Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Winter Storm Warning

"Winter Storm Warning... 2 - 10 inches of snow possible"

Well, okay. I was ready for a snow day, but this is what it looked like at my home in the northern part of the county.

That does not constitute a snow day.

We ventured out travelling to the south end of the county where the shop is located. It started out fine, then progressively got worse to the point there was fog and heavy snow severely limiting visibility.

Driving through slush, I questioned whether I should have come today, and how long and how bad this was going to get.

We arrived at the shop.

And, now, at almost 1PM, this is the view outside from my workstation.

That's funny.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Does It Work?

Someone recently responded to a computer I have for sale with

“Does it work?”

I was terribly offended! All the hours I work, fretting over every detail…

Does it work?

Working 6 days every week, little pay…

How rude, I thought.

This is not a rant so stick with me here till I’m done.

I recently went to eBay to find a computer to build for myself for some new work I’m taking on. It had to be pretty new so I didn’t get caught in that “sorry, your computer is older than 5 years...” nonsense and miss out on some regular income. I did my due diligence and found THE best deal from a dealer with perfect feedback that had a regular company with 45 employees that rescued computer equipment, checked it, and resold it. Awesome! Right?

Well, then I got my package.

OH! The joy of a new (to me) computer! This is the newest desktop computer I’ve owned (I think).

I installed my graphics card, RAM, and wrestled to get the new SSD mounted. I had to modify the case slightly to get the third monitor hooked up to the graphics card, but this was not my first rodeo.

Time to power on!

“ALERT! Air temperature sensor not detected”

Do what?

I went through ALL of the BIOS setting and couldn’t find any override, but I did find that this error had been reported and recorded several times before I received the computer. So, if the seller truly goes through every computer, they knew there was a problem.

After a few hours of research I confirmed that yes indeed there is supposed to be a temperature (thermal) sensor mounted to the chassis front, but this one was MIA.

I discovered the next problem – the Microsoft Windows COA (license key) that was included was no good. Thankfully I own (at great expense to myself and wellbeing) a set of Dell service disks and was able to get the COA issue rectified legitimately.

I contacted the seller and explained the problems. The response was to send it back. I did not want to spend $35-$50 for return shipping. They said they would pay. I asked them for a thermal sensor. They said they didn’t have one.

So, do I undo everything I have done to this computer, (except for the new COA [free to them now at my expense]), send it back and get a refund?

This is where reading the fine print is imperative; yes they will pay return shipping, yes they will refund my money, but my refund is less a 20% restocking fee.

And a quick scan of eBay shows that the least expensive replacement with similar specs will cost at least $60 more, and new problems won’t be revealed until receipt.

So… am I supposed to lose $100+ because someone either dropped the proverbial ball or just misrepresented their product? Since the money trees I planted last fall failed to sprout, that wasn’t going to happen. I just need to push through, but leave appropriate feedback at eBay since this joker isn’t worth a 100% feedback rating…

… and eBay fails to accept my negative feedback. Yep, it just keeps getting better.

So, how did it turn out in the end? I’m typing this right now on the aforementioned computer. It’s not done yet, but the final part (thermal sensor) will arrive Monday. The part itself was not terribly expensive, but the hours of research, reading, finding part numbers, and so on are “non-billable”; that means all that time and effort made me $0. Being a sole proprietor, I cannot work for free; every minute counts. If my minutes are not spent making money, then I am losing money.

Does it work?”

I understand now.

Buying used things is risky business. People sell you broken junk, but it’s your fault, not theirs. I have tried really hard to find local sources for computers and parts, but it ain’t happenin’ captain. Broken palmrests, power supplies that go “POP!” and ruin my test equipment, WAAAAAY overpriced

Does it work?”

Ya; I feel ya’.

But you have to realize who I am; I’m the guy that fixes that stuff. You got broken stuff? I fix broken stuff. I can fix anything. My only limitations are economic feasibility. Some things are too expensive to fix; they’re just not worth the expense.

I’m the guy that fusses over stuff until it’s right. Yes, I quoted you $XX and I worked on it for 3 days until it was right… and I only charged you the $XX I originally quotes… I’m that guy.

Ya, okay, maybe I am ranting… a little.

Does it work?”

Yes, it does; and I work harder.

Maybe if people were a little nicer, maybe if people were more considerate, maybe if people weren’t so dishonest…

Okay, I’m dreaming now.

Remember, I’m the guy that fixes stuff…

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents Day

It's President's Day.

As a small business owner I can choose whatever days I want to call holidays or not, but I choose to be open today, for you, my customers.

So come on in, get your free cup of coffee and let's see what your computer needs to make it run better.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CLOSED Wednesday February 14 Valentines Day

All Things New PC Repair and Restoration will be CLOSED Wednesday February 14th for Valentines Day.

We will return Thursday to our regular schedule :)

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Windows 10 Metathesiophobia

I still have customers that are afraid of Windows 10. I can't say that I am thrilled with it, but, if you run Windows, it is indeed better to run the version that Microsoft is actively maintaining and supporting.

Truth be known, Windows 7 is going to end sooner than we realize. Folks, it's 2018; Windows 7 dies January 14, 2020. That'll be here soon.

Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet

Here's a nice tutorial for Windows 10 that will remove some of the mysteriousness -

Of course the better option is to do away with Windows altogether. A non-Windows, non-Microsoft operating system is easier to maintain, much safer to operate, and much, MUCH more cost effective.

MX-17 is based on debian-stable, and is my preferred choice after years of trial, error, experimentation, and use.

Contact me today for pricing, assistance, and installation.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Google Switches to Debian?

I already knew that big techy places like Amazon, NASA, and Google used Linux, NOT Microsoft Windows. What I didn't know was that Google had their own in-house version of Ubuntu called Goobuntu.

What I find extremely interesting is that it was based on 'buntu 14.04, and the article cited above makes no mention of them upping to 16.04.

I loved Xubuntu 14.04; I couldn't wait till they released 16.04, but when they did, it was nothing but problems. This is a real problem in the Linux world because most distros are based on 'buntu in one way or another. I noticed most of the other distros I liked went from good to bad, to what the ?!

Oh, except for one. That one was not based on 'buntu; it was based on debian.

I realized that all the cool computer-fixxer-upper tools I used were also in debian-based distros that were small enough to fit on thumb drives or even CD's.


I continued to try other debian based distros, and I even successfully installed debian itself and it worked. Robolinux, Q4OS, SolydXK, to name a few. But like all other Linux lovers, I went back to that first one - MX.

MX, now MX-17 is just the cat's pajamas of Linux distros. Debian is for uber-geeks; MX takes off all the rough edges and makes it usable for anyone and everyone.

Somehow in all of this I thought I was alone. All of frustrations, disappointments...

Not the case.

Google, yes, Google for cryin' out loud has switched to debian-based. Of course, they have their own in house version called "gLinux". They did this back in August, or at least that's when it was announced.

So, I'm not alone. In fact, I'm ahead of the curve - I switched to a debian-based distro before Google did... cool.

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas and New Year Schedule

Mon Dec 25 - CLOSED (Merry Christmas!)
Tues Dec 26 - CLOSED

Wed Dec 27 - OPEN 11AM-6PM
Thur Dec 28 - OPEN 11AM-6PM

Fri Dec 29 - CLOSED
Sat Dec 30 - CLOSED

Sun Dec 31 - CLOSED
Mon Jan 1 - CLOSED (Happy New Year!)

Tues Jan 2 - OPEN 11AM-6PM
Wed Jan 3 - OPEN 11AM-6PM
Thur Jan4 - OPEN 11AM-6PM
Fri Jan 5 - OPEN 11AM-6PM
Sat Jan 6 - OPEN 11AM-6PM

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