A week ago Saturday, tired of keeping my HP laptop going by holding the overheating and poorly working power jack in at just the right angle, and worrying about whether the whole thing was going to turn into a not so towering inferno, I decided to get a new laptop.
Off to Best Buy I took myself, where we were helped by a very pleasant and knowledgeable sales guy named Doug, and a couple of very pleasant and knowledgeable guys at the Geek Squad downstairs, whom I paid to load software, remove bloatware, etc.
I no sooner got my new and beautiful Sony Vaio home - and, yes, I do know that I paid a premium for a laptop that looks nice, but amortized over the life of the machine (even if it's only 2 years), etc... - than it started flaking out. Big time.
We're not just talking blue screens of death the likes of which I haven't experienced since Windows 3.0. We're talking freeze ups when trying to do anything: write files to a DVD, work with a wireless mouse, write a blog entry. And not just any old freeze ups, but deep freezes accompanied by black outs. And ding-ding-ding's.
Scary stuff, especially when you're over 300 miles away from home - on business, of course - and you can't just walk back to the Best Buy on Newbury Street to return it.
When I started to experience all my laptop woes, it is little exaggeration to say that the top of my skull was about to fly off. (John and Sean are my witnesses here.)
I called Best Buy on Newbury Street and, since Doug wasn't there, I spoke with Bill and let him know what happened - and that I'd be in on Friday evening for an exchange.
On Friday evening, a perfectly pleasant young woman in Best Buy customer service - whose name I didn't get - listened to me rant and then went over to the Geek Squad with me. Soon we had Doug, Pete, and one of the other Squadders to hear my rant - and to quickly jump in and get that replacement for me - no questions asked.
They didn't even make an attempt to convince me to have them look at the laptop, which I was grateful for, since I wasn't willing to go that route. They just took my word (and my word.doc, on which I'd provided a running list of my week's worth of problems).
No, none of us thought this was a Vista problem. We all thought it was a hardware problem of some ilk.
While I wandered around Best Buy waiting for the Geeks to reinstall and deinstall files, I ran into the first Customer Service person I'd encountered, and she asked whether I was all taken care of, which was a nice touch.
In any case, I was soon on my way with a new working machine - yes, another Vaio - that has now gone 2 1/2 days without a freeze up or blue screen of death.
So long, bad little Vaio, you were beautiful on the outside, but rotten on the inside...You are going back to Sony-Land, where you belong (once they wipe out my files, which the Geeks assured me they would do).
Props to Best Buy and their resident geeks, the Geek Squad. Whatever experiences others have had there, mine was a good one.
P.S. Maybe it's just another pretty face, but I do like the look and feel of Vista, as well as the 2007 Office apps, now that I'm getting used to where everything is.