Friday, November 24, 2006

toshiba tech support - thumbs up

I've said bad things about foreign tech support in the past, but I have just had a very good experience from Toshiba. I had two issues and at least one of them has been resolved (the other needs some testing, being one of those "sometimes" problems, but it hasn't shown itself in the last 4 hours of computing).

The lady at the other end was odd to listen to in the way that indicated she was reading the database for answers. And she had only a little ability to adjust to the fact that I know what a tab is, and that as soon as she mentions something, I'm there. But those were very minor. The call was answered in less than five minutes, which is always sunshine. She had this studied, extreme politeness of speech: "Will you please be so kind as to..." and apologizing when asking me to do things. It was a little aggravating to listen to, and would have been more so had I been in a hurry, but politeness is always a pleasant surprise, and today was a holiday.

My first issue was that single-clicking (or tapping) on a button/scrollbar/anywhere but the title bar would cause the window to maximize or restore, as if I'd double-clicked the title bar. This would happen several times in an hour, sometimes getting "stuck" in this mode so that if I didn't actually move the pointer elsewhere, it would toggle all day between maximized and restored size. Apparently there's a new device setting called tap zones. You can assign corners of the touchpad to specific actions. The default has it on, and has actions assigned to every corner. We turned all those off, and we'll see if that fixes it.

Half an issue is that my mouse button, which was ultra-stiff when I bought the thing, is now mushy and doesn't give a tactile click anymore. It still functions though, and Toshiba doesn't consider this a problem.

Second issue has to do with Media Center Edition (MCE). When I stick a new CDRW in the drive it would want to format it. This formatting would take 20-25 minutes. I'm used to the old style where you drop files into the window and then tell it to write the lot. The new style allows you to read and write directly like a floppy disk -- but you need to format it first. We went into the CD drive Properties:Recording and changed it to a CD drive, and that fixed it. The annoying part of this is that once you switch over, MCE will keep hassling you about the fact you can't write a DVD. Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? YES I am fucking sure! Shut up already!

I'd been thinking of bringing the laptop back to Best Buy, but was dreading it because the shopping season has just started, and BB wants a $200 deposit even though it's warranty work. So I'm feeling pretty good right now with all my problems solved in a quick and non-aggravating phone call.

I just had a new error while backing up and later restoring some of my files. One of the CDRWs had a bad spot or something that caused a CRC error. This caused Explorer to start crawling and not respond. If this happens, do not try to close Explorer or eject the disc. Windows will hang so badly that the taskbar disappears and you have to reboot by yanking both power and the battery. If you wait long enough (about 5 minutes) control will eventually be restored to Explorer.

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