Friday, June 04, 2010

not so good things and worse things.

I have an HP 17" notebook, a dv9000, which is a little less than 3 yrs old. It is my primary music notebook at this point, it is currently running Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit. The system started running very hot one day and it froze, then it would not reboot, then the LCD display went blank.

Now, I do music and play games on this notebook-- the hard drives are nearly full with Ableton project related files and saved games the two largest consumers of disk space, followed by VSTs and video. I use the notebook continualy several hours each day, and my dwelling is not highly humidity/temperature controlled, and it has 7200 rpm drives as opposed to 5400, so it runs a little hotter.

I attached an external monitor, per some troubleshooting steps on the HP support site. The external monitor showed that the system was failing to initialize the video card, BSOD BCCode 116.

This was bad, so I engaged HP online support, they have a 24x7 chat. My interactions were good, they of course wanted me to do all the things I had tried already (boot in safe mode, install latest nVidia driver) and then some of the tedious, drawn out things that support people ask people to do as a matter of course (run a HDD test via bios, reseat the RAM). But all in all the things were reasonable and led up to finally backing up everything and sending the notebook in for repair. It was of course out of warranty, and the price to repair was low enough to be far cheaper than a new notebook of comparable capabilities but high enough to be pretty painful.

The support supervisor indicated I should back up all data and programs. I had backed up some things, but really to do it perfectly correctly would've been a nightmare of tedium, so I asked him if I could just take out the HDDs and he was amenable to that-- they would put in a test HDD to run what they needed anyway.

The turnaround was fast, I was impressed. I sent it to them on May 27, prior to the long weekend, and it was shipped back to me on June 3. They send a box and a fedex slip to send it back, with packing instructions and a form to fill out. So although it was an expensive, unexpected repair, it was done quickly and well and I was happy to see how many parts they replaced.

It is interesting that I read HP is downsizing its workforce and seems to be having some problems-- their product and services have been good to me. However, their latest comparable models, the 'newer generation' to the one I have, seem to lack Firewire ports, which are kind of useful for music and really essential for digital video.

Meanwhile, the worst thing ever seems to be unfolding before our eyes.

Horrible horrible stuff, the entire coast of the United States from Texas to Long Island would appear to be threatened by this. Wonder what happens when the storms blow in? The rains from those storms come up from the Gulf and into the agricultural areas of the southeast and mid-atlantic.

In the latter 20th century, the scary scenario was acid rain. It still is, and it hasn't been eliminated, but regulations controlled the causes. Now, can we expect "petro rain"?


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