Wow, what a sorry excuse for a blog this site has been for the last few months. After some encourgement, and the arrival of my laptop, I’m happy to be back on schedule posting tidbits about our lives here. Thank you to anyone who bothers to read anymore, hopefully I didn’t lose too many readers. I find it quite challenging to post as frequently as I would like to, I normally either run out of material or energy. All excuses aside, I hope to have at least a few weeks worth of posts lined up in the queue, and then after that if nothing pops up maybe I can play an optimistically-modified game of “what can’t Adam complain about?”.
First things first, I’m happy to have my computer back. About three months ago I started noticing a strange problem with my sound. One minute sound would come out of the built in speakers, and the next it wouldn’t. Sound would work through my headphones, and then it wouldn’t. And sometimes sound would come out of the speakers when my headphones were plugged in. I couldn’t figure it out. At first I thought it was a strange setting problem, but quick checks of all the programs and drivers and settings said everything was functioning as it should – except it actually wasn’t. I let it slide for a while because the problem didn’t occur all the time, and I didn’t really need the sound anway. It turns out that I could only take that for about a month. The problem with the unpredictable means of sound exit meant that I couldn’t listen to music through the headphones while at work for fear of alerting my co-workers that I like Cheryl Cole, and it also mean that I couldn’t use the HDMI output to watch TV or movies or sports through the projector. Lose-Lose.
Luckily, my computer was still under warranty so I could send it back to the manufacturer for repair. Unluckily, my warranty only applied to US cities, and I would have to send it back to the States from England. Seems like a stupid policy for a global company like Acer to have, but I spoke to several customer representatives that confirmed this was the case. Fortunately for me, we were traveling back to the US for a wedding in August, so I sent it back when we were home for a week. Apparently my computer arrived to the repair facility after my warranty period technically expired, so I was not very optimistic that they would actually fix anything. About 2 weeks later and an expensive plane ticket (thanks Mom!) later I opened my laptop to find a detailed repair notice. They successfully replaced the mainboard, LAN board, thermal module, lower case assembly with speakers, and keyboard. Basically they replaced everything except my aftermarket RAM, hard drive, and screen.
And I noticed something funny when it fired up. Instead of displaying the ACER logo at the initial startup, the screen said Gateway. Well it turns out this has a good reason, Acer group owns Acer, Gateway, Packard Bell, and e-machines.
I didn’t think the three latter companies even existed anymore. Packard Bell and Gateway were two of the first commercial computers to enter the common household. I remember when those two companies were HUGE. If you had asked me a month ago to rank the 4 companies independently, I would probably rank them in the order that I listed them above. I have never had experience with an Acer computer before, but until the sound issue I would have recommended them. They lose credit for selling me a computer that died within the first year, but totally redeem themselves for fixing an out of warranty computer quite quickly. I suppose someone decided that fixing a computer is probably a better way of retaining customers. I might just buy Acer again in the future, or who knows, maybe Gateway or Packard Bell since the insides are all the same anyway.
All I can say for sure is that I’m glad my computer is back, and I’m glad to be back blogging again.