Monday, September 14, 2009

Technology woes x 3

So they say bad news comes in threes and that principle certainly seems to apply to technology and electronics as I've unfortunately discovered. Over the past week my cell phone, digital camera and laptop have all had varying stages of meltdowns or drama ensue and I'm not confident any of them will recover to any reasonable degree, thus resulting in this rant...and soon will result in my hard earned money being spent to replace said items.

AT&T was "kind" enough to send me a "ServiceGram" in the mail, informing me that as of Sept 15th (that's tomorrow!), they "will be performing a network update that will significantly impact the call performance of my Palm Treo 680 and in order to continue receiving the best possible wireless experience with AT&T, I will need to upgrade to a new phone." Well, my phone is working just fine thank you very much, and I DON'T WANT to upgrade to a new phone! It seems like now would be the perfect time to finally give in to the sales pitches offered by everyone I know who owns an iPhone and wants me to experience how wonderful this magical gadget is, but honestly, I have no desire to own an iPhone. Maybe it's my indifference when it comes to new technology or maybe I'm being stubborn on principle, but all I really need in a phone is calling and texting capabilities, not all the bells and whistles the iPhone offers. My plan is simple: wait until tomorrow, and if my phone truly croaks, figure out an alternative to the iPhone as a replacement. Let me know if you have a cell phone that you would like to sing the praises of, and please, if it's an iPhone, nothing personal, but I've already heard enough! :)

Palm Treo 680
Release Date: November 2006
Useful Life: Not even THREE years!!

Last weekend, we took puparoo to Cannon Beach, a risky endeavor, we knew, since the forecast called for stormy weather. As it turned out, we had decent beach weather (aka: no rain); however, it was extremely windy. Typically, wind doesn't bother me, especially at the beach and this day would have followed suit, except that the wind, and ultimately, flying sand, caused the demise of my beloved Canon PowerShot SD1000 digital camera. This camera was a Christmas gift from the hubby in 2007, and for the almost 2 years that I've owned it, it has been one of my most prized possessions. Maybe that's silly to say about a camera, but for me, it's been small enough to carry around daily and I've taken full advantage of having a way to document special moments readily available. Honestly, for being a point-and-shoot digital camera, it doesn't get better than this! Unfortunately, since last Sunday, the camera makes a grinding noise each time I turn it on, the lens has what is most likely a salty film coating it, and it refuses to focus properly. I know I'm at fault, and so I'm partially angry at myself because I should have known better than to expose the camera and lens to flying sand granules. But I'm also frustrated with the camera shop that wants to charge me $90 to clean/fix my camera professionally...oh, and it will take them 2 weeks! Really?! Two weeks to charge me 1/2 the price of what the same camera would cost me new?! And lastly I'm upset with Canon; why make a product that is so fragile as to have a complete meltdown just because it inhaled some sand? And so I have another decision to make: give up on the camera I've owned for less than 2 years and have sentimental attachment to, or pay the outrageous fix it cost?
Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH
Release Date: March 2007
Useful Life: 20 months

And lastly, but certainly not the least, is the loss of wireless capability on my HP laptop. This means that my laptop no longer detects a wireless signal, so in order for me to connect to the Internet, I must be physically connected to the modem...which is not in a convenient location in the house, like by a table for instance. Well, it didn't take much online research to discover that this is a prevalent problem with MANY HP laptops, so much so that HP issued a "Limited Warranty Service Enhancement" providing free repairs. Great news, right? Wrong. Unfortunately for me, my laptop was one of the better ones and didn't break down until much later than other laptops. Therefore, I am no longer eligible for the free repair that I would have been entitled to if my laptop wasn't such an over-achiever. The customer service rep I spoke with a few days ago informed me that the "Limited Warranty Service Enhancement" expired in Dec 08, so, sorry poor, stupid consumer, you're out of luck! Basically, because my computer didn't tweak out BEFORE December 08, they can't help me! Oh wait, I lie. They CAN help me; they will be more than happy to repair my laptop for the bargain price of $300. Lucky me. I'm sorry, but that's messed up and extremely horrible customer service! I'm starting to fume all over again as I write this...
So Dilemma #3: do I simply try to pretend that it's not a horrible inconvenience to have to set up shop in between the 2 couches in the family room where the modem is located and stick with the laptop until something even more serious transpires with it, or do i give up on it and add "new laptop" to the growing list of electronic devices that need replacing?
HP Pavilion DV6000
Release Date: 2005
Useful Life: less than 4 years
I understand technology is moving ahead at the speed of light, and I should be moving along with it by by upgrading my electronics every time a new version is debuted...but I refuse to do that, and I shouldn't be forced into it by being sold products that have a useful life of a mere few years by companies that refuse to stand by their products (AT&T and HP, I'm talking to you!)


Steven Stremciuc said...

You should wait on the phone, and see for yourself how degraded the service is. Who knows, you may not even notice a difference.

I would try these things ( with the digital camera. They seem like pretty easy steps. You have nothing to lose, and just think how awesome you'll feel if you actually fix it yourself. If you can't fix it, I would buy a new camera over paying someone that much to repair it. The new model should be technically superior anyways.

You should try one of these for the laptop and see if it works for you.

TabI said...

Thanks, Steve...for reading my rant and for offering some great suggestions; i will definitely try them out!

Kami said...

I would suggest getting a new camera - specifically a Nikon D40. But that's just my two cents!! It really would take wonderful pics of El Salvador...

TabI said...

Kami, sounds like you own the Nikon D40? What's your opinion of the Canon Rebel?