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Relief doesn’t begin to cover it

Well, it took them a week, and far too many phone calls from me, but my laptop was returned to me today, and better, it works.

Which is an enormous relief.

This was far more of an ordeal for me than it should’ve been, but honest to God, I am a techkiller, and I specialize in computers. There are times when, seriously, it seems that all I have to do is think an unkind thought in the rough direction of a desktop or laptop, and the machine goes gleefully tits up. I own, at this moment, no less than three computers, and during the last week, I was reduced to using my wife’s laptop because the others were either 1) broken, 2) so unreliable as to be broken, or 3) entirely absent, ie, undergoing repair.

Until about 18 months ago, I was a dedicated PC user, having defected after selling my first novel. Why did I defect? Because I wanted to play games, and the games I wanted to play were only available on the PC. That was the reason. That was the whole damn reason.

And for that reason, I put up with All Things Microsoft, and, more, things of Dell and Gateway homebrews and — yes, I admit it — Alienware — and time and again the machines went tits up on me. Motherboards died, memory fried, hard drives failed, you name it, it happened.

Which lead, inevitably, to tech support. Hours and hours spent in the loving, tender, caring embrace of tech support.

(As an aside, Trautmann was down here for the last two days, and mentioned in passing that, apparently, folks in Seattle spent something in the neighborhood of 45 plus hours in traffic during their commutes. That’s a full 40-hour work week plus five for lunches. I think, honestly, I’ve spent twice that much time on hold with tech support in the last 10 years.)

So, when my last primary laptop was stolen, I heeded the advice of my peers and my bride and my friends, and I went to the Apple Store and I bought myself a nice, straightforward MacBook Pro. And, not being a fool, I bought myself Pro Care, because, hey, I look at these machines, and they self-destruct.

And I have to say, the laptop did what it was supposed to do, and did it well, and so what if it was making a strange kind of wheezing noise that was gradually growing louder and louder and…wait a minute, I’ve got Pro Care, I get priority service, I get a yearly tune-up, I’m bringing my laptop in for a service.

“You’ll have it back in 24 hours. Forty-eight hours at the most.”

Well…no, actually. Forty-eight hours, that’s two days. It took seven days. So, no, not really forty-eight hours, and the thing is that I went with a Mac precisely to avoid this kind of thing.

Now, the ironic thing. That full week? That’s still about twice as fast, on average, as it took Alienware to deal with any of the multiple things that went wrong with their machines, and Alienware was apparently known for their stellar tech support, at least at the time.

Irony number two, ready for it? Got the laptop home, moved my files off of my bride’s machine, booted up iTunes to sync my iPod…and the iPod doesn’t work. (And yes, I’ve tried doing this.)

BUT…I have my laptop back, the work that I did manage to get completed this week is work that I’m proud of, and to celebrate the fact, I’m going to post more art.

First, from the second issue of The Crime Bible: The Five Books of Blood, “The Lesson of Lust”–

And now a teaser by Chris Samnee–


10 Responses to Relief doesn’t begin to cover it

  1. sd6

    Hey there…this is Jess…Brandon’s prettier half (though he looks MIGHTY-FINE in a dress).

    I just wanted to throw out there that I fix laptops and computers for the government. I realize, of course, that’s no help to you when you use a Mac, but if you ever need any data retrieval or laptop/PC help, upgrades, or rebuilds…or if you need to know the “keywords” that will get you a refund after you’ve paid Geek Squad to do the repair when Dell was responsible in the first place, PLEASE feel free to seek out our number through Eric. I’d be happy to help.

  2. jjgalahad

    Congrats on getting your laptop back! I’m glad to see it lead to more teases of awesomeness.

  3. admin

    Thanks for the offer — I hope you don’t come to regret it! ;)

  4. wyldemusick

    Stephen Fry claims to keep ten working, active Macs on hand at any given time, so don’t feel too bad…! This is without adding in his 19,231 SmartPhones/PDAs and whatnot.

    I prefer to keep the operating numbers down to three (it’s two right now) and have this thing about enjoying rebuilding and upgrading machines. What makes this faintly notable is that I love in a house that dates from 1910 and the retrofitted electrical system here offers me laughably few power outlets; I have a fortune in bus bars, and should invest in several more UPS, I suspect.

    Don’t feel bad about your fatal charm for the bitboxes, though…you’re not alone (my ex regularly kills computers.) And you could have my talent — I put out street lights and security lamps and such by walking under them or even past them. I’ve tried switching soaps and using deodorant, but nothing helps.

  5. gwalla

    I thought Alienware was mainly known for looking nifty and being really expensive yet filled with cheap parts.

  6. thecomicman

    I also kill computers on an alarmingly regular basis. I’ve killed two of my own PC desktops and three of my girlfriend’s Macs. Maybe I have a lot of static electricity?

  7. davesbu

    your reason for going Mac was precisely my reason. I am like cancer of the brain infecting the fingers when it came to my old computers. In college, I had to reformat my Compaq at least once a year because it always went tits up right around time for finals. I have the worst luck with PCs and since going Mac two years ago with this iBook that I’m currently typing on; I’ve not had a single problem with it ever. In TWO YEARS. 3,000 plus songs, just as many photos and hundreds of documents I’ve not once had a problem. Consider me reformed.

  8. kali921

    I can RELATE, and thank you for the birthday wishes!

    Oh, man, I can RELATE, but it only happens to me at work. At two of my last places of employment, it got to the point where if the IT department was considering deploying a new piece of equipment or software throughout the enterprise?

    They’d give it to me first, to test, in order to see how long it took for me to break it. I was like their commando agent of QA, swear to GOD.

    Thank you so much for the birthday gift! :-)

    The art previews look lovely. You know what’s funny? All the fanboys I know, when they read that there is, in fact, an issue of Crime Bible titled The Lesson of Lust, have said nothing about wanting hot girl-on-girl action in said issue.

    But all of my lesbian and bisexual female friends? CANNOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT.

  9. dewline

    *emits a very loud and non-sarcastic “Huzzah!!!”, offering Greg a high-five!*

  10. stealthbunny

    EVERY SINGLE TIME that I say… hey! My car hasn’t broken down recently — it does. THAT SAME DAY! Even if it was just in the shop. I get it back and think.. well, there. It should be fine for a while now… and it breaks down on the way home with a completely different problem. Been like that through three cars and a couple of loaners as well. Every. Single. Time.

    Fear us. The technologically and mechanically cursed.

    However, I was able to change the porch light fixture without fitzing myself into the next century. Or falling off the porch. Considering I was half hanging off to do it and the fixture wasn’t fitting on like it was supposed to, I consider myself rather amazingly lucky.

    Oh, and the light worked!

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