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CHILI_D's Photo CHILI_D Posts: 389
3/8/08 12:41 A

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"As soon as the tech support realizes you have a clue, they can be very efficient."

Well, of course. Because it makes my job so much easier. And if you're nice and polite on top of that, it makes the job fun too. :-)

I''m not a geek. I''m a level 12 paladin!
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"Your character is who
you are when the lights are out." -- Julie Bowen
=====================
The best argument ever for why I need to exercise: If I do, I can eat more.


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3/2/08 1:31 A

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I totally understand the front line tech support realizing you have a clue.

I run a program with 50 laptops signed out to high school students, the University has a tech support to keep them running, but instead of waiting a week for them to fix problems I do most of the stuff internally.

So I end up doing tech support to laptops constantly.

I have developed my own checklists for common problems.

I recently got a laptop in that a student couldn't use the wireless on. So I printed my checklist, and went down the list writing results as they came up until I got to the 12th item and then wrote "wireless card fried, send to electronic repair to replace it". I left the laptop on the table in the workroom to bring in on Monday afternoon when I got to the office (I work in high schools most of the time).

My boss came in Monday morning, saw the checklist and the laptop, so he brought it over to Electronic Repair. They looked at the computer, ran through the first few steps in my list, and then skipped straight to my conclusion and replaced the wireless card. They asked my boss where he got the list, they couldn't believe we developed it internally, they suspected I downloaded it from a tech support website, because it was exactly as it should be, start easy, work through each step sequentially until you get to the most difficult problem to fix. So I looked really good to my boss with Electronic Repair complimenting my tech support, the University tech support doesn't have such a great reputation.

As soon as the tech support realizes you have a clue, they can be very efficient.

Good Luck

Toby

"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
-Wayne Gretzky

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."
-Eleanor Roosevelt


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CHILI_D's Photo CHILI_D Posts: 389
3/1/08 3:01 P

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I love a customer who has a clue what he's talking about, as long as he doesn't suffer from either hubris or a testosterone over-dose (being a woman does not automatically make me ignorant). It means I don't have to dumb things down for him, and if I am really lucky, all the most basic trouble-shooting is already done. As in,

"I installed the RAM upgrades, and it wouldn't POST, so I took them out and it boots fine. I installed them alone, no POST. I updated the BIOS, put the ugprades in, no POST. Now what?"

"Now I set up an RMA for you. Thank you for saving us time by troubleshooting before you called. Would you like the replacements over-nighted?"

emoticon

EDIT:
That should always be the first question. Is it plugged in? Is the monitor on? Do the little green lights blink?

Edited by: CHILI_D at: 3/1/2008 (15:01)
I''m not a geek. I''m a level 12 paladin!
=====================
"Your character is who
you are when the lights are out." -- Julie Bowen
=====================
The best argument ever for why I need to exercise: If I do, I can eat more.


 current weight: 170.0 
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DAN_C_SWAN's Photo DAN_C_SWAN Posts: 134
3/1/08 2:55 P

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My personal bugbear (yes I do a lot of support work too :)) is the refusal of front line support to recognise that you *might have a clue what you're talking about* when you phone up with a specific complaint.

Loved it when I had a blown PSU in an Apple, but on phoning tech support had to hold down several keypresses etc. before the support person got several questions down the list to

"Do any lights come on when you turn it on?"

Which I always I think should be the *first* question you ask when someone calls up with a popped PSU ;)

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
(Philip K. Dick - How to Build a Universe)


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CHILI_D's Photo CHILI_D Posts: 389
3/1/08 2:15 P

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I called the consumer support number, and I should probably add that it was a couple of years ago. All the same, there is bad, and then there is BAD. As a professional in the same field, I have absolutely no patience with someone who will not provide me with good customer service, because I know how easy it is to do that. In fact, you have to be either an idiot, or completely disinterested, to fail.
emoticon

Edited by: CHILI_D at: 3/1/2008 (14:16)
I''m not a geek. I''m a level 12 paladin!
=====================
"Your character is who
you are when the lights are out." -- Julie Bowen
=====================
The best argument ever for why I need to exercise: If I do, I can eat more.


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DAN_C_SWAN's Photo DAN_C_SWAN Posts: 134
3/1/08 2:10 P

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Interesting - I had to call in a self inflicted injury on my Vostro laptop - I'd managed to dent the screen somehow. I had no accidental damage cover on the machine.

Dell (in 3 short phonecalls) got me a replacement shipped, and the old machine picked up. I spoke to call centres in India and the USA - they were great.

Again I wonder if this is because it is a small business machine. I've never spoken to a 'consumer' phone support at Dell I have to admi.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
(Philip K. Dick - How to Build a Universe)


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CHILI_D's Photo CHILI_D Posts: 389
3/1/08 1:44 P

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"This apparently flies in the face of some people who love to talk trash about Dell - I've never understood why."

I know this is a very late reply, but here is why:

1. I had to call their customer support. Never, EVER, do that, no matter what your problem is or what your options are. I am serious. Words cannot describe how important it is to avoid those people.

2. I use my computer for gaming. Dell locks me out of the BIOS functions I need to access to over-clock, and they don't let me upgrade.

However, I will admit that if you can avoid the travesty that is their phone support, and if you are content to let your computer do exactly what it was built for and nothing else, Dell makes some of the best machines out there.

I''m not a geek. I''m a level 12 paladin!
=====================
"Your character is who
you are when the lights are out." -- Julie Bowen
=====================
The best argument ever for why I need to exercise: If I do, I can eat more.


 current weight: 170.0 
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KWOLFE80 Posts: 116
2/14/08 9:39 A

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I've been very pleased w/ the Dell Latitude laptops. I have a D510, and my brother had a D610. They're very dependable and, if well maintained, will last for many years.

DAN_C_SWAN's Photo DAN_C_SWAN Posts: 134
2/13/08 7:12 A

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We have 2 Dells at home and are very happy with them. I've bought Dells for years (and I'm talking 60 or more for work from laptops to desktops, workstations to servers) and always found them reliable, solid and well built. This apparently flies in the face of some people who love to talk trash about Dell - I've never understood why.

I agree that the small business options are generally better than the 'home' options. I'm extremely happy with my Dell Vostro.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
(Philip K. Dick - How to Build a Universe)


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EDGONZALEZ's Photo EDGONZALEZ Posts: 9
2/13/08 6:57 A

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Misty,

Once you have a good idea of what you want in a laptop, you may want to check out Dell's website. I Highly recommend looking at Dell's Small Business offerings ( www.dell.com/content/products/catego
ry
.aspx/notebooks?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
) (even if you're not technically a small business).

The last time I looked, they had better prices on the same, or similar, machines as their Home & Home Office counter parts.

Edited by: EDGONZALEZ at: 2/13/2008 (06:56)
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DAN_C_SWAN's Photo DAN_C_SWAN Posts: 134
2/12/08 12:06 P

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I have gone the other way - I've replaced my desktop with 1 (well 2 now) laptops.

One's a Dell Vostro 1400, the other is my old work PowerBook G4.

They now sit side by side on the desk, raised slightly, and controlled from the same mouse and keyboard using Synergy (http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/). Depending on what work I'm doing one and only one will accompany me to the sofa/bed at any one time!

I agree, that if portability is definitely NOT an issue a small, quiet desktop offers better bang for buck (I love that term).

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
(Philip K. Dick - How to Build a Universe)


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TOBOBEAR's Photo TOBOBEAR SparkPoints: (0)
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2/12/08 11:56 A

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Dan is right, what you intend to use the laptop for, who is going to use it, and budget are the main factors.

I would also add, if you don't need the portability, a desktop would offer far more computing power for the amount spent, but would obviously not be portable.

I realized the above error in my last laptop purchase when I realized I was using my laptop as a desktop. It was so bad, there was a dust outline of my laptop on the computer desk, it had sat there that long. When I replaced it I got a much better desktop at a lower price.

Good Luck

Toby

"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
-Wayne Gretzky

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."
-Eleanor Roosevelt


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DAN_C_SWAN's Photo DAN_C_SWAN Posts: 134
2/12/08 9:27 A

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The advice a true geek or nerd gives on this kind of purchase is entirely related to

a) what you intend to use the laptop for
b) what other people might use the laptop for (family for instance)
c) what your budget is!

regards,

Dan

Edited by: DAN_C_SWAN at: 2/12/2008 (09:26)
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
(Philip K. Dick - How to Build a Universe)


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MISTYS1256's Photo MISTYS1256 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/12/08 9:11 A

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hi everyone I'm not sure if i'm out of place here but i was looking for information about buying and using a laptop. Don't know the first thing about them could someone tell me what i need to use one lol not kidding i'm illiterate when it comes to them

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