11 March, 2011

Miniblog Part 3: "How Would You Know?"

5 Things you wouldn’t believe happened to me; but did

Minisode Part 3/5 – “How would you know?”

This is probably the best one, but the most for me to have to remember so I will do my best to tell things exactly as they were.

I have always had a PC desktop… It’s my drug of choice. I’ve used Mac, laptops, Macbooks, iMac, and eMacs in high school, (remember those?!) (Actually as a separate subject I used one of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Macintosh_128k_transparency.png it was in my kindergarten room when I was 5).

So when I got to university I took my trusty beast computer with me. This was our family computer I eventually wiped and rebuilt (omgz I used to know how to do that shiz), I added parts, modified it, replaced ribbon cables (that’s how old that thing was) blah blah, PCI-slotted stuff up, the works. The computer was basically Frankenstein’s monster after I was done with it. It had parts from all over the place, and it was like a Clydesdale horse-tank, and could run ANYTHING. I had masterfully acquired the whole creative suite at one point I was running 5 programs from CS and my computer was all like “yup, no problem, keep it coming”. Those were big programs. Photoshop and Premiere especially.

So fast forward to my story; it’s first year of university exam time, which means its finals during X-mas. Being a Communications major most of our exams were take home, which meant a ton of papers I had to write. With 5 classes per semester, I had final papers for each class and then a few take homes also worth 20% or more of my final mark. So during exams there isn’t much class, used to study/write exams, so I remember in the middle of the night in my dorm room I shared with my roommate/friend, I distinctly remember smelling something burning. Like burning plastic. Went back to bed.

I woke up the next morning and the whole room reeks of burning and melted plastic and the whole hallway of our residence smelled of burning Barbies. So what happened was the fan on my computer literally caught fire, literally. Literally caught fire, and melted the fan like a fucking Crayola crayon on the driveway in July. Now that I think about it it’s a good think it didn’t blow up or catch the room on fire, I think I could have died. Oh well. So I remember all my shit was on the computer, all my papers, my bullshit exams… Basically I was in panic mode.

Luckily I had e-mailed the stuff I needed to myself beforehand and I ended up buying a fan and replacing it when I went home for the holidays. Anyway, the point of this story was… actually I have no idea I just wanted to let you know that.

Oh wait I think I remember now. So I had to deal with this PC tank until I think it started falling apart like the zombie called back from the dead by the Monkey’s Paw, literally pieces of it were exploding and not working. I bought a new computer second year, and was fine.

So third year came around and I started my deep and dark submersion into WoW-ism. There was a point where I would literally stay up all night playing this stupid shit and miss classes because there was raids going on. At the pinnacle of this time in my life I thought to myself: “When I absolutely can’t skip class and have to go… How can I play Warcraft at school without installing it onto the computer lab computers (admin bullshit, you know)?” And it came to me like a beautiful rack of Beer Basted Boar Ribs at the Salty Sailor Tavern in Booty Bay… By George Costanza I needed a laptop.

So I got a laptop which helped me shovel WoW into my face 24/7, and also for “school work.” As a side note I believe this allowed me to run my alts and use Guild members Main’s to run my Main’s through dungeons… blah blah blah don’t pretend you haven’t done this. The laptop was my baby; Dell XPS 13”, very top of the line at the time I bought it. I treated that thing better than I would treat a child. I’d take the battery out if I was plugging it in for prolonged periods of time, I would always use it on a flat surface, never leave it on more then I needed it to be on, etc. So one day I'm watching TV and surfing the interwebz on my laptop in the family room with my roommate when she points out my XPS is making a really loud sound. I realize OMFG my fan is fucking Donovan Bailey and is sprinting when I only have one browser open. It was running skin-meltingly hot (its metal) and I was super sad I would have to take it in to get looked at since it was at most 4 months old.

So I bought the laptop at Staples (first mistake), second mistake was I tried to explain to the guy at the counter what I thought was wrong. Let’s back it up.

So I bring my boyfriend to Staples with me on our way somewhere, to drop this off to send out. Now I know that there are probably several reasons why my fan is constantly on and my laptop is overheating and shutting off. I know that my computer is brand new and it’s probably not hardware related, I also know it’s not blocked vents because of how I take care of it. This leaves a software issue; or in what was to be believed as a BIOS issue, which was interfering with the computers software which controls the operation of the cooling fans. I'm assuming after installing software on my computer, one of the third party programs somehow was causing BIOS-related shit to go down. I consulted with a few other geeks and we established this is probably the issue, so I would probably need to format it; however I wanted to send it away to make sure because I am paranoid.

So we get to Staples and Lance and I get to the counter. The guy is maybe early 20’s, and I put the computer on the counter and begin to explain what’s going on. Immediately he addresses Lance instead of me, even though Lance is just standing beside me. He starts to go through all the normal questions: “Have you tried plugging it in?” etc and Lance tells him it’s my computer not his.

So finally he’s talking to me writing on a form.

Him: So what’s happening to it exactly?

Me: The fan is going crazy, it never shuts off, and it’s overheating and running extremely hot.

Him: Ok well it’s probably a faulty fan

Me: I don’t think so, the computer is brand new, I just bought it less than 6 months ago and I don’t use it that often, it just started recently.

Him: Fans break all the time (at this point I believe he was trying to one up me)

Me: Well, can you write on that form to check the BIOS, I'm pretty sure it’s faulty or affecting the computer making this happen.

Get ready for the best line ever

Him: How would you know?

Me: *Raises eyebrows* because that’s what I think it is, could you write that down at least so they check it?

He goes to the backroom and leaves us standing there for a minute. I turn to look at Lance who is making a face, his eyebrows also raised; we had a short discussion that went something like this:

Me: Did he just fucking say that to me?

Lance: That just happened.

So the guy comes back and is super rude to me now, cutting off what I'm saying and rolling his eyes when I am telling him I don’t think it’s the fan (I am saying this repeatedly because he said they would just take the computer in the backroom and one of the guys will replace the fan instead of shipping it out). I wanted to tell him; “Listen, the 16 year olds that work back there? I don’t want them near my computer.” Of course now I am telling him to send it to Dell instead of letting it sit in the Nerd room for some pimply faced teen to pry it open and haphazardly rip out a working fan. For some reason this terrifies me because the dude is not listening to what I am saying, and he keeps undermining me in front of me to my face.

Eventually he tells me that he’ll send it out, after acting like he’s doing me a favour, and humouring me, meanwhile the whole time has a look on his face like a crazy cat lady came into the store and told him the sky was red.

So two weeks or whatever later, Staples calls me. The conversation went like this:

Staples: Hello, your computer has shipped back; we have it for you to pick up

Me: Oh thanks, did they find out what was wrong with it?

Staples: Yeah, you had a corrupt BIOS and they had to format it. (I had given permission to do so if they needed to when I was in Staples)

Me: Ok thanks *hangs up* I fricken KNEW THAT SHIT!!!!!!!

Check and mate, Staples asshole. Hope you went home and cried then got a job at the circus, because you shouldn’t be touching computers for a living.

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