Gritting My Teeth

Hummingbirds make me happy. Computers, not so much.

Fair warning: this post is not about plants or gardening, and it’s a rant. (The hummer’s a real cutie, though, right?)

Anyway, I just have to vent about my new computer – the one I use for writing this blog and for my other job as a journalist.

Our old laptop was getting old, and I thought it was time to upgrade. We got a good deal on a Dell Inspiron 15. Like just about everyone else, I really wanted a Mac but this was about a third of the price.

First off, I was amazed at the poor quality of the keyboard. It’s made of a flimsy plastic, and it bends and rattles loudly with every touch. But that’s the least of my problems.

I can no longer email photos using my beloved Picasa software, because it is not compatible with Windows 7. I have tried emailing them  manually, inserting them as attachments. They end up languishing in my outbox.

So like everyone else, I go online, and of course there are scores of posts on this very topic. It seems that everyone is having this problem, but I can’t find a solution in any of the forums. Next, I go to the Microsoft website without success – gee what a surprise.

Finally I resort to the dreaded Dell customer service. I wait on hold for 10 minutes. Then I get an operator and give her the service tag etc and explain the problem. Then I wait for another 10 minutes or so. A guy comes on, I explain my problem and he tells me he’s a hardware tech person and not a software tech. So they transfer me again and I get a woman to whom I explain the problem yet again. She tells me that she too is a hardware tech and that I would have to PAY for software support. After wasting nearly 45 minutes on this, I hung up.

So I go back to the Microsoft site and guess what? They offer free tech support for Windows 7 purchased separately, but for pre-installed software guess where they directed me? Why Dell, of course.

After posting this, I am going to shut down this computer and go outside for a while.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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13 Responses to Gritting My Teeth

  1. luke says:

    Did you try downloading the latest Picasa version? Probably that’s a stupid question, but just in case.

    Many email services won’t mail pics of a large size, such as the kind taken with today’s digital cameras. Gmail is a little kinder about this, but the best solution would be to compress the pictures. I’m pretty sure Picasa does this. You’re basically lowering the quality of the image (and thereby the size of the file) slightly for sharing over email.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Yes, I have the latest version: 3.8. I know that Picasa compresses for email – that’s why I like it. No, it does not work. I click send and it stays in my outbox.


  2. gardenpest says:

    We’ve had very bad experiences with a new Dell computer and SW issues – incompatibility b/v of missing SW. We knew we needed SW help and learned not to tell details but to keep repeating “software”….. it took about 4 phone calls to straighten it out. And speaking w/ a supervisor may help too.

    I will never buy a Dell again – we spent $1,500 2 yrs ago, never again. I need to go into the garden now – just thinking about Dell vexes me. Bon chance.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Thanks, GP. I guess I’ll have to figure this out on my own.
      Dell has been absolutely useless and Microsoft is even worse. If the 2 week return period had not expired on this one, I’d dump it in a second.


  3. OH! I have a Dell, using Windows 7 and Picasa for all my collages. The only Dell problem I have is the battery needs replacing.

    Mine is Blogger/blogspot. I have read that WordPress is coming out with a new version. Perhaps that will help?

    I do manipulate the images using the Canon software, after Picasa made the collage. Still cannot fathom Picasa web albums ;~(


    • dirtynailz says:

      well, you are a better woman than I. I cannot get Picasa to work with Windows least not for emailing photos. I am taking a break this evening because I am completely burned out.


  4. MT says:

    Oh DN, now you’re in my neighborhood. I bought about 100 Dell’s on behalf of the company I was working for (before I retired) and they never had it so good. So I’m pro Dell.
    You could hook-up a standard keyboard to the laptop to have a better touch. Same for the mouse.
    As for Picasa, I’ll test that with my net-book and see if I can help. Are you using Outlook for your email?
    No doubt a little “computer humor” is needed here.


  5. Greggo says:

    ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! hows that.


  6. HerbDoc says:

    Just keep focusing on that little hummer; he certainly brings a smile to one’s face. As for the Dell…I have one too and it can can drive me batty at times. It will install jpeg files and then not let me preview them for no apparent reason. Thought it needed an Adobe update but that didn’t solve the problem either. Calling for assistance gives you someone in a foreign country who says “Let me read the manual”. I can read for pete sakes! Luckily I have a very computer savy son who builds his own computers so once I save what I want on this piece of trash, he’s going to build one around my files.


    • dirtynailz says:

      Trash is the operative word here. And aren’t we lucky to have geeks in our families? But I think about the millions who don’t and who fork over all that money to fix software issues that are the results of poor design. Quite an industry they have going there – just figuring out ways to circumvent bad design.


      • MT says:

        Isn’t it amazing that Microsoft continues to grow while every version is worse than the one before. And in fact, the hardware gets better and better, but who would know it?


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