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September 26, 2009

Hadoop World NYC

Filed under: Software — stephane @ 1:01 pm

I’m traveling to New York next week to catch up with friends and family and do a few other things. As Hadoop World NYC happened to be on Oct. 2nd, I’ll spend the day there to learn a thing or two and how people are using Hadoop. The sessions sure look interesting, my only regret is to not be able to attend the 3 tracks at once in the afternoon. :)

On a personal note, I owe a big thank you to Christophe Bisciglia from Cloudera.

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September 25, 2009

Finally… a laptop

Filed under: General — stephane @ 4:22 pm

So here am I finally with the long awaited laptop I expected to buy in less than 2 weeks back in July.

Dell did not follow up with any of my emails regarding cancellation and refund but apparently managed to find a unit god knows how and shipped it to me in a week time. I suspect it looks better in the quarterly report to have a return than a canceled order.

I got it yesterday afternoon. In a normal situation I would have simply returned it, but the fact it was started to be equally a mission to order a Lenovo W500 in the Netherlands (shop says delivered in 2-3 days… a week later received an email saying it is not available, that it is too difficult to get and that I can choose a ‘similar’ system), I just gave up and decided to try my luck with the Dell M4400 I originally ordered. I looked eventually at the HP 8530w but wasn’t convinced… I even considered a MacBook Pro so that says something…

I’m quite pleased with the laptop for now, even though when I opened the box, I wondered if the keyboard was fitted by a monkey at the factory, as it wasn’t even done properly. The WUXGA 1920×1200 RGB LED screen is really nice and it’s appreciated for photos though it will need a bit of calibration. On the negative side, the Intel Wifi 5300 AGN seems to create havoc with my old Linksys WRT54G router which just dies consistently after several minutes of video call with Skype so I suspect I will spend a bit of time digging deeper in the settings.

Fingers crossed.. let’s see how this laptop holds in the upcoming weeks.

Now is install time of all applications before traveling.

September 22, 2009

Dell-ay update

Filed under: General — stephane @ 7:14 am

A week later, still no real news from Dell. After another call to the initial sales person as a follow up to my cancellation/refund email, I was told it was going through the ‘escalation manager’ and he would contact me shortly… I was expecting in a matter of hours, but not at all.

The next day I receive an email:

Ive spoken to our Escalation manager, we would like to the exact status of the order before we act.
We are able to inform you tomorrow.

It takes them obviously so much time to figure out the status, that they need 48h to craft that simple email, I can already tell them the status… It wasn’t not delivered in a timely manner. A week later, I didn’t receive any news.

I’m sending again an email early friday…no reply. I’m calling the sales person. There’s only a voicemail. I’m calling his manager, there’s only a voicemail. Apparently nobody works on friday at Dell NL. I dropped a message making clear I’m starting to be really fed up by this lack of professionalism.

Monday has passed without any sort of information, today has been a week since I cancelled and asked for a refund. Way to go Dell !

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September 16, 2009

Dell-ay

Filed under: General — stephane @ 3:34 pm

I have had my Dell D810 since end of 2005, and it was time to change… at work in the last couple of months, I managed to transition to a Lenovo T61p and quite liked it (nice to have a bit more horsepower)

The fact the Dell was so sturdy and I did not have any problem with it kind of influenced my decision to continue with Dell, so I was looking at something a bit more up-to-date, so my choice settled on Dell Precision M4400 which seemed to have reasonable reviews..wasn’t perfect by any mean, but it looked pretty much acceptable.

So I went to Dell Netherlands website and started to configure my laptop…just to realize that it was impossible to select the LED screen I wanted against the 2CCFL one since the webcam and LCD cover were incompatible with it and impossible to deselect. So .. fall back to phone call and do the configuration on the phone… a bit of a lenghty process, I receive the configuration via email, doublecheck and fix some mistakes… all in all it took about 3h and it’s the next day… and I wait to receive the payment instructions.. which I do immediately (bank transfer).. and this is yet another day.. and to next week.

So for an order placed on July 23 (thursday), it is effective on July 27 (monday) and the target delivery date is set to August 13. Uh…well, that’s no fast delivery is it ? Too bad, as I will be in Indonesia starting from the 13th.. so hopefully it will be arriving a couple of days before.

On August 9, I receive an email stating the delivery date is pushed to August 20.

On August 16, I receive an email stating the delivery date is pushed to September 18

On September 15, I impatiently wait for this laptop to arrive so that I can book my flight to New York..I have a friend on Skype who is joking that by the way it looks I will still be waiting for my laptop in January, which for some reasons makes me check the order status on Dell website…to realize it doesn’t display September 18, but October 26 ! All hell break lose and I’m calling customer service to have a nice lady in India who recites her text saying that there is a huge demand, etc etc… well thank you very much, I immediately write a mail to the sales manager I had on the phone as well as his manager saying I want to immediately cancel the order and get a refund within 48h. In the meantime, I go to a Dutch online shop and order a Lenovo Thinkpad W500 to (hopefully) be shipped within 2-3 days.

On September 16, I receive an email stating the delivery date is pushed to October 26. As I don’t have acknowledgment of reception, of my cancellation..I call the sales manager.. who tell me it has been escalated to the escalation manager and seem surprised I didn’t get any call yet…well sure enough by the end of the day, I still didn’t get any call back from the escalation manager.

So in the end, I’m far from being impressed with Dell and you can bet I won’t exactly run to place another order near time soon…and I’m still waiting for my money back.

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