Monday, February 22, 2010

Tomorrow: China :D

I'm so not a fan of packing my bag. I always have the feeling that I'm forgetting something important. But my dad always responds with: got your passport? Ticket? Creditcard/debitcard? Yup? Then you're good to go.

My notebook is finally functioning correctly. Although that didn't happen after repair guy no. 5 came by. Yup I've collected 5 repair guys, do I now get a reward? Like we got when we were in primary school? You know, collect 5 stickers and then you could pick out a nice card (with cute animals or Disney).

Repair guy 4 came and had the wrong stuff, and that was it for me. I called and I yelled (hey, after a month of constant contact with dell, they are still unable to send a repair guy with the right stuff), and I wanted to talk to a superior. You know what they said? They weren't coming to the phone because the situation hadn't gotten of out hand yet. Euhm....sorry? I asked the guy on the phone what I had to do to have the situation get out of hand since I've already collected 4 repair guys, with no 5 already on its way, I've had 90% of my notebook replaced and of that 90% most was double, triple or even quadruple replaced (okay this isn't grammatically correct but you get my point), I had been on the phone for ages and ages (all dell employees would have to agree), and the situation hadn't gotten out of hand?

And then when I wanted to file a complaint they said that they weren't going to look at it because the case was already solved. ARGH!!!

Okay enough about Dell. When this notebook is being replaced I'm not going for a Dell ever again. And neither are any of my friends. And I hope you would reconsider after this story too.

Just one more thing. Although this isn't about the tech support but about their customer care (which is located in India for private users). I received an e-mail requesting I would fill out a survey about my experience with customer care. Oh boy, that lady that "helped" me is toast, if they actually do something with their surveys. Were you satisfied? 1-9, 1 was very unsatisfied, 9 very satisfied. 1. What was the reason: the language that she spoke wasn't English or any other language I can understand (If I try I can understand Spanish, French or German, next to English and Dutch). Was our employee a) not professional b) using technical terms you didn't understand c) not nice ......j) other: please specify. Euhm....all of the above?
Would you recommend Dell to friends? 1-9, 1 was never ever, 9 was Dell should be the only thing they would want to buy. EUhm....1 again.

But back to China. We're still going to be there when they are celebrating Chinese New Year, apparently it lasts for 2 weeks, so I hope to get to see some of the festivities, much be amazing.

Well....I'll take pen and paper with me (no laptop) so I can write some stuff down so I won't forget to tell you guys all about it when I return.

Friday, February 12, 2010

China, here I come!!

So after so much trouble my notebook still isn't fixed. But I've managed to finish the project for school. Of course when one things "works" something else goes wrong. So when I had to print it - three times - the printer stopped after 1,5 times. Thus having to call neighbours to ask them if I could print it there (pretty good relationships with the neighbours). Finally found one but then it was too late to go to school and also go by the library. So I had to go in today. And with the snow and me having to work from noon, it was an early morning.

But it's finished, and handed in. So now I can prepare for China. For some bookings they need your visa number, and the passports were in the mail yesterday :D.

Although it doesn't go as smoothly as hoped. We wanted to book a ferry from Hong Kong to Zhong Shan, and were picking out seats, is the page suddenly gone. Not that particular website, nope Internet Explorer just disappeared. Ah well...just do it again right? Wrong. The special seats we had selected were all of a sudden booked, hmmm right, within a minute? It's not that it's a popular ferry trip, or that many people will pay a bit more for the VIP part (Dad wants to have luxury when travelling).

Although we did get most hotels booked. We had to since it's Chinese New Year next week and you want to have everything taken care of before you go.

Now I can further search for specific things to do. We have to visit suppliers but still have time to do other stuff (I wouldn't have survived only suppliers, since why would I join if I can't see a bit of the country).

Any recommendations? The trip: Hong Kong - Zhong Shan - Shen Shen - Shanghai.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sigh: different notebook problems

Can’t they do anything right? Yesterday they almost replaced everything except for the screen and the frame around the screen, which btw still needs to be replaced.

Today I have been working fulltime on that paper that already had to be handed in last Friday. While typing my cursor is moving all over the place, selecting and replacing my cursor at a different place in the paper, sometimes deleting stuff since I’m typing.

In the morning I had the feeling was extra sensitive but now I’ve just realised that they mis-replaced the cover which contains the touchpad. I have a normal keyboard for a laptop. But the touchpad is for a keyboard which also has the numeric keyboard on the side. So when placing my hands appropriately on the keyboard, the mouse of my left hand is on top of the touchpad, thus resulting in the cursor moving all over the place.

Big sigh!

They were supposed to call today to schedule an appointment to replace the frame around the screen, which of course they didn’t. So on my to-do list for tomorrow is to yell at Dell. And then quickly finish my paper (only the rationale), and relax!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Weekend of Fun

After all the computer problems from the last weeks and the disappointment in not having passed all my exams, I was in need of a relaxing weekend to take my mind of things.

On Saturday I did have call with Dell because notebook still isn’t working and I demanded that they would call me the first thing on Monday morning (didn’t happen, so now I had a blowout on the phone with a – for me – new tech support guy, and I’ve told them I’m going to contact my (legal) advisor, come on, there has been no solution to my problem for 3 weeks now). And in the afternoon I went to my friends’ house. They were going to do a dinner party, which I sort of suggested, and I was there early to help. Between the three of us, everything was done pretty quickly and we only had to wait for the others to arrive before we could put the food in the oven.

The food was delicious (duh! I’m not making food that I’m not going to like), and we had fun. Everyone was updated on the others’ lives. Of course there are always anecdotes which make the evening even more memorable. Friend 1 made a comment to Friend 3 that inclined that she just made a stupid remark. I stood up for Friend 3 and told her that Friend 1 made an important discovery a few weeks ago when we were together but Friend 3 and her boyfriend weren’t there because they were skiing (jealous much?).

Friend 2 just told us that she became an aunt, and that the baby is doing fine. Friend 1 and 2 were just talking about the pregnancy, that it went accordingly, although her brother’s wife did have a miscarriage before this pregnancy.

Friend 2: She had a miscarriage when she was in her third month.
Friend 1: That’s horrible, she was almost halfway.
Friend 2: ...
Friend 1: A pregnancy lasts for 8 months, doesn’t it?
Friend 2: No 9.

Later at the table.

Friend 1: I’ve just found out that a pregnancy lasts for 9 months. I always thought it was only 8.
The others: Hahahahahahaha. Nope it has always been 9, or if the baby’s early then it could be 8, or when the baby’s late it could go up to 9,5 months.
Friend 1: That long!

Friend 3 was also laughing at hearing this story.

After dinner we played a grammar game, it sounds boring but it’s actually really fun. It’s about your knowledge of words or how to spell them (there are two options for a question).

During the game we discussed our way of travel the next day to go shopping (our shops aren’t normally opened on a Sunday). Originally it was only Friend 1, 2 and me, who planned to go shopping, then boyfriend 1 and 2 wanted to come along, and while we were discussing we invited Friend 3 and boyfriend 3 to come along if they wanted, which they did.

So Sunday came and we went shopping. It was fun, although we didn’t buy much (which isn’t normal for us). We only had from 12 to 5, so we didn’t even have the time to check out half the shops, and because it was Sunday it was twice as busy as normal (or even busier).

This was exactly a weekend that I needed, enough distraction to not think about problems (how insignificant they might be on the overall plan).

Normally if I go shopping I have a small backpack with me, it’s just big enough for your stuff and a bottle of water. In the summer my mom uses it when she goes somewhere by bike. We’ve turned the house upside down but we couldn’t find the bag anywhere. After breakfast my parents helped to search in my quest for the bag, and they searched for an hour and I even searched for two hours, but we still haven’t found the bag. As soon as I’ve finished the paper I’m working on (situational analysis that I wanted to hand in last Friday, but because of computer trouble I still haven’t been able to start, and I have to hand it in on Thursday because I have to work on Friday, and then we have a week off, and then I’m off to China), I’m going to really turn the house upside down. I’m going to rearrange everything and clean while I’m at it, and then hopefully the bag will turn up.

Okay, I’m going to start on the paper. And I won’t bore you with more computer problems, hopefully by tomorrow afternoon it’s all working as it’s supposed to.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Neverending notebook problems

Here I am again, to bleep about my notebook, again.

I guess it’s a never ending process with my notebook. Today it got even worse and I was done, so after I made a backup I called Dell, saying that I wanted to run the recovery disk. After the explanation of what happened yesterday with the repair guy and that I wanted to run the recovery disk, he put me on hold and contacted his boss. After 10 minutes of listening to silence (normally I get music, but I’ve heard that tape too often so now I can actually sing along but I guess the tape run out), he had a complete list for me:

  • I’m getting a new bottom cover. That’s not the bottom of the notebook but the top. Mine is flamingo pink, I had the option for a free cover choice, then I’m not choosing for boring black or silver
  • I’m getting a new hinge cover. That’s the frame around the screen.
  • I’m getting more internal memory. At the moment it’s 1x1gb and 1x2gb, but those might be cancelling each other out, so I’m getting 2x2gb. Luckily free of charge
  • I’m getting a new backplane. Yup again.
  • I’m getting a new processor
  • And I’m getting a new palm rest. That has got something to do with the touchpad.

So....that’s costing Dell a lot of money. And if you count the numerous phone calls, the time I have put in (on the phone, and being frustrated that it’s not working), the time tech support has put, the repair guys, the stuff listed above and the other backplane and new keyboard. It think it’s worth a couple of notebooks. But apparently it’s procedure. They are not allowed to send a new notebook, but repair what’s wrong. That already 80% is/will be replaced, doesn’t matter.

Ow and a guy will be calling me euhm...still today (he has until 8pm, so that’s another 2 hours) to help me run the discovery disk with a special feature (not the normal way).
So hopefully he will call, otherwise I’m calling him after dinner (if he calls during dinner I’ll just have to excuse myself and hope he’ll let me eat, put gives instructions). And then I have tomorrow to reinstall everything that was on my notebook before (except for one program that I need to get at school).

And hopefully I can start on that paper I was supposed to have hand in today (I don’t have deadlines anymore but I wanted to stay close to the previously set deadlines, so I don’t fall behind, and can do everything on my thesis without being stressed).

Today we booked tickets for China (end of Feb) and US (middle of June). I’m so excited to go to China, I’ve never been to Asia (Turkey is the furthest East) and can’t wait to explore Shanghai and Hong Kong, and some other towns. I’ll have to visit a few suppliers with my dad, but we still have enough time to go sightseeing.

We haven’t made a planning for June yet. We know we’re going to Disney World (I’m such a sucker for Disney) for 2 days (Magic Kingdom and MGM studios), visit my uncle and family, but that’s it.

Got two holidays to look forward too. And after the last six months, I really need one.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

School stuff

The notebook problems came back, and the guy for the new backplane is coming this afternoon. Although he won’t be installing the backplane because they (the dell people) hadn’t ordered it. He called and he asked what the problem was because he didn’t know, and since I didn’t know which computer guy I was talking to (the repair guy or tech support) I asked about which kind of problem he wanted more info one, and he said that he would come by anyway and check.

But I wasn’t gonna post on notebook problems. I’ve bored you enough with that over the last week.

Last Monday I got an e-mail from the coordinator of my course, saying that she wanted to talk about my grades on Tuesday. This sounded worrying but she didn’t want to give me any details over the e-mail. So the next day I’m at school, and already 2 friends come out of her office not having passed all their courses, and thus have to go back to the regular bachelor programme instead of the premaster we were doing at the same time. But they all had more re-exams than I so, I was a bit more confident that I had made it. Last Friday she told me that with one fail you don’t have to go back. So since I only had 2 (I already passed no 3) I thought’s only going to be a fail for marketing and I can still continue.

But unfortunately not. We need 60% for a pass, I had a 44% for marketing (which was to be expected that exam was too idiotic to pass to begin with, no one passed it in the re-exam) and a 57% for the other course. They could deal with the 57% and if I had a higher mark for marketing it would have been okay too, but this was too big of a fail to let me pass. So byebye premaster, all that hard work for nothing. Having had no life for the last 6 months, has all been for nothing.

On the one hand I feel like such a failure for not having passed, I know I can do it, although my grade for marketing says I can’t, and if I would have done a premaster more specific to the master I would have wanted, I would have passed, because then I wouldn’t have any marketing. But that would have cost me an extra year, and I’m done with school. I don’t mind school, and I love to learn new things, but I’m 24 now, if I have to do another 2 years, well...that’s too much. If I had finished this year and got the premaster it was a smaller step to consider doing a master because that would only be one more year.

But on the other hand I’m really relieved that I have my life back. I don’t have to pass the deadlines, although I’ll try to obtain them. And I don’t have to do the academic stuff like the literature review anymore, or the academic writing. I won’t say my English is that good, but it is good enough on bachelor level, and I just don’t like writing academically. And everything has become easier. I can now go to China without taking my notebook with me and worry about school. I can have my weekends back, and if I manage it all, I’ll be able to get a job and bring in some money, which I need if I want to be able to go on all the planned holidays.

Feb: China. Although this is a business trip for my dad, we’re gonna do touristy stuff too
May: hopefully Edinburgh with my mom.
June: US :D with parents
(I know, I travel a lot with my parents but my friends just don’t have time, and travelling with my parents isn’t as expensive as travelling with friends, because mom and dad pay for dinner and stuff).
July: with my friend from school to a Greek Island,
Aug: to Edinburgh on my own, to see my friends
Sept: don’t know where with my friends from my hometown

Although I don’t know if all will go ahead. The Feb June and July definitely will, and I have to visit my friends in Edi as well.

I still have to finish the topic appraisal I was working on but not hand it in before Friday. Which I was not able to finish in time anyway. I freaked out Monday after that e-mail and didn’t do much that evening. I did a huge part on Tuesday morning and if I’d been in that same work mode, I would have been able to finish it. But then I had to go to school to hear that I failed, so I didn’t feel like doing much that day. To “celebrate” that we had our live back my friend from school (she also didn’t pass) went to see the last movie with Heath Ledger, the imaginarium of doctor Parnassus. I had an appointment with my tutor the next day at school, so I didn’t do anything in the morning. And I didn’t get home until 8pm because a boat sailed into a railway-bridge so I couldn’t get home. Our public transport is pretty good, a lot of people are always complaining but if you compare our railway network to other countries, we can go almost everywhere by train. But if something’s wrong, then we suffer huge delays.
And today was the computer fix day. I still have to call the guy, but I just don’t feel like doing that right now. I guess I'm just destressing from the last few months. I'll start again tomorrow.

How's everybody else doing?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Something else

My life is not only focussed on my problematic notebook and school.

After my oral exam on Friday – which I passed easily, I don’t know why I was worrying, I could even have saved myself the problem of learning because it was that easy – I went over to my friend’s place, to just be lazy, watch a movie, and get ready for the evening.

We had another party with the class, and it was great fun. In the beginning we were afraid that the party wouldn’t come alive because just took people ages to finally drop in. But then the party really took off. After a few hours we headed to town, so we could go dancing. Opinions were mixed where we should go, but in the end we found a place where we all could fit in, and were allowed in (some bars you’re not allowed to enter if you’re bigger than a group of 5). We stayed until the end and when my friend and I finally got home it only took minutes to clean up the mess (which mess, it was just collecting the cups and beer bottles).

This was a goodbye party with our class. Most will return home for their dissertation and we’ll barely see each other. This makes the end really come into sight. In a few months I’ll be graduating and leaving my school life behind me. Well...graduation day is on July 1st. But the deadline of the thesis is at the beginning of June, and I’m hoping to have it finished at the end of May, so only 4 more months. Yikes.

Next Saturday I'll have a dinner party (with games) at a friend's house, so that should be fun too.
And we (my dad and I) are planning our trip to China for the end of Feb too, so I've got a lot of fun to look forward to :D.