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Archive: May 15, 2005

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As the laptop turns - episode 12

Sunday,  05/15/05  10:55 PM

The saga of my laptop trouble continues...  (Links to 1, 2, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 4.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)  Here is episode 12...

-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Eichhorn []
Monday, April 25, 20053:02 PM
Subject: episode 12 - as the laptop turns

Here it is – the next episode of our serial.  Grab a cold one, relax, and I’ll regale you with the latest laptopular doings of our hero (me).

It has been a couple of weeks, so to bring you up to speed – I have my brand new laptop, my brand new port replicator, and all is well except that HP still owes me a memory chip.  Fortunately for the story this did not turn out to be as straightforward as you might think.

You’ll recall HP has already sent me a 1GB chip, but it was the wrong one, so they had to send a new one?  Well, to make a long story short - something you didn’t think I was capable of doing - they couldn’t do it.  Literally the part could not be ordered.  My correspondent at HP – who I now count among my friends – tried and tried, we had daily conversations, but his order requests kept getting rejected.  The upshot is that the nc8230 is a new model, and it takes a couple of months before parts for new models are available as “parts”.  You can order them retail from “small business”, but you cannot order them internally from “parts”.  HP is a big company and these things happen.  I guess.

Incidentally, I looked up the price of the 1GB chip they sent which was the wrong part.  The HP “parts” price was $1,450.  I am not making this up.  The same exact part on the Crucial or Kingston website costs $200.  Go figure.

Okay, so two weeks and 14 phone calls later, I still don’t have my new memory chip.  And by this time I’m corresponding with my HP rep daily via email.  In fact to give you an idea of how often we’ve corresponded, here is an actual email I received from him:

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 20052:43 PM
To: Ole Eichhorn
Subject: RE: Thank you...

My Pleasure.

P.S. I am married with two boys...8-)  I couldn't resist.

I am not making this up.  Maybe after this is all over, we’ll write a book together.  But in the meantime what do we do about this memory chip, eh?

This morning I had a brainwave.  I know I can order the very 1GB chip I need from Crucial or Kingston for $200 and have it here next day.  But if I did that HP could not reimburse me directly.  However, they can send me parts!  So I suggested that I will go out and buy the chip myself if HP sends me a new port replicator.  I’d bought a new port replicator from them already, however if they send me another one I can return the one I bought for a refund.  Somewhat complicated but it would work.  And guess what - they agreed!

So I excitedly bought a 1GB chip at for $160, next day delivery, and am now waiting to receive a new port replicator from HP.  When I get it, I’ll return my old / new port replicator (which is actually the second one, you remember the first one was defective?)

So, that’s the news.  There are at least two directions this can still go off the rails, and if past experience is a guide Murphy’s Law is in force.  First, the memory chip could turn out not to be available, or could turn out to be the wrong one, or it might be that a 512MB chip doesn’t play nice with a 1GB chip next door.  Second, maybe they can’t order a port replicator internally for the same reason they couldn’t order the memory chip internally, or for a different reason.  Or maybe something else will go wrong :)  So, please stay tuned for more…


Continue to episode 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4...


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Unnatural Selection
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On the Persistence of Bad Design...
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almost famous design and stochastic debugging
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introducing eyesFinder
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where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
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