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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Comcast still sucks!

Ok, we used to have Comcast cable. but they started taking away our channels and trying to force us to upgrade to Digital Cable. We were paying like $40 a month or so, and to go digital would have almost doubled our bill. So we cancelled and moved to DirecTV.

We've had DirecTV for a little over 2 years now, and recently downgraded to their bottom of the line package which provides the locals, all the kid channels (Nick, Disney, Boomerang, etc..) and a few others, for $40.

For some reason today, I logged on to Comcast just to see if their prices were anywhere close. And I saw a BASIC CABLE package for $15.75 a month. All it said for the channel lineup was: Local news, sports, kids’ programs and weather.

So I scoured their website, to figure out what this meant, and what channels came with it. I looked everywhere and was unable to find it, so I chose to LIVE CHAT a customer service rep and find out.

I had 3 simple questions:

1) What is the channel lineup for the Basic Cable package
2) Is Basic and Expanded Basic cable analog?
3) What is the price on Expanded Basic cable.

My chat lasted for 59 minutes.

6 minutes of that was spent being shuffled around.
41 minutes of that was spent trying to determine the channel lineup for Basic Cable.
12 minutes of that was finding out that Expanded Basic isn't offered in my area, even though the website shows it on my channel lineup.


I was shuffled around a bit at first, but finally got someone who said they could help. After almost an hour I still didn't have the channel lineup. The emailed copy of the transcript does not contain timestamps (Im sure they do this on purpose) but I also took screenshots, which follow the transcript to show the time. I will also add timestamps to the transcript in RED.

I have highlighted some of the best parts:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



cj  10:30:05 EST -  I have some questions about your Basic Cable package for $15.75 per month.
Jocel  -  Hello cj, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Jocel. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Jocel  -  Hi! Thank you for contacting Comcast Video Live Chat. I'm Jocel, your Comcast Customer Representative ready to serve you today. How are you doing today?
cj  -  fine thanks
cj  -  Im trying to find out what channels are included in this package, all it says it: Local news, sports, kids’ programs and weather.
Jocel  -  It's great to know that you are well, CJ.
Jocel  -  I understand you need the details of the Basic Cable package.
Jocel  -  As much as I would love to help you with this, we have another department who specializes on this concern. I would be glad to connect you to them.
cj  -  ok
Jocel  -  Will there be anything else that I can help you with before I connect you to our sales team? I would be glad to assist you further.
cj  -  nope, thanks
Jocel  -  You are most welcome.
Jocel  -  Please stay on the line while I escalate your concern.
Jocel  -  Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst
Louis  -  Good Morning
Louis  -  Unfortunately I am not able to access the information for your area, I am located in Massachusetts and do not have access to the information for your area, one moment please while I send you to the correct location
Louis  -  One moment please, I will send you to the correct area of Virginia
Louis  -  Also, we strive to exceed your expectations and hope that you will take a moment to complete the short 3 question survey that will follow our interaction, your feedback will help us to continue improving how we serve you. You will see it by clicking on END SESSION button after our chat.
Louis  -  We are committed to providing you with a consistently superior customer experience. If for any reason something goes wrong, we will work to resolve the issue as quickly and professionally as we can. We will give you a 30-day, money-back guarantee on all our services. If you are not satisfied and wish to cancel services for any reason, you can do so in the first 30 days and get your money back. Simply return your equipment in good working order and we’ll refund the monthly recurring fee for your first 30 days of service and any charges you paid for standard installation.
cj  -  thanks
Louis  -  You are welcome
Louis  -  Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst
Sherlyn 10:36:20 EST -  Welcome to Comcast Live Chat Support Sales Department. Thank you so much for your interest in bringing Comcast to your home. In line with this, we do promise to provide you the best service you deserve. You may call me Sherlyn, I will be your Customer Service Representative today. How are you today?
cj  -  good thanks
Sherlyn  -  I am glad to know that.
Sherlyn  -  Please give me one moment to review your information.
cj  -  Im curious as to what channels come in the $15.75 Basic cable package. All it says is: Local news, sports, kids’ programs and weather.
Sherlyn  -  Thank you for that concern, CJ.
Sherlyn  -  I can certainly assist you with that. Please give me a minute.
cj  -  sure thing
Sherlyn  -  Thank you.
Sherlyn  -  You may check the channel line-up for that package. Here is the link:
cj  -  is that: thesource.com?
Sherlyn  -  Any specific channels that you would want me to check?
Sherlyn  -  Yes.
cj  -  its a 404 page
cj  -  Nickelodeon, Disney
Sherlyn  -  Okay. I will check, CJ. Please stay online.
cj  -  that URL does not work
Sherlyn  -  Oh, I can access it here in my end.
cj  -  how? it does not have a .com or .net or .org or anything on it
Sherlyn  -  Don't worry. I double check on this.
cj  -  well id like to see the whole lineup
Sherlyn  -  I see. Please give me a minute to provide you with another link.
cj  -  ok, thanks
Sherlyn  -  Please try this one: https://www.comcast.com/Localization/Localize.cspx?Referer=%2fCustomers%2fClu%2fChannelLineup.ashx%3farea%3d0
cj  -  ive already seen that page. it is just every channel you offer, not the channels that are included in the basic lineup
Sherlyn  -  Okay. Do you want me to provide you here with all the channels instead?
cj  -  no, the link you just gave me lists ALL the channels. I would like a list of ONLY the channels in the Basic Cable package
Sherlyn  -  I have here the list, CJ.
cj  -  ok
Sherlyn  -  Here are the channels included:
Sherlyn  -  BASIC CABLE
2 CBUT - 2
3 KWPX - ION
4 KOMO - ABC
5 KING - NBC
6 KONG
7 KIRO - CBS
8 Local Access
9 KCTS - PBS
10 KMYQ
11 KSTW - CW
12 Home Shopping Network
13 KCPQ - FOX
14 QVC
15 KHCV
16 KUNS
17 ShopNBC
18 Eternal Word Network
19 Puget Sound Ed Access
20 KTBW
21 Seattle Government Access
22 King County Community Access
23 Seattle Public Access
24 KWDK
25 UWTV2
26 Local Community Access
27 UWTV1
28 TV Guide Channel
95 TVW
97 Community College Channel
98 CCTV4
99 CSPAN
cj  -  I live in Virginia - that looks like a West Coast lineup. Our TV stations do not begin with K over here.
Sherlyn 10:47:56 EST -  Let me verify. One moment, please.
Sherlyn  -  Your address is XXXXXXXX, VA. Am I correct?
cj  -  yes, zip XXXXX
Sherlyn  -  Thank you. Please give me 2 minutes to double check, CJ.
cj  -  ok
Sherlyn  -  System is loading, CJ.
cj  -  ok
Sherlyn  -  Thank you. Please stay online.
cj  -  why isnt there somewhere on Comcast's website where I can see the channel lineup? This is an awful lot of time spent trying to get it...
Sherlyn  -  I apologize for the inconvenience it caused you.
Sherlyn  -  Yes. It is available through comcast.com.
Sherlyn  -  It's under SHOP, then click Digital cable with on demand.
cj  -  where? I cant find them anywhere. all that gives me is the entire channel lineup, it doesnt give me the lineup for Basic Cable
cj  -  can you give me a link?
Sherlyn  -  http://www.comcast.com
cj  -  i see no channel lineup at that page.... I mean a direct link to the lineup
Sherlyn  -  We have 2 links available for the channel line-up, CJ.
cj  -  Ok, shoot
Sherlyn  -  That is the option that we have if we cannot view it through direct link.
cj  -  Ok, you have 2 links. Can I have them please?
Sherlyn  -  Those are the links I've provided earlier.
cj  -  the link you provided earlier had no .com or anything on it - that is not a valid link.
cj  -  the other one was comcast.com - what good does that do me?
cj  11:02:18 EST -  ok, i see it is going to be difficult to tell me what channels you offer in your Basic Cable package... so lets move on to my second question.
Sherlyn  -  You may use comcast.com, then click on SHOP, then click Digital cable with on demand.
Sherlyn  -  I have checked for Nickelodeon, Disney.
Sherlyn  -  It's available through our Digital Economy package.
cj  -  those directions do not take me to a channel lineup. it takes me to the page where i see the Basic Cable package for $15.75 - but from here, there is no way to see the actual lineup, which is why i chatted you. So In over 30 minutes, you have not been able to provide me with a lineup - OK, next question: is the Basic Cable and Extended Basic cable analog?
Sherlyn  -  Yes, it's analog, CJ.
Sherlyn  -  I apologize.
Sherlyn  -  It's mostly local channels.
cj  -  Its the non-mostly locals I was interested in. OK, so for either of the Basic cable packages, I will not need a set top box correct?
Sherlyn  -  Yes, you are correct.
Sherlyn  -  Do you want me to process that for you?
cj  -  Ok, I guess that's all - it'd really be nice to know what channels I would be getting if I signed up for this package - I guess its the "grab bag" of television.
Sherlyn  -  I really would want to provide you with all the list, CJ.
cj  -  No, without knowing what channels I'm getting, I dont think I want it - Im not the gambling type
Sherlyn  -  Please give me a minute to double check.
cj  -  I do appreciate the effort.
Sherlyn  -  Thank you. Please stay online. Will a minute or 2 would be fine?
cj  -  yes, im going to go to the restroom while i wait. I will let you know when I am back.
Sherlyn  -  Sure!
cj  -  OK, I am back - any news?
Sherlyn  -  Thank you for patiently waiting, CJ.
Sherlyn  11:16:55 EST -  Yes, I cannot access as well to just the basic list.
Sherlyn  -  But I have collected here the channels.
cj  -  yes, that was my reason for chatting you...
cj  -  OK.
Sherlyn  -  It has:
Sherlyn  11:17:44 EST -  9 WTVR (CBS Richmond) Limited Basic No
10 WRIC (ABC Richmond) Limited Basic No
11 WRLH (FOX Richmond) Limited Basic No
12 WWBT (NBC Richmond) Limited Basic No
13 WUPV (CW Richmond) Limited Basic No
14 QVC Limited Basic No
15 WGN Limited Basic No
17 Chesterfield Channel Limited Basic No
18 C-SPAN Limited Basic No
19 MASN 2 Limited Basic No
20 TV Guide Limited Basic No
21 Home Shopping Network Limited Basic No
22 Jewelry TV Limited Basic No
23 WCVE (PBS Richmond) Limited Basic No
24 WCVW (PBS Richmond) Limited Basic No
71 WTZD (Telemundo) Limited Basic No
95 INSP Limited Basic No
96 Chesterfield Schools Television Limited Basic No
99 Public Access Limited Basic No
100 TV Guide Network Limited Basic No
104 C-SPAN2 Limited Basic No
184 Jewelry TV Limited Basic No
202 WCVE- World Limited Basic No
206 WTVR (CBS Weather) Limited Basic No
208 WWBT (NBC Weather Plus) Limited Basic No
209 WRLH (MyTV Richmond) Limited Basic No

cj  -  OK, that looks right. Thank you. So I also see in the channel lineup page, an Extended Basic Cable package, but I do not see a price for it anywhere. Could you tell me how much that is?
Sherlyn  -  Let me double check, CJ.
cj  -  Actually, it is called Expanded Basic
cj  -  thanks
Sherlyn  -  There is no code available for Expanded Basic cable service in your area, CJ. Some of our promotions are actually market dependent. But the line-up for that package is almost similar with Digital Economy cable. The price is $39.95.
cj  -  but that requires a box correct?
Sherlyn  -  Yes, But there is no extra charge for the box.
cj  -  even if I want to add additional TVs later?
Sherlyn  -  I see. Additional regular box is only for $8.00.
cj  -  yeah - that's a scam... OK, thanks for your time.
Sherlyn  -  Thank you very much for your patience, CJ.
cj  -  good bye
Sherlyn  -  I can see here that Phone service is available in your area. Should you decide to add this to your order, please feel free to chat back with us.
Sherlyn  -  Comcast appreciates your business and values you as a customer. Our goal is to provide you with excellent service. If you need further assistance, you can chat with one of our Customer Support Specialists 24 hour a day, 7 days a week at http://www.comcastsupport.com.!

By the way, if you want to watch full TV shows and movies online? Go to www.fancast.com.

Sherlyn  11:29:46 EST -  Analyst has closed chat and left the room


Email sent at: 11:31:13 AM, 11/23/2010
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 Needless to say, Comcast STILL won't be getting my business.


Here are the screenshots to verify timestamps:




















Heres the screenshot showing the Expanded Basic lineup in my area:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why League of Legends, Battlefield Heroes and that whole business model suck ass

Ok. So recently a new type of game has reared its ugly head. The "FREE" game, where you can pay money to make your character better than everyone else....

League of Legends
Battlefield Heroes


I think Runescape was one of the first....

This type of game sucks ass, and will die a short horrible death.....

They think they can attract a lot of players because it's free.... then hopefully get them to buy upgrades...

Well, the majority doesn't want to buy upgrades to your shitty game, so what happens? They get overrun by the few who do decide to buy some upgrades...

So what happens then? We quit. It was a good concept, but the execution sucked ass.....

Im not going to spend all this time working toward something, to have some shmuck who paid $20 come walk all over me with his +60 damage multiplier.

Shitty concept. Go die...

Charge me a couple bucks a month to keep the playing field level.

I have no intention of playing a "He with the most money wins" game....

Take that business model and stick it up your ass....

I'll play Counterstrike while I wait for a new good game to be released....

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Big media companies, just don't get it.

First to go - The Newspaper.... once the largest media industry in the world, now headed straight into the crapper....

According to the Newspaper Association of America, in 1940, there was a total circulation of 32 million newspapers. In 1990, they had a total circulation of 62.6 million - the highest ever.

It took the newspaper industry 50 years to increase their circulation by 30 million. Its only taken them 18 years to lose almost half that.... 13.5 million.

In 2008 (the last year the NAA has statistics for on their website) circulation was down to 49 million, and is steadily declining 2 million per year. That number growing exponentially each year.

So what caused this? The Internet? Negative... the Internet did not cause the demise of the Newspaper industry... the Newspaper Industry's failure to embrace the Internet and utilize it, is what has caused their demise. Their own top brass killed them. They decided to ignore the Internet, and in some cases, flat out fight it.

But alas, it's not just the Newspaper industry that is so foolish. Lets switch our attention to the Movie and Music industries. We all know who the RIAA and MPAA are don't we? Not because they have provided us with some great product or service, and we want to tell all of our friends about it, no! Many of us never heard of either organization until sometime in the early 2000's... but they have been around for ages. The MPAA was formed initially in 1922, and the RIAA formed in 1952.

So why are these two acronyms household names now? Yep - LAWSUITS. These two organizations have spent the last 10 years suing John Q. Public over downloading songs and movies from the Internet.

So here we have another huge industry that is not only ignoring the Internet as this great new vehicle to make a shit-ton of cash with, but adamantly fighting it....

Best Buy announced last Friday, that they will be slashing CD and DVD inventory from their stores to make room for better selling items, like computers and MP3 players.

Is this because people are PIRATING music and movies at such a rate that no one is buying them any more? Again, negative...

Apple's iTunes store, sold its 10th BILLION song back in February. 10 BILLION!! Doesn't sound to me like piracy is running rampant. Sounds to me like people just changed the ways they purchase music.

Movies are doing just as well, with Amazon and Netflix as forerunners in the Internet delivery system of movies.

Yet the Music industry and Movie industry are still reluctant to jump in on this "new" phenomena... why?? Because they are all full of old baby boomers who are scared of technology.... well... we'll see you in the annals of big media companies who have FAILED because your heads were too far up your ass to understand how people consume media....

Even artists are going around the big mega-corps and releasing their tracks directly on the Internet, and in many, many cases, giving it away for FREE. Why, you ask? Typically, artists see shit from CD sales. They get an upfront amount, and that's it. If the album flops, or if it goes triple platinum most just see that initial check...

They make their money off of concerts and other appearances. So why not give it away?? Many people who may never hear them because they don't want to shell out $20 for a CD, may very well download something for FREE to "check it out". And if they like it, they may even go see the band in concert when they come to his town... That's where they make their money...

Although, in the RIAA's defense... they recently announced they will stop suing you if you download a song. Gee, thanks guys!

This all pretty much has been leading up to this next story.... Google, the #1 Internet company who has bridged many aspects of daily life with the Internet (i.e. Google Voice, GOOG-411, GoogleMaps, GoogleMobile, etc..) is introducing GoogleTV....

Internet enabled TV is nothing new. I've been doing it for many years - first with BeyondTV, and for the past several years now, with SageTV...

DVR's started the demise of traditional TV, in that it allowed you to watch your favorite shows, when you wanted to... not on the TV exec's schedule... not only that... it allowed you to fast forward through all the commercials... GASP!! That's how TV companies make money... so do they change their business model now that peoples consumption methods have changed? And yet again... Negative....

They instead try to get Congress to allow them to encode their commercials so they can't be skipped... What?? Really?

So then The HTPC (Home Theater PC) arrives on the scene... not only is it a DVR, but its a media library, with Internet access... YouTube videos on your TV... how novel. But it's a blast.

For years when I've demonstrated my HTPC for friends and family, they are all amazed, and would love to have it... but it's a rather difficult task to do if you're not too computer savvy....

So in comes Google. They have partnered with Sony to introduce an Internet Enabled TV, based on the GoogleTV platform. They have also teamed up with Logitech, who is developing a set top box, that will add GoogleTV to your current TV. Basically a Plug-and-Play HTPC (although I am unsure about the media library capabilities)....

So Google approaches the networks, to try and get them on board....

ALL MAJOR NETWORKS DECLINED!!!

HBO jumped on, but their content will only be available to HBO subscribers... A few news agencies will run stock feeds, or sports scores...

But ABC,CBS,NBC and FOX all declined...

Sure, they have content on Hulu, and that's great - it shows they are testing the waters... but the selection of shows is limited, mostly older shows, and often times poor quality... I'll admit I watch many shows on Hulu....

Now while Hulu shows they are at least playing around with the ideas, Hulu Plus just shows what types of idiots these guys really are....

For those of you not in the know, Hulu is a website where you can watch a bunch of TV shows and Movies, for FREE. You will have to watch commercials, but not nearly as many as on a regular TV broadcast (though I do notice they are sneaking more and more in slowly)....

Hulu Plus is their subscription based service. Now many people were looking forward to Hulu Plus... that is, until they announced that those people who subscribe to Hulu Plus for $10 a month, will still have to sit through the commercials.... I'm sorry - Im just not going to pay you $10 a month to watch old ALF reruns, littered with Sprint commercials.... sorry... get a new business plan....

So to sum up this god awful long ass post.... Media Companies need to get their heads out of their asses, and understand times have changed and we no longer want to haul around a book full of CD's or have a shelf full of DVD's... My iPhone has 16GB of memory... I could put every CD I own on it and still have plenty of space left... granted - my musical tastes are pretty limited, and most bands I like have 30 second to 1.5 minute songs.....

So either jump on the bandwagon that is the Internet and work with it, or fight it and it's millions of users and go curl up and die with the Newspapers... I'll continue downloading media from iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and wherever else I can... I'll be happy to pay you for it....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Farm Games - WTF!?!

OK.... I see these freaking Farm Games everywhere - On Facebook, on my iPhone.... So I downloaded one, and checked it out....

First you have unplowed land:






Then you plow it, which costs money, but gives you experience:




















Then you pick something to plant on it:





Then you plant it, which costs you money, but gives you experience:





Then you wait:





And wait and wait... then when it's finished, you pick it and start over..... More experience opens up new stuff you can plant. But it also opens up a bunch of crap that costs you money, and gives you NOTHING....

Is there a goal to this game?

I gained experience points and was able to buy a chair.

The chair does shit for me.... It doesnt give me experience, it doesnt give me money.... it costs me not only money, but a square of my land.... And not only that but it costs me a GEM. How the fuck do you get gems? Oh! You pay real life money for them.

So I pay $1.00 for a gem, to buy a cyber-chair that takes up a square on my 12x12 virtual farm, that offers nothing in return? And these companys are making bookoo bucks....

I want to know who the jackasses are out there buying the chairs!!!

I don't get it.... maybe I'm missing something....

Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Ways in Which I am Better than BP

I just changed the oil in two of our vehicles.... and in doing so, have discovered two (2) ways in which I am better than BP.

Way #1:


I only spilled about a quart of oil





Way #2:


I cleaned it up immediately.

I may not be better than many people/things... but I think this proves I am better than BP.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Pure Boredom

Two identical Magic cards, cut into strips, then woven together.....











Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lazily "Going Green"

Over the weekend, I was at a friends house. I needed to use the restroom, but also needed to throw something away.
The following map will help explain:




If you can't see the map, it is here.

It's not quite to scale, but you get the idea.

I started at number 1. The trash can was at number 2, and 'X' marks the spot of the restroom.

The blue lines are the path I followed. When I returned, my friend laughed and said I had gone the long way to the restroom. She suggested the red lines were a much quicker way. Now we aren't talking miles here.... maybe a few extra feet, possibly 10 maybe.

I said that my path, while maybe actually longer, required me to exert less energy, as my momentum was already heading in that direction, and I could simply toss my trash in the can, without stopping, and continue around the house. I argued that stopping, and changing direction would actually require me to put out more energy than taking the 'long way'.

We didn't spend hours discussing it, maybe a minute, maybe not even that long. But I've been thinking about it, and my original excuse was that I am lazy, and it would take extra effort to change my momentum and direction. But after thinking about it... I think maybe subconsciously, I'm helping to save the planet.

Conserving the energy it would have taken to change direction, means smaller carbon footprint right?

Hey, I'm "Going Green"!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So are tasers a deadly weapon or not?

For years, police departments have been tasing people to simply get them under control.
The most recent being the kid who ran on the field at the Phillies game. Police couldn't catch him, so they tased him. Then took him off the field:



This officers actions were deemed appropriate by the Police department.

And of course we all know the "Don't tase me, bro!" guy:




It was also determined that the police were justified in their use ofthe stun gun in this event.

Police also tased a 72 year old woman who refused to comply with orders:



This too was determined appropriate:




Hell, police have even tased a 6 year old!

And declared that justified as well.

They justify these cases, by the fact that the stun gun is a non-lethal, non-deadly "tool". Unlike their handguns, which obviously are deadly weapons.

Ok, I'm not saying I disagree with any of these decisions. Hell, I love to watch some jackass who thinks he's gonna be cool and run on the field in the middle of a baseball game take 50,000 volts to the back of the neck. I only wish I was there to see it live.

Maybe if they start doing that regularly, ticket sales will increase. I know I'd start going.... anyways, I digress....

If the police justify their using of tasers, as a non-lethal means to subdue a criminal, then why are these women, who chased some guy with a stun gun, being charged with "Assault with a deadly weapon"?

So the police are being quite contradictory here. Is a stun gun a deadly weapon or not? And if it is, why are you using deadly force to stop some guy running around a baseball field?

I call bullshit!

There is no double standard here. Pick one!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Craigs List Psycho - Asbestos Boy

Ok....

I cleaned my garage recently and have a ton of stuff listed on Craigs List, that I really just have no business holding on to. I just need to get rid of it and reclaim the space in my garage that it is taking up.

I have an old Commodore 128, with disk drive, monitor, and mouse. All still in the original boxes with original manuals and everything.

I always look at things I'm selling on Craigs List, on eBay first, to get an idea of what they are selling for. I then adjust because eBay is a global market, while Craigs List is typically local.

Anyways, I see a couple 128's computer only going for close to $100. Ok, no sweat. I got the drive, monitor and mouse, and all are in original boxes. I should be able to sell it pretty easy if I'm flexible on the price.

So in my ad listing, it asks for price. I put $1. Then in the description, I put "Make me an Offer!"

So I get an email from some guy who asks if the $1 price is what I'm asking.

So I reply and inform him that I'm looking for offers. He replies and says then he's not interested. Ok, no sweat - whatever.

Well I use my Google Voice number when I post things on Craigs List. But on the following Sunday, my direct cell phone number rings. I answer and the caller identifies himself as the guy interested in the 128. "Strange..." I think to myself, as the call didn't come in on my Google Voice number, but whatever.... he offers me $40 for just the computer and drive. I tell him if he can pick it up that day, that he can have it for that price, but he takes everything.

He then asks how long I've had it. I say about 10 years. He asks if I was the original purchaser. I say no, I got it from a buddy. He asks how long the buddy had it. I say "I don't know. Another 10 years maybe." He then asks if my friend was the original purchaser. I tell him as far as I know he was. He asks if they are all in the original boxes. I say they are. He then asks if they are also in the original plastic bags. WTF? I told him I think the monitor is, but not sure about the rest.

He asks if it has been kept in a smoke free environment. I tell him no, that my buddy and I both smoke. He asks if it smells like smoke when you turn it on. I tell him I haven't had it turned on for about 3 years, and then it was only to see if it worked, and that I really didn't notice any smoke smell.

He then tells me to set it up somewhere in the house so he can see it working. I tell him I'll have it set up in the garage. He says a table in the house would be better. I assure him, I'll have it set up in the garage. He then asks if the garage is heated. I say no, but I do have a heater out there I can turn on. He tells me to have it booted up and running a program, and to do it now so it can run a while before he comes over. He says he will be over at 6PM.

Ok, right here I should have known this guy was a fruit loop, but I wanted the damn thing gone.

So he finally arrives and we are making small talk, and I mention that I fix computers for a living. He says he knows. When I replied to his email, I replied from my company email, so he went to my company website, and thats how he got my direct cell number. Ok, this dudes freaking me out.

So he asks how long the computer has been running. I tell him I set it up right after we got off the phone earlier.

He proceeds to pick up the computer and sniff it. He sniffs the keyboard, the top vents, then the bottom vents. Then he feels all the vents. Says hes checking for a heat problem.

Then he picks up and smells the disk drive in the same fashion, then feels it up too.

He then says he will just be reselling the monitor, and do I have a digital camera so he can take pictures of it. I say sure, and give him my phone. He notices something on the monitor and asks for a damp rag. I holler in to my daughter and ask her for a wet paper towel. She brings one. He asks if he can wring it out on my floor. Um, sure I guess.... whatever.... so he does, and cleans the spot off the monitor.

He then proceeds to snap a few pictures, and asks me to email them to him, which I do.

Then he says he has brought a program and asks if he can load it up. Sure I tell him, and he does.

After the game loads, he gets it to the player selection screen, then disconnects the drive.

He asks if I mind him taking it apart to look at the inside. Sure whatever dude - you've already sniffed it and felt it up, why not. So I give him a screwdriver, and he proceeds to dismantle the drive. He looks into it, sniffs it again, and comments that it needs a cleaning.

A cleaning? Are you kidding me? The thing is over 20 years old, and has been in my garage for 10 of those - hell yes it needs a cleaning!

So then he puts the drive back together and asks if he can dismantle the computer itself. Sure, why not. So it requires a star bit. I give him one, but two of the holes are too deep and it wont fit. So he says screw it and gets ready to put it back together. Then asks if I have one of those L shaped things. "An Allen wrench?" I say. "Yes" says he. So I grab one that seems to fit OK and he removes the rest of the screws.

Well, it still won't pop apart. Maybe some tabs or something inside that were holding it. So he says Oh Well, and puts it back together. He then proceeds to unplug everything. So he grabs the monitor box, and pulls out all of the Styrofoam, and plastic. He then empties out the dust bunnies that have gathered in the bottom. Then he proceeds to pack up the monitor. I give him a hand and we get it back in the box.

Then he packs up the drive. Removes everything from the box, and empties the dust bunnies into the trash. Loads the drive into its foam, then into the box. Then he played this little "which books and cables goes in which box" game. Shuffling them all around. I'm like "The monitor book, and the monitor cables go with the monitor. The drive book and cables go with the drive. Everything else goes with the computer."

I don't think he got it for a while because he kept shifting everything around and asking what went where.

Now he's only got the computer to box up. So I know hes going to clean the box, so I step out back to smoke. I can still see him, I just gathered he wasn't a smoker, and didn't want to be a jerk and smoke in the room with him and his new computer.

So sure enough, he takes everything out of the box, and proceeds to dump the dust bunnies into the garbage. Then he asks if I have a lighter.

I look over and can see what appear to be spider nest/egg things in the corner of the box. I ask if he found some spiders, and he says yes, so I throw him my lighter.

I see him pick one of the white things out the box, and proceed to burn it. Look at it, Burn it again, Look at it again, throw it away, grab another, do the same thing. Im wondering what he's doing, so I put out my cigarette, and walk over.

"Does this look like Asbestos to you?" he says.

Whhaaaaaaaaaat??? Are you serious?

I'm like "I dont know what Asbestos looks like."

So then he asks if I think it got in there at my house, or at my buddies house. "I honestly can't say" I tell him. So then he asks what type of insulation I have in my attic. I don't have a clue, but tell him he's more than happy to go check it out. He says he'd like to, so I pull down the attic access in my garage and he climbs up.

Is it the same I ask? Kind of he says.

While he was in the attic, I went to my garage PC and turned on some music. When he comes down from the attic, he asks if I can get Google on that PC. I tell him I can and he asks if he can use it. "Sure" says I.

So I glance over his shoulder, and hes on Wikipedia reading about Asbestos. Then reading about fiberglass insulation. Hes reading for about 15 minutes. During this time, my wife comes outside and sees the attic is open, and the guys on the computer. She gives me a "WTF?!?!" look. I just shake my head.

So he comes off the computer and asks if he can grab a piece of my insulation.

Help yourself dude!

So he goes upstairs and grabs a piece, then proceeds to the trash can and starts trying to burn it. I give him a pair of needle nose pliers to hold it, cause I'm cool like that. So he burns a few pieces, and I ask "Does it burn the same?" he says "Kinda" then throws it away, and heads back to the computer.

I'm talking to my wife, and a few minutes later, he says "I hate to do this to you."

I'm thinking "No Effing Way Dude!"

He says "But I'm gonna have to pass, sorry. That stuff just freaks me out."

I say no problem, open the door, shake his hand and say see ya.

Its now like 8:30.

2.5 hours for a $40 item, and you turn it down because you think it has asbestos in it??? WTF?!?!?

So two days later, I get an email from another person interested in it. He says he'll give me $75.00

I tell him if he can pick it up that day its his. He says he can and will call when he's on his way.

About 30 minutes later, my direct cell phone rings. I answer it and its Asbestos Boy. He apologizes for freaking out, and states he would like to come buy the computer if I still have it. I inform him someone is coming to look at it. He asks what time they will be there. I said they were going to call when they were on the way. I told him if they didn't buy it, I would call him. He asked me to call either way. I agreed.

The other guy shows up. I tell him we can hook it up if he'd like to see it work. He says its not necessary. Hands me $75 takes the computer and rolls out.

I sent Asbestos Boy an email that simply read "The 128 has been sold."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thermal grease rape

Ok...

On my way home from work today, I bought two things. A 12 pack of beer, and a tube of thermal grease.

For those of you who don't know what thermal grease is, here's a quick explaination:

In your computer, between your CPU and the heatsink, is a thin layer of grease to transfer the heat from your CPU to the heatsink.

That's thermal grease.

Anyways....

The 12 pack cost me $7.02.

That's 12 beers, each one is 12 ounces. That's 144 ounces of beer (a little over a gallon) for $7!

The thermal grease was .12 ounces. It cost $10.

Here's a comparison...




That tiny syringe thing is the grease.

So, at .12 ounces, that means it would take 100 of those to make 1 can of beer.

On top of that, it would take 1200 of those to make a 12 pack.

So in order for me to buy the same amount of thermal grease that I bought in beer today for $7, it would cost $12,000.00

Yes, twelve THOUSAND dollars!!!

They rape you at the thermal grease store...