• Lenovo (IBM?) Service Feedback

    This time is the time for Lenovo after really splendid service from Logitech. What happen was my Thinkpad X61T didn't boot up at all after flashing a new BIOS; screen on both internal and external was blank; only sound and LED indicator seemed normal. After a quick self-diagnostic, there was no way I could fix myself. It was the time to call Lenovo customer service. You know? I dig around to find if there are any chances to contact a representative by chat which is really cool way as far as my experience was concerned. Unfortunately there is no free service. It's sad since most companies have started having that, and it works well. (Sprint, newEgg, for example) Okay, so far, the only way is calling them on the phone.

    Day 0 (Thu , May 15, 2008): The system was down; call 1-866-96-THINK; then as you could expect, I wasted 10 minutes or so on an automatic system and identifying myself & my case, then they threw me another number which is IBM service department in Atlanta, GA. After that I had to have another 10 minutes to do the same procedure before getting into the real talk. The representative had done what I would do if I were him; asked customer to try to turn on, hook up to external monitor, but no luck happened here. Thus, while my machine is still on warranty, they had to send me a box by DHL which I had to send back to them for further investigation. What I can say is it's quite impressive procedure so far.

    SNV10150 Day 1 (Fri, May 16, 2008): The box with foam inside that fit my machine was come including one instruction paper and information form on the back. Soon as I got that I filled out the form and call DHL to pick up (it took only an hour after I called them). It's pretty quick and smooth process here. At this point, I got an email about the case (and a link to my case info page on ibm.com) and tracking number for the box. But, since I have already completed all things they wanted, I don't care much. As so you know, it's all DHL express overnight service for free, pretty good.

    Day 2 (Sat, May 17, 2008): I got another mail from Lenovo that told me that the repair on my case had been completed (o_O" I'm surprised how fast its whole process is) and a tracking number of the box that was shipping to me.

    Day 4 (Mon, May 19, 2008): Since it was Sunday, I guessed they had to postpone to Monday before it delivered. I'm so thrilled to get my machine back. Yeah!

    Surprisingly after I opened up the box, I found Windows XP Professional COA on the back instead of Vista Business COA I have on my machine. I thought it was quick because they just swapped and shipped me back. Unfortunately I was so wrong. It was IBM Thinkpad T43.

    WHERE THE HECK IS MY X61 Tablet @(DJISD#(*)@&^uidfa@(*&#(@)(%)*^.

    That was shock because I recognized that is the box I sent to them; every stickers were right: my name, my address, my case ID, and my machine S/N. Soon after I could keep my breath I looked up my case info on ibm.com; found that the case was closed with no failed part (yep, since it was no broken part really) Then I called Lenovo immediately. No luck this day since it was 9pm and no one would pick up my call.

    Day 5 (Tue, May 20, 2008): I called Lenovo in the morning and explained that you guys shipped me a wrong unit. They sounded not surprised at all which sounded surprise to me indeed and they also told me to ship the box and would investigate the case and report me back in 5-7 days. It sucks; since it shouldn't happen at all. I rather have few days waiting at first instead of this.

    Anyway, they contacted me again at noon to ask if I could stay at home and wait for DHL guy to pick the system up and they would contact me again about my system within 48 hours. Hell yes, I want my X61 back fast. No way I would decline this. And DHL came by my apartment to get the box as promise.

    Yet, I have no clue what will happen next. I could only do hope everything would be alright. Although shipping a wrong unit sucks, very fast process might be able to compensate it. Will see when my case will end.

  • NAS: which OS should be on?

    I do have a problem about which OS would suit best on my NAS for quite a while. I had Lacie Ethernet mini, NAS device which is Linux Embedded, a while ago and that served me well. In addition, I need an extra one since that NAS device had not enough storage for me anymore. So, I have microATX box which installed Ubuntu. Yes, the performance gained significantly from ARM-based system to x86 system. My electrical bill, however, went up as you could expect since that was <20W on NAS to 45-50W on full PC. Then I came up with an idea of merge DVR with NAS together to save the bill. My only answer would be MS Windows again. It doesn't matter which version I choose; they are basically the same. If you ever tried Windows Media Center, you will know that you will be missing something without it. I think it might apply to whom you are using TiVo or similar stuffs as well.

    The reason why I wrote this, nevertheless, is not urging everyone to use like I do. I just want point out pros & cons of each system as a NAS.

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      Lacie Ethernet mini Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Windows Vista Home Premium
    Power Consumption lowest medium low-mediumw1
    Throughput slow fast fastest
    Protocol FTP, HTTP, SMB FTP, HTTP, SMB, etc FTP, HTTP, SMB, etc.
    Indexing ability N/A local onlyu2 Yes, Windows Desktop Searchw2
    Ease of use Very easy (on/off) Normal Easy
    Cost Free Free $$w3

    u2 - yes it does have Beagle, but any remote machine couldn't use its index at all. If you guys have a suggestion, I would love to hear.
    w1 - although I use the same system as Ubuntu, Windows does have 3rd party like RMClock to undervoltage which is really help. I could drop about 10W or so without sacrifice the performance and stability.
    w2 - For Vista client, you could just exploring to that NAS and find them. It'll use index on NAS automatically which is so fast. But I couldn't find client with XP+Windows Desktop Search work the same way.
    w3 - It's not free, Vista Home Premium OEM is $99; depending on what you think if it's worth or not.

    All in all, choosing OS is ultimately up to you need. If you need a DVR system like me, Vista would be very good choice plus you will get the best performance from you NAS and search server capability also. You, however, would find an only NAS device is a best solution for you if you just want to add extra storage to your home with easy accessibility. If you have any other thought, please don't hesitate to share.

    Note: By the way, there is an alternative OS which is truly for NAS like Windows Home Server ($159.) I had experience when it's BETA. IMO, it's great really but the point is its cost is just too steep while Vista Home premium (OEM $99) could do almost anything I need besides automatically backup the clients. It seems to be a worth trade-off to me. For XP, I think it would perform great and, as I know, its index from Windows Desktop Search would be available to remote machine like Vista too.

  • developers were gone, don't you feel anything, Palm, Inc?

    imagePalm OS was one of platforms that has very large community behind its success. No matter how many limited it has; there is a will, there'll always be a way to work around. Yep, that was true. Sadly, now it's definitely not.

    First, Dmitry talented Palm OS developer decided to release his famous work--skinUI--as a freeware and not to code Palm OS program for good. In addition, he won't continue supporting Palm OS Nova as well.

    Next, PDAMill high quality game coder also quitted developing for Palm OS platform. If you do remember Snails, you know how good they were. PDAMill did follow the same path by releasing all Palm OS softwares for free.

    Yet Ellams Software long time Palm OS developer went in a wild too.

    What I'm pretty sure of is there will be a lot of developers go away from Palm OS platform. This is such a terribly huge sign of the death of Palm, both Palm OS itself and Palm, Inc. Doesn't Palm Inc feel anything so far? I don't know if it's because the limit of OS itself or darned bad Palm Company. IMHO, the latter factor is more significant to me since Palm OS is working just fine to me as a PDA, may be not a decent web browser though. This seem to be a result of choosing worse choices in every steps in last few years--releasing under-powered Treo 700p while it could do such a great performance with Centro 2 years later with the same core platform (but too late of course), canceling Foleo which had such a potential of success if you look at Asus Eee PC as an example, and the worst decision ever--deciding to discontinue its own strength--PDA line. I think Palm might think that Treo could do everything Palm PDA can do, so there is no reason to keep that. But what can I say is Treo is a big plus of Palm PDA, not a substitution. It's like the reason why we still have a laptop while tablet PC could do much more. Palm itself just chose to fight in a league it's not used to with many powerful rivals and opt out of where they are good at.

    What's next? Palm OS Nova based on Linux? Then what? Apple already proved that the best-selling device doesn't have to be the best really, just have its own strength and that's it. It's like the great Palm Pilot or the last Palm TX or Treo that have such a great PIM,image but instead of promoting & improving it, they decide to leave it behind and promote the weaknesses--multimedia or whatsoever.

    Dude, that's no imagination at all.

    Good bye, Palm, Inc. I do hope I would be able to find you in stores in next few years. But honestly I don't think you will be there. That's truly sad.

  • What a great service from Logitech

    Thumb up Logitech Not only does Logitech have a good product, but also has a great service. I haven't thought it's this good really. The thing is my VX Revolution has a problem about free spin wheel. Its wheel doesn't work well since a rubber ring was kind of loose--maybe I'm fun with spin too much :-) --Then I had contacted Logitech customer support. It was very good, quick process and surely it's truly online--doesn't have to make a phone call a single time.

    Well, my problem is shown on the picture.


    As you see, it is annoying in deed. Since I first contacted on April 15, 2008, I had to talk with the representative and give some information back and forth few times. I was expecting to have a new wheel for a replacement since I'm okay with disassemble and reassemble it, but they said they would send me a replacement unit for me. What I thought is only VX Revolution itself which is more than I could expect anyway. Then I unfortunately found out that this morning (Apr 25, 2008) DHL guy came to my apartment and gave me this box.

    DHL box DHL open box brand new VX revolution

    Yep, it's a brand new Logitech VX Revolution. I can't be more impressive than this. 10 days with an excellent support. You know what? This is the first day I think that 3 year manufacturer warranty on this expensive guy is genuine. Maybe I just had a bad experience with Apple care and automatically expect others' being the same. I, nonetheless, now know the great company is really existed.

    Many thanks, Logitech.

  • Windows, yes! 64-bit one, not it's time yet.

    I don't know how people choose their OS from but for me I choose Windows Vista 32-bit for my primary machine. Why? You'll know from the listing below--important thing always comes first.

    1. Software compatibility -- this is the biggest issue of me since the first day Office 2007 arrived, I found myself stay away from Linux or any other OS more and more. It's not about the ribbon tab interface, but only one program in 2007 suite. Many of you guys may know now. It's OneNote 2007. Dude, that's an awesome piece of software on the earth. It makes Windows distinguish from others indeed, at least for me. That's only a few programs that are not cross-platform I use but now I can't live without it.
    2. Hardware compatibility -- If you buy something on the street but can't use it, it's a problem, isn't it? who will argue me about this? drivers for Linux, yes they are better but, as long as reality is concerned, they are out of Microsoft's league. Mac OS, huh? don't even think of this. Talking about 64-bit hardware, since AMD released its first 64-bit CPU around 2003 (5 years ago), now they might realize that they have made a huge mistake having backward-compatible with 32-bit instructions. That's what Intel followed and has made the world still doesn't care about 64-bit much because 32-bit system still is working very well. 64-bit system is great--fast, nice but you can't just simply pop some old cards into 64-bit system.
    3. Friends -- this also is a big factor. If you are only one using Mac in your workplace and are not tech savvy, you'll know what I mean. I do think of myself in that situation; I would argue that I can do everything Windows people can, but for docx, xlsx, pptx file I would have no idea what folks around talking about for a year, then I realize it's new version of office suite file and can open them. You can't just always let anybody save in backward compatible type.

    From all 3 factors above, choices will come down to 2 which are Windows 32-bit & 64-bit. For friend factor, they look alike & work the same, so nothing to worry about. For hardware compatibility issue, they are almost on par for both systems nowadays (if you don't have such a rare item, you won't find any trouble with 64-bit anyway) However, the problem comes down to software compatibility. You still have to use 32-bit browser to watch flash contents; you still have to use many 32-bit software. Although they are running flawlessly under 64bit system, one thing I found it wouldn't work is OneNote. They are no OneNote virtual printer for 64-bit system. It's just a deal breaker to me. Yet there is no one to blame since we all are okay embrace older system while we all already have newer stuff around. That's just why we haven't had a big step forward. I mean 64-bit system is getting better and better now but if you have to put more effort to get things work and result are the same, why wouldn't we go easier route for now? Then when things have changed, so can we. This is how and why I choose 32-bit Windows as my main operating system.