Loading... February 21, 2006

Posted Tue, Feb 21, 2006 by Boomjack

Huzzah, hurray and three cheers for the Canadian Womens' hockey team who won the gold medal at the Olympics yesterday. I don't suppose any of you play MMOGs?
I wore out a keyboard. I'm sure some of you have worn our keyboards, old friends that had been with you like a faithful dog, following your online adventures. I have never had a computer long enough to wear out the keyboard and there is just something about sticking an old keyboard on a brand new box that doesn't seem right to me, so I always grab new peripherals when I order a new box.
Enter Alienware. When I purchased my Area-51 from Alienware a couple of years ago I was thrilled. They were the undisputed kings of the boutique gaming computer market and I was getting one of their top machines. It would arrive in 10 business days the order form said and sure enough, 10 days later it was on my doorstep, cradled in a box that you could stuff a full sized fridge into. The box was shiny and black with an Alienware logo the size of a small African nation on the side. Also on the side was a gigantic hole, at least 14 inches across and 16 inches high with the unmistakeable markings of some shipper's boot. Yep, yep, someone had actually kicked a huge hole in the side of the box that housed my machine.
It didn't get prettier when I opened the box. The door to the cable management system was broken off and two of the plastic bay covers were cracked and knocked out of the machine.
I took pictures and called Alienware. They walked me through diagnostic after diagnostic until eventually I was told that everything would be replaced. By "everything" that meant the door to the cabling system and the cracked bay covers. By everything, I expected a new box. It's not like these machines are not over-priced. I was paying for the service, or so I thought.
The broken items arrived via FedEX two days later and I installed them without aid of Alienware support. The machine had been relatively bullet-proof until two weeks ago, with the exception of eating every modem I put into it. A modem, no matter what kind, seems to have a six month lifespan in the Area-51 before it becomes a toasted mess.
Last year, prior to E3 grabbed an Alienware laptop for me to use. This is a hot machine. By "hot" I mean you could fry an egg in three seconds on the wrist rests while typing on this thing. It's powerful, no doubt. It's a desktop replacement and not truly a laptop, but it has never worked just right. My guess is that it simpy runs too hot. It runs so hot in fact, that where you rest your hands on the machine to type, there are now burn marks on the casing. We purchased three of these machines. They all run equally hot, and all of them have issues with lockups, rebooting or not booting up at all. At $3500 a box, I'd like them to boot up.
But we purchased from Alienware you say, and they claim the best customer service in the business. If the business is pissing people off then yes, I'd say they win. I have two Alienware machines now sitting here in my office that I can't trust to work when I need them. Our C.E.O. has two machines sitting in his office in the same state.
In two years I have gone from being an Alienware evangelist to wondering what the heck happened.
Now back to the keyboard. Which was an Alienware keyboard. Which wore out.
I went out and grabbed a Logitech G15 keyboard and a Logitech G5 mouse. Let me tell you, these are incredible pieces of gaming gear. This review of the keyboard is bang on. This comparison of the G5 to the Razer Copperhead is a great look at the mouse I purchased.
I have only been using these for a couple of days, but they are fantastic. For less than $200 Cdn I have a great setup that will last me for a while.
Comments? Flames?. Send them here!

Vin Diesel Fact of the Day: Vin Diesel finished the "Never-ending Story".

Fluff, extra, silly additions, whatever you want to call it, we take it apart today.

Let us entertain you.
Here's what's new on the network!

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Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up.

As always, thanks for visiting,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin Announce CABAL Online Free To Play

Thu, May 10, 2007
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Ten Ton Hammer Blog Update for Friday, May 04, 2007

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