Saturday, April 21, 2007

Vista You Were Here

Windows Vista is destroying my happy home. The #2 son has had his nose out of joint since Thursday night. The nasal disjointing was instigated by the #1 son, who had a FREE copy of Vista Home Premium that came as an upgrade offer with 'Lappy'. #1 has been eagerly awaiting his Vista disk since December. So eagerly, in fact, that we had to run by the post office Monday afternoon so he could ask the clerk if he had a package that wouldn't fit in the mailbox.

This was just wrong. First of all, the boy had been tracking that package every day. He crowed that it arrived IN OUR TOWN that morning at 8:00 a.m., and that we had to go get it. I tried to explain that the carrier was probably out on the route when it arrived, and that we wouldn't even get the orange notice card thingy for two days. Nothing would do but we go to the post office. We rushed over there after my meeting. They were just closing. A woman was taking down the flag. The boy ran by, and asked her if the window was still open. He went in. When he came out, he had no package. He was so sad, I could not even say, "I told you so." He was so sad that he declared, "And that woman was disrespecting the flag! She wadded it up under her armpit! She was supposed to fold it in a triangle. And not put it in her armpit."

We continued home. I stopped, as we do every day, at our row of mailboxes so he could get out the mail. He opened the door and screamed, "IT'S HERE! VISTA IS HERE!" He's probably the only person in the world who actually LIKES Vista. He upgraded his desktop that night. The next night, we had that board meeting recognition thingy. Wednesday night, he fiddled and faddled with Vista. He had persuaded his little brother that HE needed Vista on his new computer that he got for Christmas. It, too, came with a Vista upgrade. But the boy forgot to register it or something. Which is totally unlike him. When technology is involved, that boy in ON IT. I even gave him the receipt and warranty and stuff to keep with his.

Anyhoo...#1 upgraded #2's computer from XP to Vista. I was against it. All that little boy uses it for is CD games. I argued that Vista has a lot of complaints about drivers not working, and being irreversible after you upgrade. #1 was hearing none of it. "But Moooo oooom. It worked fine for mine. I know what I'm doing." OK, you know what that means. Just like in a horror movie when the girl says, "What's that noise? I'm going to check it out", you know you will never see her again. Alive.

Long story still long...the precious games wouldn't run with sound on the Vista. So after a few tears and a little screaming, #1 downgraded #2's computer back to XP. Only there was still no sound. He couldn't bear to tell poor, sniffling little #2 that night. He waited until morning. I do believe the boy even felt sorry for his little brother. He promised to let him use HIS desktop until he got the problem resolved.

Because, you see, Vista ate up the recovery partition or something. I know that's not accurate, but I do know that Compaq quit shipping a recovery disk with their computers and you have to, how you say...make your own backup disks from the partition or something like that. Which #1 did not do before installing Vista, because it worked fine with his. Then he was mad. He got on the phone to the HP/Compaq people and asked for a recovery disk. Hey, it worked with his desktop when he had trouble with it and its innards. Even though he had to go through 6 people before they sent him the problem software. For free.

No such luck with the Compaq people. They refused to send him one. In fact, they refused to even let him speak to a supervisor unless he agreed to purchase a recovery disk. That ain't happenin'. It's not that we can't afford 25 bucks. It's the principal of the matter. As the boy argued with various foreigners throughout the night..."I purchased this computer because it says on the box that it is Vista compatible. It comes with a free upgrade to Vista. It did not come with a recovery disk because it has a recovery partition. I upgraded to Vista by following all the directions. There was no sound. I downgraded back to XP. Now I still have no sound. Vista damaged some files. I want a clean reinstall of XP to restore my computer. I can not do that because Vista damaged files. I should not have to pay for an XP Recovery Disk. It is not my fault that your computer was not what you advertised."

The boy was told rudely by the first service rep that he could not speak to a supervisor unless he agreed to purchase the disk. The second rep put him on hold when he asked for a supervisor, and never came back to him. The third rep would not give her name. Every time she said, "My name is ___ " , the line went blank. I know, because he handed me the phone. I told her, "Ma'am, every time you say your name, we lose the connection. When she heard my voice, she tried that one more time. I told her I would have to keep asking her to repeat it until we heard it, and she cut the crap. She even spelled it. 'S U S A N'. Which is probably a lie, because she had an accent like Apu from The Simpsons.

Anyhoo...Susan told the boy she would check with the supervisor, then after 10 minutes told him no, he would have to pay for the disk. When he insisted on talking to the supervisor, she said, "The supervisor is busy because of so many people complaining about Vista. You can not talk to the supervisor." My boy said he would wait. She put him on hold, and after 15 minutes he got someone else, who may or may not have been an actual supervisor. He tried to reason that he also had a 2-year warranty, but the supervisor said this was not covered. My boy finally declared that he would never buy another HP/Compaq product because they want to charge him for something that came with the computer, and was lost because the company erroneously stated that the computer was Vista-compatible.

As Gummi Mary is my witness, we shall never buy Compaq again.

Oh, but the saga continues...we went to my mom's house to take a sound card out of her computer. Don't worry, it's not like the boy told her on the phone. "Grandma? We're on our way to rob you." Grandma replied, "Okay." He gave her that computer, anyway. It's her first. She loves the innernets. But the boy got the built-in sound thingy working, and took out his Turtle Beach sound card. He installed it on #2's machine. Nope. No sound. So we called around the various Devil's Playgrounds. They had sound cards. Were they Vista compatible? As one said honestly, "I highly doubt it." So the boy checked the brand for drivers on the innernets. He called back to speak to the Devil's handpuppet, and asked for the model number. They guy said, "Uhh...I can give you the serial number." My boy said patiently, like coaxing a 2-year-old to unlock the bathroom door, "Look on the box...see the name? Now what does it say right after that?" He found a driver. We set off to the Playground while he thought he was downloading the driver.

All morning and afternoon I stayed off the phone line. He said it would only take about 90 minutes, but I wasn't taking the rap if that driver didn't download. Around 4:00, when the boy got back from grandma's, and from taking the dogs for shots, he went to retrieve the driver. But NOOOOO! He had set it to download to LAPPY, and he always takes Lappy with him when he leaves the Mansion. So no driver for desky!

Having reached the end of my rope, and methodically twirling the frayed ends of it as I wondered if a noose would hold, what with all this fraying going on, I did not hold out much hope as #1 gutted #2's misery machine and put in the new sound card. BLUMP. "Mom! I thought I heard a noise from the speakers when I did that!" Yep. The new sound card worked without the driver.

It's a freakin' miracle. Thank the Gummi Mary, people.
I'm kinda sorry I let that kid eat her up to her knees and toss her in the wastebasket.


Cazzie!!! said...

Hmmm VISTA, accept or deny? LOL

DeadpanAnn said...

I had a horrendous Compaq encounter about 7 years ago, and have sworn never to buy their products again. I've also sworn off CompUSA, because they sold me a warranty that didn't exist. Long story.

Newly available upgrades are always bad news. They never work until they're old news and no longer exciting, when they've finally worked the kinks out. Maybe one day they will manage to make the new blogger less of a bitch.

David said...

Get a Mac.

(And use Parallels/Bootcamp with XP if necessary.)

Redneck. Diva. said...

I am crossing my fingers as I type this - and trust me that is really hard to do, type and cross HA! type and cross, sounds like I'm in an episode of ER, oh wow I'm digressing - but so far, I am utterly delighted with Vista. (*ducks and waits for the lightining to strike the laptop*)

My brother in law, the family geek, said the problem that most folks are having is when they put Vista on an older computer. He advised me to never, ever, EVER try to put it on my desktop which is only 4 years old. He said it would crash and crash hard.

So far my new (nameless) laptop and I are getting along fabulously and I miss ol' Vista when I work on the desktop instead of the laptop. I hope your Vista troubles are over...that was my biggest fear when considering this purchase.

Hillbilly Mom said...


Miss Ann,
I used to be a loyal HP customer. Not no more! Most idiots like me would not know a recovery partition if it bit them on the a$$. Once they quit with the recovery disks, I undeclared my loyalty. The Compaq we got at Christmas, as kind of a last-minute thingy.

I tried to warn the boy about Vista, but you know how 12-year-olds know it all.

My son toyed with the idea of getting a Mac a while back. He also toyed with the idea of running Linux. I will tell him about Parallels/Bootcamp.

Maybe it's just the geeks who like it. My son would like nothing more than to be a member of Geek Squad.

He knows not to put Vista on my dinosaur. I am perfectly happy putting along on my Windows ME. Because it's all about ME, you know. Anyhoo...he's mad that my computer won't work on the little network he has set up, and he is encouraging me to buy a new computer so we can all run Vista. I am holding out for a while.

Peg (wishes Paradise had a "spring" season) said...

Ohhhh, Vista...I'm still on the fence. Everyone in my house got computers for christmas, but they were all XP.

Just like a brand new model of cars, brand new software scares me. Once Vista has been out for awhile and the first line of bugs and kinks are worked out, then I might upgrade.

I had to call tech support for Pc-cillin the other night, the man that I talked to for three hours finally got an earful. I asked him what his name was after asking 6 times for a supervisor. He told me his name, or rather, told me my own name as his name. This happened 3 times before I finally gave up and said, look Apu, jump back on your magical carpet and whiz on back to Alladin's Castle.

then I hung up, drove to best buy and bought Norton.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I agree on the Vista. I am holding out for a while on a new computer for that reason.

I think these people play the name game on purpose. Duh. They don't even have to give a real name. It's not like we can see their ID through the phone. And if the calls are really monitored, they would be heard in all their rudeness anyway.