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September 16, 2009


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.


May 7, 2009

ENT / diving specialist in the Netherlands

Filed under: General — stephane @ 8:09 am

Writing there for reference if it can help anybody given how difficult it is to find an ENT specialist with experience with diving injuries, no matter where you are.
If you live in the Netherlands:

Robert van der Hulst, ENT surgeon at Amstelland hospital in Amstelveen with specialty in aviation and diving medicine.
More information at KNO Consulting.

Information communicated to me thanks to Dr Menno Gastraa, National Medical Director for The Netherlands at DAN Europe
NB: It is also possible to find online the list of physicians certified by the Dutch Society for Diving Medicine (NVD)

February 28, 2009

Feeling like using a Music API to operate a nuclear facility ?

Filed under: Business,General,Software — stephane @ 4:04 pm

In the wonderful word of legal issues, Yahoo! Music API license terms fortunately cover this eventuality.

(iii) use the Yahoo! Music APIs to operate nuclear facilities, life support, or other mission critical application where human life or property may be at stake. You understand that the Yahoo! Music APIs are not designed for such purposes and that their failure in such cases could lead to death, personal injury, or severe property or environmental damage for which Yahoo! is not responsible;

January 17, 2009

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Filed under: General,Joost — stephane @ 6:34 pm

From last week, but that’s an hilarious video from The Onion:

<a href="">Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard</a>

January 4, 2009

New year ahead and retrospective of 2008

Filed under: General — stephane @ 12:09 am

And again another year. While I’m expecting 2009 to be ‘interesting’ work-wise, on a personal note 2008 was a memorable one with its up and downs.

Mid-February 2008, Allan and I headed to climb Kilimanjaro. It was something I wanted to do for a while and since I went to Mount Kenya in 2003. The fact Allan signed up immediately when we talked about it in December was for sure a great source of motivation to do it fast . I activated some contacts in Nairobi and was expecting to make a cumulate with a trip to Kenya but the events in Kenya early January forced a backup solution to Tanzania only. I picked mid-february as the ideal last moment period since it was a full moon week and not too late in the season to benefit from clear weather. We got the perfect week. Climbing with only the moonlight, reaching the summit and all that with fantastic clear weather.

This was definitely a up for this year. Thanks to Allan for that.

On the down side, in august 2008, I suffered a sciatica which left me with immense pain for a few weeks followed by entire loss of strength on the left foot for about 2 months due to nerve damage. The origin of the sciatica is hard to figure out, but likely due to a sequence of bad move over a short period.
The experience was sure scary in itself and not being able to walk, run, jump, or even cycle decently was not a very thrilling period. As of today, I mostly fully recovered and this made me more concerned about general physical shape since the occasional 10km weekly running was obviously totally unsufficient. I’m now hitting the gym 2 to 3 times to get back in shape and for general toning and this feels great. I don’t think i’ll come back to running anytime soon. I was last year nurturing the prospect of training for running a marathon, but I think this one is going to wait for a while. :-)

For 2009, I really have no plan whatsoever, maybe some travels here and there, probably a diving trip and more pictures. Ludovic made me think about going with him for a gorilla trek either in Rwanda or Uganda for some nice photos and memories. Incidentally Fiona is just coming back from it and posted some pictures on Flickr.

This would be about 20 years since I went to see the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. At this time I was living in the nearby country of Burundi. Memories…

To support Mountain Gorillas, there is a nice website from the Virunga National Park

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