Hard Drive Saga

As those following my Twitter feed (on Facebook, here or Twitter) know, the hard drive in my laptop failed a couple days ago. The warning signs when it finally failed were pretty impossible to ignore: I had two operating systems installed on the computer. One (Ubuntu LTS 10.04) would not boot at all (“Could not find /sbin/init”), and the other (Windows 7 x64 Ultimate) would boot but was running extremely slowly. It seemed the damage was much more prevalent in the areas that stored the Ubuntu “disk” (really just a file on the Windows NTFS partition), which was quite maddening because I had just downloaded a bunch of songs from Napster. (more…)

Landlords, Tenants, and Rentals: What Every Colorado Resident Should Know

Yesterday, I walked into my apartment to find a receipt for services performed by a pest control company. This seemed misplaced to me, since I was never given any notice that anyone would be in my apartment that day, and of course the office was closed by then so I couldn’t go over there to find out what was going on. So this morning I walked over to the leasing office, where the person I spoke to informed me that I was “put on the list” for pest control services, that I had been on the list since last Wednesday (07/07), and could not give me any more detail. I was still a little confused, so I asked her why I would have been put on any list without my knowledge, and she just kept reiterating that I was on the list but I wasn’t on the list for the next week. (more…)

MS Office 2007: Activation?

Recently, as readers of this blog will know, I installed the Windows 7 RTM bits on my laptop, removing everything else that was on there (including Windows 7 RC, Windows Vista Home Premium, and the Kubuntu install I never use). Of course, as part of this I had to reinstall Office 2007 Ultimate, which lead to an interesting problem: Whenever I tried to activate Office, it would give an error stating there was no connection to the internet. Strange, to say the least, because I was surfing the web at the same time.

It gets stranger, though. When I tried to use the “Activate by Telephone” option, the Activation Wizard would dump me out, not even loading any data relating to phone numbers or giving me the lengthy set of numbers I would need to give their computer for activation. Finally after tracking down Microsoft KB 919895, I was able to fix the problem. Below the cut, step-by-step instructions for fixing this rather annoying problem: (more…)

Optimizing Laptop Drive

By now, I’m sure most people have heard of the release of Windows 7. Those more in the loop know that the final releases were placed on TechNet on Thursday morning. Fortunately, I got on the downloading wagon before most people on that day, so I now have the Gold edition of Windows 7 Ultimate running on my laptop.

The road has been long and hard, though. (more…)

Blog of helios Is Tweeted As Anti-Geek Squad

As seen recently on the Blog of helios, there have apparently been some issues with some techs believing they are being pushed out of their jobs by open source software.

Of course when I see this post referred to on Twitter and various other social networking sites, original posters are referring to “Geek Squad-style techs assaults open source advocate”. Which leads directly to posts claiming “The Geek Squad brutalizes open source advocate”. It goes further, but you get the drift.

My issue with this type of thing is that the original post, made on the Blog of helios, makes no allusion to The Geek Squad – or to any other company, for that matter. In addition, I can tell you that The Geek Squad does not automatically schedule recalls, as indicated in the article. The affair is against the entire character of The Geek Squad, and I would expect anyone who has made it up through the ranks as any Geek Squad Double Agent to execute on the values of the company and leave us in a much better light.

One of the mottos of The Geek Squad is “any computer, any coordinates, any time”. Even if Microsoft Windows disappeared off the face of the planet tomorrow, the vast majority of computer users would still require assistance – and The Geek Squad would still be assisting them. Users transitioning to Mac OS are a good example – yes things are still done in roughly the same way as in Windows, but there are enough differences that people has needed help transitioning. Geek Squad is still in the infancy of supporting alternatives to Microsoft Windows – but support them they will, and they will do it admirably in response to the kinds of challenges and changes found within the computer support market today.

Disclaimer: mattfast1 is an Agent in the employ of The Geek Squad in the United States of America. The views expressed in this article may not be the same as the views held by Geek Squad/Best Buy. For any official views or opinions, please contact Best Buy at http://www.bestbuy.com or The Geek Squad at http://www.geeksquad.com.