Beautiful Castle Picture

Found on Flickr, uploaded by Deena Walshe

I’ve never traveled off of North America. Despite seeing more of the world than many people, I still feel like I haven’t seen enough. Usually, teenagers or young college graduates get that itch to travel. For me, it started around two years ago and is only getting stronger. I want to go see parts of Canada and the US again, and then head overseas.

I want to see beautiful castles, the rolling Irish hillside, and the windmills of the Netherlands. If only I wasn’t tied like an anchor to where I am, due to financial concerns. Someday…

Driving and Green Ideals

First off, let me preface this by saying that I hate driving. When I have to drive anywhere more than fifteen minutes, I am immediately put in a “less good” mood. I’ve almost always been this way, and as such, I’ve always put off finalizing my license in the tiered system that Ontario uses (though that probably has as much to do with my test anxiety as my hatred of driving).

I currently own a ten year old car that isn’t fun to drive, and doesn’t have many features. It gets me from point-A to point-B without much fuss, and so far it hasn’t cost me too much to fuel or maintain.

Nissan LeafI like to think of myself as a green conscious individual, meaning that I think constantly about the environment, and minimalist living. So when I saw the new Nissan Leaf, I was pretty impressed. It seems like it could be the start of a reasonably affordable, pure battery powered vehicle. I don’t know if it does enough to make driving fun, safe and interesting, nor do I completely understand the complexities of how these battery only vehicles will be powered, but I think that battery powered vehicles are a smarter direction than getting us all hooked on other fuel sources. At least as long as we continue to push our governments for better alternative energy generation solutions like solar, wind, tidal, and more.

In the end, my personal hope is to get back to basics, and find a way to live in a place where I can get rid of my car, and take public transportation once again. Thus allowing me to contribute in some small way to making the world better, and allowing me to relax and let someone else worry about getting me from A to B.

First Post and Via E-mail No Less!

So, I’ve decided that I need to go back to my roots when it comes to blogging. Some of my favourite posts on my last blog were personal in nature, and I really just miss rambling on about my life, my work, and the thoughts that are bouncing around in my head.

I’ve been through so much in the last two years, and 2010 is shaping up to be a pretty life-changing year as well and I believe that one of the worst things I ever did was to put up walls, and filter myself. I used to communicate freely about everything, and I want to get back into doing that. Sure, it might be naive and cause problems with work, friends, family and more, but I find that the stress reducing qualities of being honest in writing improves the overall quality of my life.

This blog will be all about me as a person. It will cover the things going on in my life, as well as my thoughts on various things, and I hope that if you are reading this, you’ll give me the grace and leeway to explore, rather than using these details to beat me down or otherwise cause more drama and chaos in my life.

Oh, did I mention that I posted this by e-mailing my blog? How cool is that?

Rule Change to Bring Back Passion

In the midst of talking to a good friend of mine, Tom Leroux, he mentioned that I buy and sell online projects like some people change their socks, and I had to agree with him, though since last talking to him, my philosophy of working online had changed.

I quickly presented him with my new set of rules.

  1. No more writing for other people.
  2. Only start projects that I can see myself doing for 5 or more years
  3. No more selling projects

Of course there are always exceptions to rules, but I think that following this set of ideals will help me become more passionate and successful online. I’ve always had issues with staying focused, and that was usually because I was chasing money instead of chasing passion or my dreams.

It is hard to be passionate for a long period of time, and even more so when you aren’t doing exactly what you want to be doing. I’ve had numerous people in the past tell me how cool it must be to work as a blogger full time, but they don’t give thought to the types of topics I have to cover in order to pay my wages. I’ve written about so many things I have no interest in, and worked very hard, only to end up at the end of a period of time with “nothing”.

What are your own “rules” for working, either online or offline?

Frustration with Dell: Update Two

So, five more days have gone by, and due in part to my special circumstances of not having a home phone line, I haven’t been able to talk to the representative they’ve set up to help me with the problems my wife is having with the Dell laptop that I bought her.

I have since bought a cell phone, so that should help. And I’ve been contacting them as often as I can through Skype, but every time I call, Sunny is on another call.

I am getting more and more frustrated, and each time I talk to my wife, she mentions about how quickly the laptop is degrading. Now, the screen is dim most of the time, with it only going to a normal brightness when she presses on the frame near the hinge. She just told me today that we should send it back, and they’ll be able to see the issue no matter what this time but she forgets how narrow minded the technicians are at Dell. They’ll fix the cable for the back light display, but probably won’t look to fix whatever is shorting out on the wrist rest area or the other weird quirks that her laptop is quickly picking up.

I truly believe that we received a lemon for a Dell and that we should receive a replacement with the same features. The laptop isn’t very old, and so I assume they still have one sitting around. My wife wouldn’t even care if it had slightly less hard drive space, or was slightly slower, as long as it was mostly comparable. The goal of course is to get a machine that is built right and that will make her happy.

The longer this goes on, the more layers I am exposed to within Dell’s corporate structure, the more frustrated I get. I still believe that Dell has good products, but that they do sometimes have build quality issues that need to be resolved quickly. The reason why Dell gets so much bad press isn’t because their products suck, but instead because their support in dealing with products that don’t work is poor.

Had Dell been wise enough to vigorously test the laptop when we sent it the first time, I am sure they would have come across our issue and been able to fix or replace the components with issues. Then all of this fall out, and negative press that I am working so hard to write, would have never occurred, and I would have continued to sing their praises.

Skipping over that, if Dell had been wise enough to put me in touch with someone that could instantly just ship out a replacement unit of similar specs, and taken back the one that I had issues with, they could have reconditioned it, and sold it as a discount. Their loss on this exchange would have been noticeable, but the good will would have been huge.

Now, I am sitting here, frustrated that I still don’t have a working laptop for my wife, and she starts school in a week, and all of this goes back to Dell not being able to solve an issue that was brought to their attention more than a month ago.

Frustration With Dell: Continued

Previously, I posted the update to the original post, but I think everything that has happened since deserves another post to itself. Read the original post entitled “Frustration With Dell” for more details surrounding my issues.

After using Twitter to contact Lionel Menchaca, the chief blogger for Dell, as well as someone I’ve run into a few times at various new media/blogging related events, I was told he would contact someone in Canada to help me get this resolved. Without Lionel and others like him in Dell, I fear the company would long since have died.

Lionel wasn’t able to quickly contact someone in Canada, and I waited patiently for almost a month, messaging him on Twitter nearly every week for any status update.

Eventually, I received a call at home when I wasn’t there. Sunny Sharma then e-mailed me to let me know that they tried to get in contact with me via the phone.

Here is the full text of that e-mail.

Dear Mr. David Peralty,

This is in reference to your email received at Dell. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking time to make us aware of this issue, Also I apologise for the inconvenience you had to go through in this regards. I tried calling you today to discuss the issue and as you were not available I left a voice mail for you. Please provide me with the alternate contact # and so that we can discuss this issue. I can also be reached at the number mentioned below.

Regards,
Sunny Sharma

Ph: 1-800-387-5757, Options 1,1&2 Ext 53 – 75193
Working Hrs : Mon to Fri (9:00am to 6:00pm EST)

Finally, I might have someone that can help me resolve this whole mess. Since this whole thing began, the issues my wife has been complaining about for months have worsened. The screen issue that I originally sent the unit in for comes back from time to time, especially when opening or closing the unit, and when you rest your palms on the area below the keyboard, it causes strange things to happen when you are typing, as I mentioned in my previous post.

The computer has also become very finicky about wireless Internet connections. Overall, the angry comments from my wife have been getting worse, and my own use of the machine has caused numerous explicit words to be shouted.

I feel like we were sold a lemon, and thus far the support has pretty much ignored us, only making the situation worse and souring us on the brand.

I am looking forward to seeing what Sunny has to say about the whole thing, but I am worried I will be dealing with another technician that will think I am just another customer with a bad case of PEBKAC.

Someone mentioned to me recently that it is pretty shameful that I have to contact specific people within Dell to get a reasonable response to my problem, and to them, I just want to say that the only way to get a potentially satisfactory resolution as a customer when you are unhappy is to hound a company until they either give you the answer you are looking for, or teach you to never be a customer of theirs again.