Friday, January 29, 2010


We seem to have expelled, or at least calmed, the gremlins for now, but I don't want to say it too loudly.

Photoshop CS4 works just fine on Windows 7, which is on the laptop, which is what I bought it for, so I suppose I shouldn't mind too much.  I do, though.  It's a very expensive product and it *should* have worked ok on Windows XP.  I spent at least two days in total working through various steps and talking to people on tech support and eventually found numerous threads on internet forums where people basically said that none of these workarounds or fixes actually work and this is Really Not Very Good, You Know, or words to that effect.  I agree.  But I have no more energy to pursue the problem since I do now have a solution in the form of a working copy on my Windows 7 laptop.

A very nice chap from the camera repair company phoned me to find out in more detail exactly what problem I was experiencing with the compact camera and discuss with me about the options for repair and that I should check whether my rechargeable batteries were still up to scratch before sending it back to them again should I need to do so.  He replaced the flash unit, though I think he was unconvinced that the problem lay there, but anyway the camera returned pronto and works just fine now.

I had, as usual, a bit of a runaround from Dell.  I don't really blame people who live thousands of miles away for not understanding what the weather is doing here right now but I did rather object to being told that the courier could not collect the laptop because of the difficult weather conditions and no, he certainly couldn't just come the next day but a trip would be rescheduled.  Apparently, someone had to drive to my house with a box and another someone had to drive to my house to collect the box once I had placed the laptop in it.  Naturally, none of this was true.  There were no adverse weather conditions, as I knew, and as usual the arrangement is that the courier brings the box, I place the laptop in it and then he takes it away.  On this occasion, though, I was Very Cross on the phone and Dell said they would send an engineer to replace the CD/DVD drive instead of collecting the machine.  CitiLink, who were the couriers involved on this occasion, phoned me the next day and apologised that the driver had simply run out of time and would be arriving that morning.  They were pleasantly understanding when I said they needn't bother any more.  Sod's law said the engineer was then genuinely stopped by snow a couple of days later!  Eventually another engineer arrived after the snow and duly replaced the drive.  He also spotted a nasty little program called RoxioBurn that Dell like to give away free and that may have been conflicting with Windows Media Player and causing further problems so we removed that at high speed.  CD/DVD drive now working perfectly.

Incidentally, the first time I asked Dell for tech support on the faulty drive, the guy wanted us to go through writing to DVD to find where it didn't work and said to start up this RoxioBurn.  I said I didn't use it and would prefer to use Windows Media Player as usual.  Amazingly, I got the reply, "Ma'am, we do not usually support Windows Media Player and I have never used the program, ma'am, so we should use RoxioBurn."  I pointed out that the thing should work with Windows Media Player and he conceded.  I found it astonishing, though, that someone trained in tech support should not ever have even used Windows Media Player.  For the connoisseur, I'm sure there are plenty of special programs which produce better results but for most Joe and Jane Bloggs, WMP is perfectly adequate.

What else?  Ah yes .....

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