Rough day today. I had a number of things to do and pretty much none of them got done. I was on the phone with HP for a long, long time. I spoke with 4 people repeating my contact information, the details of my problem and the type of computer I own after which I was transferred to the “right” person to help me. Fortunately, the 5th person stopped transferring me and at least attempted to help although we largely duplicated the things I had already tried to fix my problems. The thing that kills me is that my problem started with a balky DVD drive that I had been living with for a while. Crazily, in a moment of insanity I thought that since it seemed to be getting worse and since it was under warranty I may as well have it fixed.
Amazingly, after a bit of dickering HP shipped me a new unit, which arrived in two days. Better, a technician who seemed nice enough and competent when I was watching came two days later to install it. Cool, or so I thought. It was a little hard to get DVDs that I tested in but the techie didn’t think it was a big problem and what do I know. Can you spell schmuck? All seemed pretty much okay for one day but the second day began with the blue screen of death, closely followed by a mysterious message that seemed to suggest I might not have a graphics card anymore. This was not looking good but at least the blue screen of death only came once. I have almost everything backed shortly after it has been worked on so it wasn’t the data that I was worried about, it was the upcoming nightmare of figuring out what was screwed up (almost certainly involving sending my computer back to HP, which would almost certainly “restore” my computer to its initial condition after which I would begin the very long process of repartitioning my drive, updating Windows multiple times, reinstalling and reactivating all of the software I had to deactivate just in case as well as installing all of the updates. I have been through this with HP before and they actually try really hard to help when you get the right person but I also know that it is quite possibly to send a computer in to HP and get it back without fixing the initial problem for more than a few weeks or creating a new one and thus requiring another round of back and forth in the not too distant future. The final blow to my calm was when QuarkXPress stopped working the and decided my “trial license” which I had never had since I had a full license from day one had somehow expired. According to Quark, all I had to do to fix this problem was to activate the software. No sweat. I have the activation code. Sadly, the software cannot be activated even after a total uninstall and reinstall. Of course HP made it very clear to me that even though this problem seems to have arisen more of less contemporaneously with these other problems, the problems was Quark’s issue and nothing they would address or think about as being related to their computer. I really hope I never say another word about this, but I suspect this may not be the way it works out.