I have a Travel Log document lying around here somewhere; may throw that into an entry sometime soon. I wrote most of it while I had no connectivity.
Anyway: Yesterday I built my new computer. It was a lot more difficult than I remember it being, and a lot more scary. I mean is it really supposed to sound like you are crushing your CPU when you latch it in place? But hey, it works. I currently have an awesome computer, and it's running Linux Mint because...
Adventures in signing up for Microsoft TechNet
Mostly on advice from aetherspoon, I wanted to sign up for Microsoft TechNet so I could use lots of MS software legally at just the price of a single OS license. I could, for instance, see how bad Vista is first-hand (I have never used Vista) without paying for it or doing something illegal. But mainly I'm interested in Windows 7 and OneNote.
So I sign up, and nothing appears to be happening. A couple of hours later I get an email saying my order is pending. The next morning, no further email, so I use the link provided in the first email to check on the status of my order, and it says it's canceled, and no reason is given. I try to sign up again and it gives me "error 1161" which is described as "We think you may have entered some information incorrectly, but are unable to suggest a correction. If the information is correct, please contact our support team and reference error code 1161 for assistance." Well over 24 hours after I found out my order had been canceled, I got an email telling me so, but again, no reason was given. No 'we were unable to charge your card' or 'we don't think you are a real person' or anything.
So I spend over half an hour looking for this mythical support - one that does not require you to have a technet ID to sign in. Find it, state my case. Fast forward ~24 hours, canned reply that doesn't really help.
Then I have a drink of cloudberry liquor to fortify my confidence and *call* their number in Ireland and place an order over the phone. I think it worked - shortly after when I checked my bank account, there was a charge to my card of the proper amount of money (which was not there after the web orders). I was told it would take approximately 48 hours before I get my welcome email, so I'm expecting that tomorrow.
So we'll see. Maybe I'll get to put Windows 7 on my new computer after all. But at several points I was broken down and crying and so very, very angry at being rejected like that. How dare they refuse my business? Not only do I have to pay about 40% more than an american would have to pay for the same service, they won't even let me have it (without talking to a human being and having to spell out my name and address on the phone was not easy).
I was so close to shouting dire imprecations and going ahead with running Oblivion under Wine, which is said to work flawlessly. I still intend to do that, but mainly just to see for myself. There will be other games I'll want to play, and Windows is the leading gaming platform. And it's not like MS would care that there's ONE more person boycotting their products. It would not be an effective way of 'punishing' them.
On a tangent, Steam Support is awesome. During Yoki's problems, he spontaneously forgot my Steam password (which I had forgotten months ago and had never logged in with a browser, so I didn't have that to remember it for me either - it was just remembered in the client), and I found I could not reset my password using my secret question either (Steam's secret questions are picked from a short list where none of them mean much to me, so it's no wonder if I forgot my answer). So I read up on the support section, submitted my request, and they got back to me *really fast* and reset my password for me, always being friendly and polite along the way. THAT is how you treat customers. I'm sure Microsoft could afford to hire and train more customer support people so they could offer faster response times.
Clas Ohlson to the rescue!
Re: my busted Digiwi power adapter (see previous entry for details): I ordered this little thing from Clas Ohlson to 'build my own' replacement. It arrived in the mail today and IT WORKS! I can use my Wii again!
Wow it's odd to play on my 24" monitor after being used to niichan's 48" (I think) TV. And my balance board complained about batteries being out - I managed to find two batteries of the same brand as the ones in it and replaced those two, leaving the other two drained batteries in, and it accepted it with a complaint of batteries being low but not out. Shall have to buy more batteries soon. The balance board recommends using alkaline batteries, so I'll accept that. After all, those batteries lasted about half a year of being used every day, albeit not very long each time (with a few exceptions).