24 Oct 2002 Waldo   » (Journeyer)

For the third time, I am mailing back my Asus A7V-266e motherboard. I purchased it in March. It worked for a couple of weeks, though badly, before dying. The second was DOA. The third was DOA. I called tech support about the third last week, and the tech was baffled. He could attribute its complete lack of anything approaching functionality (including trying two different power supplies, two different sticks of memory, and two different processors) to nothing but it being completely dead. So I'm mailing this one back for a fourth. I have now spent $50 just in shipping and insurance, as Asus is not willing to cover the cost of returning each of these boards. I have used this system for a period of two weeks in the seven months that I've owned it. I'm becoming extremely frustrated with Asus. I believe that I'm going to ask that they reinstate my warranty from the date that they ship motherboard number four, but I'm not sure of what other demands that I'm able to make.
RSS Setlists
In a blatant misuse of RSS, I'm designing a simple schema to transmit set lists (from concerts) via RSS. It won't be particularly exciting, but I'll release a spec.
Linux at Work
I'm back to putting work into switching to a Linux desktop at the office. I've been fiddling with WINE, with some assistance from my local LUG, as there are two proprietary insurance industry applications that I must be able to run. Fortunately, they're extremely crude, Windows 3.1-era programs, so I suspect that it's quite doable.
Dead PowerBook Hard Drive
My local Apple repair shop called me on Tuesday: the 10GB hard drive on my PowerBook G3 Firewire (Pismo) is really and truly dead, with no realistic and economically-feasible shot at data recovery. I back up pretty well (for a guy that doesn't have a backup system), so I haven't lost any great quantity of stuff. But it's sort of like having your house burn down, even if you're fully insured and took your most precious things out of the house; you still have to rebuild your house and experience that akward homeless period in the meantime. I've ordered a 40GB drive from Smalldog, and that should show up in a week or two.
Failed Advocacy
I got a response to my rather-extensive letter to an insurance company with whom I do business. The letter, in a nutshell, was attempting to convince this anonymous company of the merits of thinking beyond their self-imposed (and, to some extent, industry-imposed) boundaries and start to work digitally on a non-proprietary level. The system that they intend to migrate to is entirely copyright- and patent-laden, made by an incompetent company that will surely prove to be a dead end. The response that I got was from a middle manager (not the VP to whose attention I sent my initial letter) who just didn't get it. She was arguing the technical merits of this system, saying that it's really a fine program and that it would work nicely. She was unable to take a step back and see how much that she's handicapping both her business and the entire industry by her willingness to use this pathetic product. I'm going to drop the issue from here. I'd like to push them farther, but it will likely affect our business relationship negatively if I'm not successful. Too bad.

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