Saturday, May 14, 2005

Empty Hands

My TabletPC has been away from me for 8 days. I got my RMA about two weeks ago, and finally found the strength to let it go (I wonder if the ViewSonic techs laughed at the obsessively protective manner in which I packed it). I now carry two devices to take the place of it, while I wait for ViewSonic to ship my dear one back.

The ePodsOne I purchased to keep me distracted during this time serves as my portable document holder and my notepad for jotting quick notes (I use Calligrapher on it). As Pocket Word is severely lacking, I've tried to get SoftMaker's TextMaker working (I'm sure I had it working on my Fujitsu PenCentra 130), but I keep getting messages that the version's expired. The wireless card I was able to get working on the PenCentra will not connect on the ePods, though the two devices are both running HPC Pro on MIPS processors. I've used this as an excuse to buy another on eBay; I have more mobile devices than wireless cards right now, as it is. I was rudely awakened to the fact that the ePods doesn't have PIM applications on it, nor would it be an easy matter to get them on there (I keep reading on searches that Act! for HPC is/was free, but it cannot be found). Yes, the ePods' screen is delightfully brighter and easier to read than that of the PenCentra, and yes, its slimness is more pleasing than the PenCentra's rugged form, but I miss the ability to have my tasks, contacts and appointments at a touch. This has almost convinced me to carry a third device, my badly neglected Dell Axim X5 Advanced PocketPC.

My old Dell Inspiron 3800, with Windows 2000 running on it, keeps me connected when wandering from site to site. When I have the time to sit and plug in, then I do have access to Outlook and all the information I cannot get with my ePods. I cannot run my beloved GoBinder on it, though, because GB requires Windows XP, and with only 128mb RAM in my little 600 MHz, green-bezeled laptop, I cannot imagine trying to move up to that operating system. There's also the little personal rule I have about not running the same OS on two of my machines...

At any rate, if you've read my entry about how intrical GB is to my job, you can imagine that I'm not moving quite so fast these days. Installation and troubleshooting documentation that I already had on the TPC now have to be hunted down and transferred to the ePods (I still refuse to print them on paper), where they may look like utter garbage from Pocket Word -- and you can forget screenshots. Paperwork that requires signatures has again become paperwork (that one really hurts). Standby is a lost cause with the laptop; I hibernate instead, impatiently waiting for Windows 2000 to come back to life, always a little surprised when it does.

Rubbing salt into my fresh wounds are two facts: 1) My home desktop PC's PSU fan has died, and I've gone shopping for another, but have yet to make a decision; and 2) my Inspiron, like many laptops from that company (in my experience and those of my co-workers), cannot power the external USB enclosure for 2.5" drives, so all the data I copied onto the drive from the TPC has yet to make it over to the laptop. I do wish Mr. Michael would get a handle on that USB thing; nothing else in the world bats a figurative eye when I use that drive.

Please, ViewSonic, hurry for me! We technicians have to stick together!


Colin Walker said...

I was without my Acer for 6 weeks when it had to go away so I know what you're going through. I hope you get your back sooner than that.

The Miniature Mage said...

Ow, Colin!

Well, I survived, barely. A rather pristine V1250 arrived today, 3 weeks and 6 days after I shipped my tablet to ViewSonic. I'd called for a status update a week ago and was offered the choice of continuing to wait for mine or receiving a replacement. I told them I didn't care, just to do whatever was quicker.

It was really rough without my baby, but I think I'll save the gory details for a future blog entry. Let's just say that my neglected tech kicked me while I was down.

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