Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 I come!

Woohoo! My HTC Sensation is finally coming in tomorrow! Can't wait to get my techy hands on it!  I also came across a good deal on another HTC (not quite sure what model it is yet) with a cracked screen that will be my guinea pig.  I'm going to repair the screen and root the OS.  I'll post some pics and a mini review of the Sensation when I get my hands on it.

Gateway big can of worms

Finally talked to the customer today and they decided to go the economic route and have me put together a custom external PSU for their Gateway 610 ALL-IN-ONE pc.  I'm actually going to enjoy this little project and going to try to make it look as clean as possible.  I'll post some pics tomorrow and keep you guys updated.  I'm going to use a spare PSU we had around the shop that's rated at 170W and is super quiet.  I've actually had it powering the Gateway for about 1 1/2 weeks now and ran multiple apps, videos, and internet radio on full blast and it's not even luke warm and still quiet as a mouse.  I'm actually surprised that this generic PSU is this quiet.  Of course it doesn't have a heavy load since the Gateway cannot really be upgraded anymore than it is.  I went today and bought some heat shrink tubing and some plastic wire clips in order to try and keep the wires in order.  Hope the final product is as good as I picture it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

ATTN: iPhone Do-It-Yourselfers....

Just thought I'd share a little walk through/tip that I wrote up for a website that I participate in.  This is for all you do-it-yourself gurus that don't mind taking a chance at frying an expensive piece of electronic equipment that is probably broken anyways.  Hope you guys like it.  As always, any feedback or comments would be much appreciated.

HP Pavillion DV6000/DV9000 series warning....

As always, through customer interaction, it's come to my attention that the HP Pavillion DV6000 & DV9000 series notebook PCs have a crucial problem that can seriously affect the performance and even the life of your laptop.  This customer brought in his DV9815nr laptop because the optical drive wasn't working.  Upon troubleshooting it I noticed that one of the USB ports was also malfunctioning.  Hmmm...probably a bad connection on the motherboard and a DVD drive.  The customer didn't want to spend too much so I advised him to just not use that particular USB port and use an external DVD drive.  Well, then I noticed that his WiFi adapter had stopped working.  In fact, his PC wouldn't even recognized it.  It was if it wasn't even installed, when indeed it was and, upon further testing, it was working properly on other laptops.  Upon doing research I found several forums and blogs on the internet that stated that this was a well known issue by several users and HP themselves!  Why didn't they issue an announcement or a recall to all their customers?  What really got me was that I actually called HP and they advised me that this particular laptop's warranty expired a in 2009, and that even though this DV9815nr was under the DV9000 series of laptops that had an extended service plan issued, this "particular" model was not covered.  Even though it has the same symptoms of the recalled laptops!  I don't get it!  Why are these companies so difficult?  I just had to give the customer the bad news and tell them to just provide a temporary fix by using a usb wifi adapter.  Eventually, this laptop's motherboard will die.  Ridiculous customer service on HP's part.  They know they have a defective product out on the market, yet they won't take appropriate measures to keep their customers happy?  Tsk tsk HP...shame on you.  Anyways, if you guys have one of the laptops mentioned, just email me and I can give you some advice or some numbers to call HP and DEMAND a new laptop!  Sometimes the only way to get things done is to raise a little hell.

Decisions...decisions...part 2

I finally made a decision when it came to my phone.  I decided to go with the HTC Sensation 4G.  I've been wanting to get in on the whole Android thing anyway, and it just seemed that Blackberry wasn't upgrading their OS enough on the Bold 9900.  I hope I don't get screwed with the whole way Tmobile manages my new data plan or how I get my emails (which is one of the things Blackberry still does the best).  I went to my local Tmobile store and tested both the MyTouch Slide 4G and the HTC Sensation.  They have basically the same internal hardware so it came down to the aesthetics and my preferences.  I'm going to make the transition to virtual keyboard and go with the Sensation.  It will probably take some getting used to but I can't wait to get it.  I went through just because I get a better deal.  With 1 year of protection and the phone, it came out to under $200.  At any Tmobile store it would have been well over $200.  I've dealt with Wirefly before and haven't had any issues so far.  The only drawback is that I have to wait for it in the mail, but I've managed this long with my dying Blackberry 8900.  I'm sure a few more days won't kill me.  I'll keep you guys posted on my thoughts of the phone when I get it and test it out for a few days.  I'm especially excited about the WiFi Hotspot/Tethering feature that this phone has.  Could it be possible that this could replace my DSL at home?  I guess it will depend on how using that feature will affect my data usage.  I'll keep you guys posted.

A little bit more soap boxing...

Remember me ranting on how the cell companies basically manipulate words with their advertisements of "unlimited" data? Here's an interesting article that I came across.  This guy seems to share my feelings and thoughts about how the telco companies are basically short changing us on these plans.  Although, some of the comments at the end do make a good point.  The companies don't limit the amount of data, just the speed.  What a gip, when is a company gonna come out with a truly unlimited data plan? Great speed and unlimited data.  Hell, if it came at a decent price, I'm sure people would jump on it.  Just don't lie to us or try to play on words.

Gateway drama continues....

Well, in regards to my issue with my customer's All-In-One Gateway 610 Media Center PC....they are, how do you say, "SOL" in a matter of speaking.  I hate it when companies knowingly have a defective product out on the market, but yet fail to properly inform their customers and take the proper steps to correct or recall this product.  Gateway knows there was an issue with this PCs PSU (Power Supply Unit) and didn't recall the product.  Turns out the combined 100W limit on this PSU is not enough for everything this PC can handle so even if a replacement is ordered, it will fail eventually.  I did manage to find a REV: 01 of this PSU, but I don't know about ordering it because it has the same 100W/180W max rating as REV: 00.  What if I order it, install it, and it craps out on the customer 3 months down the road?  Anyways, I'll let the customer decide whether they want to order this Revision 01 PSU or just have me rig up an external PSU for their PC (which by the way has been working wonderfully for the past week now).  Just goes to show you folks, ALL-IN-ONE PCs may look nice and sleek, but eventually it WILL break down and if one thing fails, then it will be much more labor and $$$ to fix it.  Whatever happens, I always try to put myself in the customer's shoes and have them leave the shop feeling as satisfied as I possibly can.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I went yesterday to a Tmobile store to take a more hands on approach in the search for my new phone.  First let me start by saying that "We The People" are getting screwed by her majesty the Telecomm companies.  What's this about "unlimited" data....oh, but not really.  Ha! What a gip!  What happened to the days when "unlimited" meant just that...un-freakin-limited??!!  And then they try to screw the uninformed consumer with the different pricing strategies that they post in big colorful banners.  Wake up people!  It's either get screwed up front with the price of the phone or get screwed over the next two years on what seems to be a decent rate plan but oh, what's this? They tack on an extra $15/month for phone for the next 20 months?!  It ends up being just as much, if not MORE expensive.  It's ridiculous, but like always, it's a "choice" we have.  We want flashy phones and pseudo-unlimited data, then they can charge whatever they want if we are willing to pay.  Simple law of supply and demand.

Anywhoo....let me get off of my soap box and get back to what my post was originally about.   I'm down to 3 phones.  The Crackberry 9900, the HTC Sensation, and the MyTouch 4G Slide.  I wasn't even considering the Blackberry because of the price but after holding "my precious" in my hand I have to say that it planted a seed in my brain!  The touch response is smooth and fast.  It still has the durable feel of my old Blackberry with the wonderful touchscreen feature.  Of course the HTC Sensation and the MyTouch are also wonderful devices and, from all that I've read, are basically the same device internally.  I am so tempted to go with an Android phone just to get to ROOT it and submerge myself in all that is Android.  Alas, I'm still undecided but will keep you guys posted as to what I finally decide to go with.

**While writing this, I came upon some disturbing news.  According to this article BB will be switching from their BB OS to something called "QNX".  So basically, if you buy one of these devices with BB OS7, you'll be buying something that's DOA.  What a gip!!  Android, here I come!**

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time for a new phone...

The time has come to upgrade my cellphone.  I have to once again, dwell into the lions' den which is the Tmobile stores and upgrade my account since any changes to my rate plan would automatically extend my contract.  I think I'm gonna opt for the Pseudo-Unlimited Data Plan and an Android phone this time.  My Blackberry (or Crackberry, as it's known in some circles) has served me so well but I've had a sort of hex with these wonderful phones.  My 8900 is giving me the WSOD (White Screen Of Death, don't laugh, it exists) and won't even let me talk on it for more than 5 minutes without it locking up.  I really want the new 9900 touch screen and 4G but I'm not quite ready to dish out almost $350 for a new phone just yet.  I'm trying to decide between one of the new HTC Android phones.  Might be the new MyTouch 4G or the HTC Sensation.  We'll see what happens.

The hunt continues...

Just got off the phone with AscendTech (the company that I ordered the PSU for that Gateway 610 media center pc from) and it seems that their return policy is not so bad.  They even offer refunds and give 30 day warranty on all their parts.  Unfortunately, they don't carry the REV: 01 PSU for that particular pc model.  Onward and forward in trying to locate that PSU and see if the customer wants to pay the difference in the price for the newer PSU.  If not, my only other alternative would be to custom build an external PSU for this pc.  I think that would negate the benefit of an All-In-One PC though, don't you?  I'll keep you posted on my findings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Well, this is discomforting...

  Well, I hate to put this up as my first post but it's come to my attention (and this isn't the first time) that Gateway PCs suck! LOL  I was working on this customer's All-In-One Gateway 610 media center PC that had a faulty power supply.  Diagnosis was fairly easy, so I ordered the part.  It came in last week, I installed it, it powered on so I did all the appropriate Windows updates and cleaned her PC up from some malware and annoying tracking cookies.

  Today she calls back that it doesn't turn on anymore! WTH?! Of course I tell her to immediately bring it back in so I can take a look at it.  Guess what? Dead PSU once again! So I did some research and it turns out that this particular model has had various issues with bad, underpowered PSU.  (According to some forums I encountered here.) The culprit is a Delta Electronics PSU, model: DPS-185JB-1A  REV: 00.  It's only rated for 185 W MAX output! There's no way that an all in one only uses this much wattage.  There is a REV: 01, so I'm gonna see if I can get a replacement from the company I ordered it from.  The only other solution is to create an external PSU for this ALL-IN-ONE! Kinda ironic, I know! According to all the blogs and forums, Gateway has been useless on this matter.  This won't stop me from contacting them tomorrow and see if they have a viable solution for me.  I also found something about there being a REV: 01 version here, so I'd like to get one of those to see if it fixes the issue.  I'll keep you guys posted.