Archive for April, 2013

Kudos to Rafael!!!

I use this blog and my twitter account to complain when my Alienware computer fails, and I feel Dell isn’t listening. So I must use it to tell you that Rafael of Alienware Tech Support positively ROCKS!!!!!! I was VERY bitter Tuesday evening when my “repaired” M17x came back and promptly failed in SL again. Armed with a glass of wine and a few unscheduled evening hours, I called Alienware support on Wednesday evening.

Rafael took my call. Yes, I DO know his last name and I’d be thrilled to tell all of you and even more thrilled to tell his management. But I did not get his permission to publish his name, so this will have to do. Rafael – you are THE BEST!!! He was upbeat, positive, and determined to fix my machine. We were on the phone for at least 90 minutes, probably more. In that time he ran a test or two, but mostly he LISTENED to me and he READ the account log. What a concept. Listening to the client. We talked about the problem, we both agreed it was the driver. I had 2 new graphics cards but the same old drivers. The error message had been saying “driver” all along.

Rafael researched, searched and downloaded the latest drivers for my cards. It was my very good luck that nVidia had just published new drivers the week before. Getting that driver installed, however, proved to be a bit trickier. Suffice it to say that Rafael stayed the course, double-checking with his peers, and working diligently to get the drivers updated. He came inworld with me to watch me push the SL settings to the max and begin throwing continually changing video information at the machine. We encountered my good friend Greg at the Fogbound. Greg chatted with me and Rafael. I felt VERY good about that because not only was Greg knowledgeable and articulate, but he was backing up everything I’d said to Rafael earlier and all of Rafael’s own conclusions.

So – Rafael is a STAR!!!! My beloved Alienware M17x is in working condition yet again. I have my full pixel count – 1920×1200. Things are rezzing quickly and beautifully. I have shadows, reflections and depth. Yay Rafael! Yay Alienware Tech Support! Okay – I’ll even give a shout-out to Dell – that’s how happy I am to have my Alienware M17x back and running. *HUGS* to all!

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Get on Your Bike and Ride

traveling afar
ready to ride
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Some days I want to get in my car and drive and drive and drive – just leave everything and everyone behind me. That’s not always very practical, however. Gas costs a lot, time constraints, guilt, you know – the regular mish-mash of mature reality. But I don’t have to be mature or sensible in SL. In Secondlife, I can ditch some of the constraints that I’m forced to acknowledge in my corporeal existence. Tonight, feeling a bit frustrated in several directions, I needed to ride. Thank you black-Kat Choppers for my Grifter Bike. 🙂

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heading into the sunset
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I came inworld and changed quickly into appropriate attire. It was a gorgeous day today – nearly perfect weather. I really wanted to just wear jeans and a tank top but I knew the wind would sting. So jeans and my leather jacket, leather boots. and some glasses to protect my eyes. Tie my hair back, (don’t need no stinkin’ helmet in SL), a pair of gloves and I was ready to ride.

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Museum of Fine Art
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I live near Rt. 12 – an easy hop over to the road. It took me a bit to remember the controls. Always helps to read the directions. 🙂 And I was off….. Ahhhhhhhhh……. Feel that motor purr……..

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yes it's ann marie oleander
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Of course, no SL road is complete without one of Ann Marie Oleandar’s vehicles on the road. HAH!!! I had to return a crashed tank that was resting on my land, but I left THIS particular tank waaaaaaay behind. Eat my dust!!!! Or smoke, as the case may be.

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road needs pruningI have to say that sim crossings have gotten MUCH better. Yes, I vanished through the road, or careened madly about in the air, but I always found myself righted and ready to ride on. And ride on I did. On and on and on and on. Lalo and I had driven quite aways along Rt 12, but we never made it as far as I went tonight.

curious and curioser.

Tonight I went to the end of the road and back. 🙂 Without any elves or goblins or hobbits. The road gets a bit bumpy there at the end, and there is a lot of low-hanging foliage. But there are some beautiful sights. There is even a visitors’ center. I may have to head on back there some time and check it out.

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to boldly go
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The chopper did the trick. I had the purr of the engine, the sights of the scenery, the adventure to the end of the road. The frustrating situations are still there, I’m sure, but at least I escaped them for a bit and feel as though I’ve left them far far behind.

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sunset

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As Scarlett would say, tomorrow is another day. Bring it on.
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Define “Repaired”. Because Dell Computers has no clue

Dell, Secondlife and I have a problem. I’m sure that the 2 of them don’t care, but I do. So my gorgeous gaming laptop, the famed and fabled Alienware M17x came back today – “repaired”, or so Dell claims. I headed into SL, turned the graphics up to high, and set out. Only took about 10 minutes before the video failed. The screen goes black, then it turns white, then I get a box (that fades fairly quickly) telling me that the drivers failed, but they have “successfully recovered”. Really? I don’t think so.
How Dell Repairs Video Cards
Why is it Dell’s problem? Because from now on I intend to tell everyone all over how Dell is incapable of offering proper support for configuring their gaming computers. And because I believe that they are not telling me truth about this repair. I have PAID for in-home support. That means they are supposed to come to my home and replace parts while I am watching. They refused to do this and demanded that I send the laptop to them for “analysis”. I did. I shipped it out Thursday afternoon and saw that they received it Friday. It was back in my house on Tuesday. That means they shipped it Monday. Really? You performed analysis over the weekend? Why do I find that hard to believe? The piece of paper claims they replaced/repaired my video card. I find that incredibly difficult to believe. It’s hard to believe because they didn’t have it long enough. Because when I turn on the computer and head into SL, the fans immediately make more noise than a helicopter coming in for a landing. Because it only took 10 minutes to crash out the M17x.

Why do I think this is Dell’s problem, not SL’s? I bought a new laptop 3 weeks ago. Nothing fancy – an Ideapad Y580. Guess what. It runs SL at Ultra graphics, quietly, smoothly and without crashing. That’s right, Dell. A mere Ideapad laptop whips your famed fabled premiere gaming laptop.

Yeah, when I have the time and energy I’ll call Dell’s Customer Service. I’ll undoubtedly have to beg and fight my way to talk to someone who actually knows something about their Alienware brand. That’s another big runaround that I get from their Customer Support. The techs say “oh yes, I know that”. Only after something happens, like last year, when the machine caught fire, do I find out that I’m dealing with people who have no special knowledge of Alienware.

I’m so disgusted with Dell. I have been a loyal customer for over 6 years. All of our computers were Dells or the Alienware until I bought the Ideapad. I have a year left on my contract with them. I’ll send them the AW every single week for the next year until they make it work properly for my needs. Don’t tell me it’s SL. You should be so ashamed, Dell. Expect to hear from me. Every single week, if not every day.

It’s going to be one heck of a year.


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