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Thanks to those who inquired about my absence
June 12, 2019
4:10 pm
Loonie
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A big thank you to those of you who missed me and contacted me while I was away from the forum. This will have to suffice in reply.

My problem was a malfunctioning computer. And that's another story...
What kind of computer breaks down after 16 months and requires almost $900 in repairs? An ASUS. We took it to the ASSUS place in Markham for repair.

It was a gamble, to decide to get it fixed rather than shop again. I am more than indignant that it lasted such a short time. I've had computers for over 30 years and have never had one break down like this. The problems were all hardware, so they could not blame anyone else. The computer is not roughly handled and it has probably only left the house a couple of times.

We have all the necessary documents and are going to ask for reimbursement from the credit card (BMO) on which it was purchased. Wish us luck, as I know this can be dicey and certainly slow. However, there is no good reason why they shouldn't pay up. We've had this CC for at least 20 years and have never made a claim on any of its insurance policies before. Stay tuned!

June 12, 2019
7:23 pm
pooreva
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Was that laptop or desktop? Why $900 repair? It will be easier to replace parts by yourself then take it to the 'experts'. If it is laptop, you can get really decent one for that money...

June 12, 2019
10:40 pm
GICinvestor
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Loonie. A short story.
I have owned some prehistoric stuff over the years.
TI99 4A
Apple II + clone
A few of what were called an IBM clone desktop computers
A Sony desktop computer.
A Toshiba laptop
A Hewlett Packard laptop
Company supplied computers IBM desktop and laptop. And Dell desktop.

All pretty good except the Sony Desktop that I bought along with a Sony Clie PDA. I will never buy an over rated crappy Sony product along with their extremely unhelpful customer service.
And except the Hewlett-Packard laptop. They, Hewlett-Packard, never upgraded their operating system when Windows 10 made changes. Do you remember MS Windows was quite forceful for the Windows 10 upgrade? Making the machine useless. Luckily I had “out of the box” backup and put it back to Windows 7 and got rid of it.
And the company supplied Dell machines proved to be a poor purchase. Broke down frequently.

So, in my opinion, the best that Microsoft ever developed was MS -DOS, Windows 3 and 7.

The best computer I ever had was, the no longer produced, Toshiba laptop.

I only paid to have a computer repaired once when I was in deep
depression and just could not concentrate enough to fix it. All other computers I have fixed myself.

MS Windows used to irritate me so much and it came to show on my bill paying day. So many hours of updates, reboots because it froze and on and on and on week after week.

So I bought a second hand 2010 iMac. Software upgrades are free. Freezing and reboots are very rare. The iMac needed a new hard drive and I should have done it sooner. Was easy to do...just check iFixit. I later bought a second hand 2011 MacBook Pro. I have maxed out memory on both, my self. I have replaced the hard drive on the MacBook before it crashed, just to be safe. 1 TB hard drive on Amazon was about $89. If I ever owned a small company, I would go with Apple...less repairs and less downtime due to Windows software.

So all those old TV commercials about MS Windows causing computer users to change to a Mac were true.

I would like to hear what parts are replaced for $900.

Ps. No longer have depression.

June 13, 2019
2:16 am
Loonie
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Laptop. Yes, you can get decent computers for under 1000, but I have some very specific needs (which I won't get into) which mean I need a more expensive computer.

Having no expertise whatsoever in computers, I was in no position to diagnose its ills or fix them.

You really are at their mercy when you go in there, and it doesn't matter if it's them or BestBuy (where it was purchased). i didn't want to venture anywhere else as i have no way of judging whether they would know what they were doing.
Both ASUS and BestBuy have a hefty fee just to diagnose it, their repair warranty is the same, and neither will quote you any kind of piecemeal costing such as labour per hour or cost per project. It's all or nothing.

The only other realistic choice I had was to throw it out and buy another one - which is clearly what they want you to do, although if they were all of such poor durability as this one, the company would be out of business within two years.

The one I had before this was a Sony laptop. Worked great, had it about five years. The only reason I had to get rid of it was that the connection to the power supply wore out and they could not supply another. It had already been replaced once. The worst thing about Sony, generally, is that everything is proprietary and they don't keep parts in stock long enough - and that goes for everything they make - but at the time it was the best available for my needs.

I had another ASUS before the Sony (or so my spouse reminds me as I don't remember), and it was fine until the connection to the power supply on it also failed, but that took several years.

I honestly don't remember what I had before that as I am not fundamentally interested in them. The very first one I had was a dud. I think it was HP. At that time, 1988, I was so unfamiliar with computers that I wasn't sure if it was me or the computer that was at fault, but it turned out it was the computer and it was replaced under warranty.

It took a few months to choose this one, so I really didn't relish the idea of going through that whole shopping experience again after such a short time. I just hope the CC insurance pays up (extended warranty) as we did meet all the picky criteria. However, I don't expect this computer will last more than another year - if I'm lucky.

One of the things that had to be replaced was the fan. What is it with fans these days? Last summer we bought a new fridge. Within 2 or 3 months, the fan had to be replaced - under warranty - but they refused to pay for loss of food (Frigidaire). Fans are such simple technology, so there is no excuse for them not lasting.
I have an old box fan that we bought in 1973, one of our first purchases. It's had a lot of use. We don't use it very often any more, but keep it around for emergencies. We cleaned it up regularly. Still works like new and I expect it will still be working when we're gone.

There really should be better consumer protection as regards warranties. They keep getting shorter and shorter.

June 13, 2019
8:27 am
GICinvestor
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The one I had before this was a Sony laptop. Worked great, had it about five years. The only reason I had to get rid of it was that the connection to the power supply wore out and they could not supply another. It had already been replaced once. The worst thing about Sony, generally, is that everything is proprietary and they don't keep parts in stock long enough - and that goes for everything they make - but at the time it was the best available for my needs.

Not so....proprietary...... They would like you to think a Sony product is full of genuine high quality parts made and developed by Sony. In my working days hired a contractor that was previously a Sony store manager. He said there may be a few Sony parts in the computer but the rest will all be generic parts that will be found in any other computer. When I opened my over priced Sony computer I confirmed what he said. Sony = crap and their days of being leaders in the electronics industry are far in the past. Don’t be fooled by brand names. And keep in mind that often Costco will sell electronics with an extra year of warranty.

Best Buy.....are you a victim of ageism?

June 13, 2019
8:40 am
AltaRed
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Don't think any particular brand stands out from the rest these days. I won't buy high priced proprietary Apple products so that is a 'no go' in this household as a boundary condition. Just like buying a Tesla we would be a ' no go'.

I have had good success in all my computer purchases over 30 years, perhaps because I buy at least middle range or a bit above, or am just lucky. Today that would be about $1500 with 512GB SSD and 22-16GB RAM. I expect laptops to last 6-8 years buying at that level. Current laptop is a Dell that is now 4 years old and I want 2 more years out of it.

June 13, 2019
8:56 am
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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AltaRed said
Don't think any particular brand stands out from the rest these days. I won't buy high priced proprietary Apple products so that is a 'no go' in this household as a boundary condition. Just like buying a Tesla we would be a ' no go'.

I have had good success in all my computer purchases over 30 years, perhaps because I buy at least middle range or a bit above, or am just lucky. Today that would be about $1500 with 512GB SSD and 22-16GB RAM. I expect laptops to last 6-8 years buying at that level. Current laptop is a Dell that is now 4 years old and I want 2 more years out of it.  

Me too. I won't buy over-priced Apple products and $1,000+ monitor stands. 😉

I used to always own Dell, but then they more or less abandoned the consumer market relatively speaking (fewer models, options, less profile in stores, etc.) before re-invigorating themselves in that market. Was happy with the Dell and the Hitachi laptop I had before that. However, since then, we've always owned HP laptops and desktops. They're OK, but a lot of unnecessary bloatware. I think my next computer will be either an ASUS or a Lenovo, though leaning more towards Lenovo (former IBM PC division).

Cheers,
Doug

June 13, 2019
10:05 am
rhvic
Victoria, BC
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I keep on using my 2008 iMac. Never had a single problem with it. Sure, I can't go beyond OS 10.11 due to some hardware restrictions, but it still works fine. If and when it is no longer usable, I will get another Apple product.

June 13, 2019
12:28 pm
AltaRed
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Doug, Lenovo Thinkpad comes recommended by a number of techies I know, so that is a pretty good default pickm

June 13, 2019
12:38 pm
Doug
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AltaRed said
Doug, Lenovo Thinkpad comes recommended by a number of techies I know, so that is a pretty good default pickm  

Yep, I'd prefer the more expensive Thinkpad to their consumer-oriented Ideapad, though the latter is probably not a bad pick either in terms of less bloatware. It just might not be quite as durable.

Does anyone still use those little rubberized knobs in the middle of the Thinkpad keyboards in this day and age of trackpads and touchscreens? On that note, my desktop and laptop PCs have a touchscreen, but I never use them unless I want to zoom in quickly on an image, to pick out something and be able to read the fine print (i.e., street signage in Google Street View). Does anyone actually use their laptop touchscreens?

Cheers,
Doug

June 13, 2019
12:49 pm
mmlt
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That's a lot of money to fix a computer. My high spec Dell cost that a few years back.

I had good luck with custom built desktops. One was local and one from Ebay. They were indestructible and eventually given away. I always wanted to build my own but the customs came cheaper with hardware I wanted.
I did experience a bad one from ebay. It was quite cheap and did last a few years but not without issues.
I would not hesitate to buy another Dell product .

June 13, 2019
1:22 pm
AltaRed
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I rarely use my touch screen except to zoom to get more detail. I prefer a Bluetooth mouse for navigation.

June 13, 2019
1:54 pm
Briguy
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Welcome back Loonie !! I'm not sure what's happening with Asus these days. example: Lots of people loving their ASUS RT-AC86U wireless router but having to send their first model back after it breaks and second one ends up working.

I have a Mac Mini from 2010 but it's horribly slow after receiving updates to newer versions of the Mac operating system. I think nowadays once you apply all the updates to Windows or Mac operating systems, the computer ends up after 5 yr or possibly longer being too slow to be comfortable to use.

June 13, 2019
2:11 pm
GICinvestor
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AltaRed said
I won't buy high priced proprietary Apple products so that is a 'no go' in this household as a boundary condition.   

I used to think the same!!!!!

But after being totally *(*&%$ off with MicroSoft Windows I wondered how much worse would an iMac be. Much to my surprise my $600 second hand iMac has been a dream machine compared to any of my other computers running Windows. Rarely have to reboot, rarely have to do an update, and rarely runs slow.

I guess more of my issues have been with MicroSoft and not the computer per se. But I condemn Hewlett Packard for not updated their operating system to accommodate the MS Windows changes beginning with Windows 10. They had a blog that a lot of folks had the same problem, and others trying to help with out a real solution while Hewlett Packard sat on their laurels and did zip.

My favourite was my Toshiba laptop.

June 14, 2019
2:47 am
mechone
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I went to purchase a laptop years ago ( used ) in Toronto at a laptop repair shop.
I asked the owner what's the most dependable laptop. Behind him the wall had about 50 bins for laptops being dropped off and laptops repaired. He told me look in the bins ,you won't see one Lenovo (IBM) they don't break. I then asked him what's the worst "Asus" , then Gateway, dell, hp. Toshiba ,Sony , Panasonic he also gave low repairs to. Dell makes great desktops and so does hp .
I bought an expensive router that was recommended ,it was great for about a year ,then the wireless kept dropping "Asus" never again. He told me Asus uses cheaper parts undersized ,that last about a year then fry. I also read a story NASA uses Lenovo Laptops on the space station and has had not one break. I now have 3 upgraded ram myself and never any problems. Myself, wife and one on the boat.

June 14, 2019
5:21 am
3oakwest
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My thoughts on Apple

In 2011 I purchased a new MacBook pro because I was told they use better components and all system updates are free. Also, and very important to me, they have a conventional keyboard, similar to the old fashioned typewriters I learnt to type with.

In 2018 the computer was still working quite well, but I read that it would only be updatable for about another year. I liked what I saw with the MacBook Air model, so I checked the Apple Canada site and bought one reconditioned (which only means the someone returned it for some reason. They are just like new and have full warranty, and sell for about $170.00 less that a "new" one).

Just for fun, I listed my old one on Kijiji for $350.00. The disk player did not work. Sold it in one day, so my new mac only cost me about $850.00 tax in.

I do believe that Mac use better components. I have never used a PC that lasted for as long as the Mac's do. Also, they offer telephone help if you have any problems. A real person!

Only my opinion.

June 14, 2019
7:17 am
pooreva
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Bought Acer few years ago during Boxing week. Nothing fancy: i5-6200U. Upgraded RAM to 16GB, replaced 1TB with 250 SSD, touch screen (used few times, prefer mouse/keyboard).
Processing/converting movies/music, editing pictures handles faster than my custom build desktop (ASUS motherboard - works perfectly, overclocked E8400 to 4GHz).
I would never attempt to repair laptop as it so packed and custom made it will be cheaper to buy new one. Plus you will get latest technology.
No plans to upgrade desktop as it is not worth investing into that technology plus it sucks power like crazy.
Of course, it all depends on your use of computer. If you have to have latest/greatest/fastest then desktop is to go as you can swap video card, CPU, add memory, upgrade/add hard drives, etc. at will.

June 14, 2019
5:13 pm
Oscar
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Linux operating systems are a great alternative to Windoze and make older systems work like a new system again. Best way is to install on an older machine you don't use anymore , you just install right over your old operating system or you can install along with your current operating system and then you can choose which one to use at will. Updates take a minute and you install them at your convenience. No need for antivirus software. Comes with full office suite , Firefox , Chromium , email. Easy to use . Free ! Or donate what you like sf-smile

June 28, 2019
8:35 pm
GICinvestor
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Loonie....this is an American article. Would not be surprised if it is happening here too. You can’t trust any one any more, especially some of the big and supposedly trusted companies. That is why I do so much myself.

See

June 28, 2019
10:18 pm
Loonie
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Nothing surprises me in this sphere any more, really. We don't have the skills to fix these things ourselves, nor any suitable young people to turn to!

I try to keep my purchases of high-tech stuff to a minimum. If I can find a simpler old-fashioned gadget to do the job, I treasure it. I guess that's my way of coping. However, there are a few things that are all but essential in modern life.

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