Sending an S O S for a PC Exorcist

Harry Hurt III in the New York Times commented on PC problems in a piece called Sending an S O S for a PC Exorcist on 9 February 2008.

Harry noted

AT high noon on a recent Monday, I leaped up from my desk vowing to commit the most sensational attack of revenge in the history of the personal computer industry. Just 72 hours earlier, I had taken delivery on a Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop loaded with Microsoft Windows Vista. It was already on the blink. I couldn’t open a Word document. I couldn’t run a Google search. I couldn’t even send e-mail. I vowed to shave Michael Dell and Bill Gates with a broken beer bottle.

Harry then went on to note

John guessed that the problems might have been caused by resubscribing to the antivirus program. He told me he needed to take the computer to his shop to exorcise the evil spirits. I would have to go back to my worn-out old Toshiba, which had a nasty tendency to overheat and shut down without warning.

further noting

John and his two-man staff spent an entire week working on my Dell. “You fell prey to a cutting-edge disaster by subscribing to Norton Anti-Virus twice,” he informed me over the phone near week’s end. “That caused the computer to spit up a general error message. We all scratched our heads and glared threateningly at the machine for hours. Then we figured out that instead of two or three potential remedies, there were about 25. We decided it was time to cut our losses, and start from scratch.”

John ultimately had to remove the data on the hard drive, wipe it clean, and then reinstall all the data and Vista. The total cost of these surgical procedures was about $800, over half of what I had originally paid for the Dell. But I was so happy to hear the crunch of S.U.V. tires on my driveway when John returned with my newly repaired machine, I told him I didn’t begrudge paying the tab.

Oh my God – did they see him coming or what? $800 to fix an error like that, removing all the data from the hard drive and reinstalling everything, Vista included?

When Harry vowed to “commit the most sensational attack of revenge in the history of the personal computer industry” I think he got the wrong end of it and rather the computer industry committed the most sensational case of pre-emptive revenge on Harry!

Many of these “independent service providers” make a very nice living out of the ignorance of those who know little about computers. This is like taking your car to the mechanic and having the mechanic say “what’s wrong with it” to which you reply “it’s broke, fix it”. You wouldn’t do that with a mechanic, so why would you do the same with your PC?

Jeffro – this independent service provider has to be the business to get in to – we could write our own salary cheques week on week! There are enough blokes with soft parts to their anatomy to make it worthwhile. 😆

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