informed. Having come this far, and tiring from the fight, I went ahead and ordered the $250 PC to be shipped at $80 with "next day" shipping. The funny thing is, it took 2 days to ship it from Dell. So, the whole process to get $20 off a new Dell, pay over $20 in taxes, and $80 in shipping wound up taking about 2 weeks from start to finish. Thanks so much Dell for helping me to understand that I do not want to order another computer from you ever again.

Now, on to Micro$oft...
Apparently, their new "anti-piracy" program will require the end user to purchase a brand new windows license even if a minor change, such as the video card (which is frequently upgraded anyway) occurs. Yeah. OK, you win M$, I have decided from this day forward I will never purchase another copy of any OS you make, nor will I buy a PC with it preinstalled. You have now lost a customer that has always been honest in purchasing licenses for new PCs, even when you spat in my face by requiring me to call you as I tinkered with hardware. Linux appears to be the only hope at this point.


I feel better now.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mohammed Image Archive
The Religion of Peace (TM) is rioting all across the middle east and places abroad because a few artistic renderings of their main prophet have found their way into publication. For a much deeper overview of Mohammedic imagery of the past and present, go here:

Mohammed Image Archive

As of this writing, many have died in the riots. At least one priest and several children have been killed, and one church burned. The world must awake and fight this animalistic behavior. It's time to force them to choose between civilization and death.

Was I offended when an "artist" submerged a crucifix in a glass of urine and called it Piss Christ? You BET I was. How about when an image of the Virgin Mary was smeared with animal dung and portrayed with cutout photos of genitalia? Yep. Sure was. So angry in fact, that I reckon I'd have some pretty harsh words for the "artists" had I met them in person. Harsh words indeed. Now comes the critical question: Would I have threatened to cut off their heads? Nope. How about burned down art galleries or murder artists? Again with the negatory on that one. In fact, I doubt I'd have any homicidal tendencies at all as I'm a human being. I'm a devout Catholic who takes his religion seriously, respect for life and all. I'd loudly denounce any who would make threats or cause harm to those who had created the pieces... and let everyone else determine for themselves exactly what they were pieces of.

UPDATE 03/09/06:

Here's a cartoon involving Jesus Christ that some may find offensive. As soon as the Christians start rioting and cutting off heads, let me know and I'll eat my socks.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cicero, 42 B.C.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared..."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I had laser eye surgery on the 27th of January. I'll try to keep a general log about my experiences post-op, as I've found others online to be extremely helpful in this regard. A few quick notes... immediately after surgery, in the dimly lit room, I was able to very clearly see the bottom row on the chart they had there. The doctor (a good one who I'll refer you to if you're in Cincy) gave me the lowdown on eye care for the next few weeks and sent me packing. I experienced no pain, but the 2nd (left) eye was worse because I anticipated what was coming up during the procedure. The worst experience during surgery (other than anticipation) was probably the initial insertion of the retainer into the first eye to keep it open, and the ripping off of the eyelash tape immediately post op. The actual procedure was completely painless. You should know, however, that you'll probably be able to smell the laser doing its work (smelled to me kind of like a bug zapper, yikes!). For me, post-op was fine. No pain, no burning, no eye irritation other than the occasional residue in the part of your eye near the nose, which you can't remove until your eyes heal. For the first 7 days, I questioned whether I should have done the procedure. It seemed as though my vision was better, but not all that great. They warn you that it will fluctuate for a while following surgery, and I'm here to confirm that. This week (2) my vision has been pretty consistently fantastic. The exception was later last night and this morning when my right eye became irritated and blurry for a while. That seems to be clearing up now, however. Also, when I took a shower the other day some water entered my right eye socket, and it turned pretty much blood red. Disconcerting, but it only lasted about an hour (trust me, I kept a constant vigil on that little bugger). At my first eye exam post op (the day after visit went well, healing was going fine) I was seeing 20/30 which isn't so horribly bad. The first few days I was getting some ghosting/double vision in my left eye, which for me has been the most disturbing post-op situation so far. That has since, fortunately, cleared up.

I feel the key to successful Lasik surgery is finding a good, honest surgeon. Ask questions about everything you want to know, and make sure the screening process is thorough. A few links:

All About Lasik
Government Fact Sheet
Wikipedia Entry

Do the research, and find a great surgeon.

Go to the source!