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PVR-150 update and other computer sundries

Friday, April 28th, 2006

I forgot to report that my PVR-150 video tuner/input card was quite cranky when I got it, lots of problems: it would freeze when changing channels, and often lose audio. But Hauppauge support was prompt, friendly and thorough, and with a new driver emailed to me all was well. Nice to have Jon Stewart back.

After a HUGE delay, the computer retailer found that Samsung would not accept back the LCD monitor with 2 bad pixels. I can't imagine how a monitor with 2 bright red dots on any dark image is usable, but the retailer (without me asking) simply ordered a new monitor, which was supposed to be here today. So hopefully it'll be ok. I appreciate him doing that as any bad pixels to me indicate a defective product, but I realize that this has become acceptable for most manufacturers. In future I will ensure that I don't buy any monitor that I can't preview to determine that it has zero defects. If enough folks do that, policies will change. And prices will likely be higher as well. Caveat emptor.

The old computer is in the shop (a different store this time!) being rebuilt. It was quite decayed after 4 years since the last clean install, with hundreds of apps coming and going in the meantime. And I appreciated the integrity of this shop, although it caused me a headache. The computer box has the original Windows Me Certificate of Authenticity (COA) on it (yes, I was abused with this disastrous excuse of an OS for a few weeks just before XP came out!). But I didn't keep my Windows XP upgrade disk cover that had the XP COA. I had the activation code, but without the COA they wouldn't install it. So they are installing Me, and I get to do the XP upgrade. I wonder then why they bother with the shiny hologram disks if they ignore that verification of orginality anyway?

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