Just one Tiny phone call
I have followed with great interest the stories from Messrs Fallon and Jamison concerning Opus.
My company recently bought a PC from Tiny, which is, I believe, the same company - at least they share facilities to an extent. The machine worked perfectly except for the fact it had four 8Mb SIMMS, instead of the two 16Mb ones that I had specifically requested. Only a small problem, I thought.
Then I committed the greatest mistake of all. I phoned them. Eleven phone calls later that day (having been left in queues, phoned up to complain about being left in queues, been placed in a queue again) I finally broke down and pleaded, (nay, begged) a receptionist not to put me on hold again.
I then got to speak to a lady who informed me that they wouldn't give me the new SIMMs until they had the old ones back.
I informed her that as it was their mistake I would do no such thing, because it would cost me money while a developer sat idle. She said she would have to ask her manager and would get back to me.
She has not, and even now I am plucking up the courage to brave the Tiny telephony system again.
These 'phone systems are cold and difficult to manipulate - and the problem is exacerbated by harried, over-worked and unfriendly reception staff, and a cynical approach to post-sales support by the management.
Once these companies have your money, they simply ignore you. I, too, completely agree that these broken promises should be exposed.
Opus/Tiny - what do you have to say for yourselves?
Fear and loathing
With reference to "SQL Sever joins bug queue" (PC Week 18 March), Robin Bloor's credibility as an independent commentator disappeared a long time ago.
His solid entrenchment in the anti-Microsoft camp ensures that we will always be treated to sensationalist headlines that are guaranteed to get his name in the press. We all know that it is not difficult to find statistics that appear to back up a biased point of view. This is classic "old school" consultancy - spread lots of fear, uncertainty and doubt (fud) and then charge huge fees to put people's minds at rest.
At Kynetix we take a far more pragmatic view of performance. As everybody in the IT industry knows, the only benchmarks worth a jot are the ones you carry out in your own environment using the same hardware, software, comms and so on that you intend to run on. Failing this, the next best thing you can do is talk to other companies with a similar environment.
This is exactly what we did when asked by one of our clients to report on the scalability of SQL Server. We spoke to over 50 companies using SQL Server, many of whom were running 100Gb+ databases with hundreds (in some cases thousands) of users. Some of these sites were achieving upwards of 150,000 transactions per day. The overwhelming response of this research was that all of these people were very happy with SQL Server, particularly in the price/performance and manageability categories.
To imply that SQL Server encounters performance problems after 17 users is clearly ridiculous. While it may not yet be ready to replace some of the larger mainframe databases, it is certainly capable of handling the needs of most organisations and at a fraction of the cost.
Anybody who would like confirmation of this can contact me for a free (not u280) copy of our report.
Kynetix Technology Group
Recently I purchased a laptop from Opti Computers in England through a local dealer. The machine was purchased at the end of October 96 and came with a three-year warranty.
The machine I initially ordered was a P133, 16Mb, 810Mb HDD with multimedia.
After ordering it in late August early September, to ensure that I would get the machine before starting university, it failed to arrive on time.
However, my local dealer lent me one of its machines in the meantime.
The original machine finally arrived at the end of October and wasn't the specification that I ordered (only a P120 processor).
Opti said that it won't release the 133 model because of the problem of over heating and then released the 133 model at the beginning of the next month!
Christmas came and things started to go wrong. The hinges on the laptop broke; the screen glared as if someone was running their hand across it and there was a loud cracking noise coming from behind the speakers (it turned out they had blown).
I sent the machine back to my local dealer on 13 January and it was returned to me four weeks later.
I collected the machine and when I got it home found that Opti had formatted the hard drive; the floppy wasn't working, the screen was still flickering, and the speakers were still broken.
By this time I was rather annoyed after paying u2,400 for a machine that I'd been using for about six weeks. The machine was returned again the following day and was with Opti for seven weeks.
Every week I spent time and money travelling back home to see what was happening with my computer. You've guessed - nothing.
I would like to know if I am entitled to a refund or could you give me some help on what I should do. Opti gave me no correspondence as to the status of the laptop.
As it stands now, the laptop is back in the local shop and is of no good to me as my course has nearly finished and Opti, I feel, could have at least lent me a replacement.
Driven to despair
I am writing to warn your readers of the lack of support they should expect when purchasing Iomega hardware products.
I purchased an Iomega Zip100 drive to backup my computer system, assuming that by buying a recognised brand, I would be able to obtain prompt and competent support should I need it while installing and using the drive.
This assumption has proved to be a grave mistake.
I made several calls to its (lack of) support department to no avail, and in frustration sent a letter trying to resolve the issue. I still have not had a reply.
To complete the saga I made one final call to their support department one week after I had faxed the letter to them and spoke to the manager of the customer services department.
I explained I wanted to use the drive to perform a system backup and was told to use their Copy Machine product. I explained that this product doesn't use compression or back-up the Windows 95 registry, but was offered no other software solutions and was told that "compression software was not recommended with the drive".
I have since provided my own solution to ensure I have a full system backup and have found that both the WinZip and PKZip for Windows compression software work perfectly with the drive.
I hope you decide to warn your readers of the support, or should I say the lack of it, they should expect when purchasing Iomega products.
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