Sunday, 23 October 2011

Loft in Progress

Contributed by Farzana Rasheed

Our new office which we have started referring to as The Loft is midway through completion. Below are some pictures. Compare the pictures to the first ones we put up in our August blog post

The loft will be divided into an executive office, conference room, executive waiting area, workshop and admin area. Our goods will be displayed in glass cabinets which will be placed all around the space instead of having a single denoted place. The floors will be wooden. We will have 2 bathrooms and the tiles and basin and commode will be black! 

We had initially hoped to have the grand opening in mid October but we estimate the opening to happen around the middle or end of November. 

The design and execution is being provided by Miata Jones Design Lab

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Can't See Facebook

Contributed by Farzana Rasheed

Recently, whenever I try to go to Facebook, I get re-routed to this page:

It says 'this wiki does not exist.'

I googled Facebook Being Re-Routed to Wiki and I got 10,400,000 results! Apparently, being re-routed is pretty common. 

The same problem was posted on a discussion on Yahoo! Canada and someone suggested cleaning all the cookies through running a software which was available for free download. 

Another blogger had also posted about Facebook being re-routed to a a certain Samuel Garcia's Myspace profile and had been happening to several other users. He thought it was because of a "DNS exploit." His advice was to open up the Administrator window (on Windows) and issue a command to flush out the cache and to clear out the cookies too. 

Since I myself use a Mac and am on the Safari browser, here's what I did: I emptied the cache by clicking on Empty Cache in the Safari drop-down menu. Next, I deleted all the cookies (Safari -> Preferences -> Security -> Show Cookies -> Remove All). I typed Facebook again in the browser and it worked! I am glad I did not download any software and managed to resolve the problem simply. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

“Worldwide” Warranty from HP!

Contributed by Haresh  Karamchandani

A mining company client for whom we do regular repairs and maintenance work on their IT equipment sent me 2 (two) HP Pavilion 7900 Desktop computers for diagnostics.

They mentioned in one of the back and forth email correspondences that they have “Worldwide” warranty for the equipment from HP. The equipment was purchased in Australia and shipped to Liberia for use at their mines.

We opened up the machines and discovered that they had problems with the Power Supply Assy and the Motherboard. Then we contacted HP and this is where the real story begins:

I called up HP USA Hotline and got connected to someone in Bangalore, India. They kept me on hold for like 18 minutes and eventually began by asking me the details of the computers in question, viz: Serial Nos., Part Nos. of the defective parts etcetera. Then abruptly the line got disconnected!

I called back again and got connected to a person in Manila, Philippines. He kept addressing me as “Maám” even after I told him a million times that that’s not who I am. I just had to absorb the Maám tag and continue the discussion. He kept putting me on hold and finally told me that his HP department does not cover computers that are in Africa and I would have to call HP support in Nigeria. He gave me some HP numbers there.

I called up HP Nigeria. None of them were answered!

Then I decided to call up the HP Hotline in the US again. I got connected to someone in Bangalore, India. This guy was quite reasonable and well versed. He asked me to first take down the case file number just in case we get disconnected. That was a relieving advice and made me feel good. Once I had the case file number I felt that now we would be progressing to solve the problem.

The HP Support guy in India went on to confirm that yes since the computers are covered by a worldwide warranty, they could replace the parts. But first we would have to contact the local HP agent in Liberia for a diagnosis and confirmation that indeed these parts were bad! I told him that we DO NOT have any HP agent in Liberia and that I was an IT technician and expert and have already done the diagnostics. He kept me on hold and came back to confirm that yes I was right there is no HP agent in Liberia. Then he said that his supervisor has agreed to replace the parts provided we agree to take delivery in the USA. He said that they would not be able to ship the parts to Liberia. I gave him our US counterparts address in Houston and he said that the parts would be shipped within 5 days to Houston.

I thought that was the end of the story. I was wrong. A few days later I got a call from HP Support, South Africa. The guy was an Indian calling from Bangalore, India but represented HP Support South Africa!

He started by saying that even though they had earlier agreed to replace the parts and ship them to Houston, they are sorry to say that it would not be possible anymore. They said that we would have to first ship the defective parts back to HP USA then they will replace them. I asked them, who would pay for the shipment and courier costs from Monrovia to USA? They said that they would not be responsible for that. After a lot of arguments, threats and haggling we finally agreed to ship back the defective parts, but we told them that I would first want the replacement new parts. They agreed with great difficulty.

Now the parts are at my counterparts Houston address, and he will be shipping them to Monrovia today. After I get them and replace them I will have to ship back the defective parts back to Houston for onward delivery to HP, USA.

During the same time, I learnt that Panasonic has a policy of Worldwide Warranty and in case there is a problem in any of their equipment they would ship the replacement parts anywhere in the world free of cost and also provide a return prepaid DHL envelope.

All the telephone calls were worth the trouble in the end. One more satisfied NATC customer!