Lack of support
Your correspondence concerning lack of Opus support (PC Week 13 May) can be easily beaten by Gateway 2000.
You see, while you can get through to its support team pretty quickly, the problem is that the support simply isn't any good. We're a LANtastic network specialist and were called out to a client having difficulties with a failed hard disk in a new Gateway 2000 PC.
As it was still under guarantee, we phoned Gateway 2000. We were put through within five minutes but were on the line 75 minutes while it confirmed the obvious; that it didn't work.
It transpired it had similar failures with the Quantum 3.8Gb drive.
It said it would ship a replacement. As a concession to the customer, it would be a larger Maxtor 5Gb drive and dispatched by Express two-day service. It arrived by Standard service a week later. The postal box wasn't marked as the expected Maxtor but a Quantum 6.4Gb. However, inside turned out to be another faulty 3.8Gb drive.
To organise a replacement took another 75 minute call. As a concession to the customer, Gateway 2000 agreed to partition it and preload Windows 95. What arrived was now a Quantum 6.4Gb drive, but the partition was screwed up.
We phoned Gateway and were quickly put through, but this time the call took two hours and technical support decided it needed to post a new FDISK program to resolve matters. That was last week and we're still waiting.
We told the customer they would save our mounting bills if they insisted on a Gateway 2000 engineer to come and sort it out and call us when it was done. Gateway's engineer arrived, and after 4 hours talking Gateway 2000 still hadn't fixed it. The customer rang again and after three hours on the phone Gateway 2000 agreed to send another engineer.
What does this prove? Three new hard disks, six engineering (including ours) visits and over 12 hours of phone calls (never mind the customer inconvenience).
A simple problem has been screwed up. It's not how long it takes to get through, it's what they do when you do! The only saving grace is that Gateway 2000 provides a freephone number.
Web site in sight please
I am a recent subscriber to your magazine and am finding the content interesting, relevant and useful.
One small gripe however concerns your coverage of web sites and your use of screen shots to illustrate the article.
These help raise interest in the article and give an indication of the quality of the content. However, it is close on impossible to read the actual web address from the screen shots. In consequence it can prove rather difficult to get to the site mentioned.
As an example the recent piece on open business on the Internet with a screen shot showing the OBI Standards page. I tried to reference the site to get more info but the search only gave listings of site connected with Obi Wan Kenobi and Star Wars.
While your Web Page of the Week follows the screen shot format you do also print the web address. Can you not adopt this practice for all articles that refer to web sites?
Digital customers, chips and people may be a great benefit to Compaq but your article (PC Week 13 May), The Wall Street Journal, Compaq, and Digital itself, overlook its greatest asset - VMS.
VMS has the reliability, security and clustering capabilities that Unix and Windows NT still only hope to achieve. It was sad to see that the "mammoth VMS base" is "already poised to move to NT". By comparison with VMS, NT is immature, buggy and (still) prone to crashing. It has no decent clustering and its C2 security rating applies only to a non-network system.
The solid work of VMS engineering has been let down over the years by Digital marketing which has favoured Unix and NT over its own operating system. Your article refers to the "NT-knowledgeable sales force". It is a shame that it does not boast a "VMS-knowledgeable sales force". If VMS was sold by Microsoft the situation would be quite different.
Whatever comes of the Compaq/Digital discussions it would be good to see VMS in the hands of someone who really wanted it to be successful.
Perhaps one day someone at Digital might be persuaded to take an interest in selling it.
Wanted: home for old PCs
I wonder if you can help me out. I imagine there are probably a lot of other companies in much the same boat as ourselves.
We have upgraded a lot of our 425 & 433 PCs to Pentiums so that they can run Windows 95.
We are now left with a lot of old 425/433/466 processors which we don't know what to do with. We don't particularly want to throw them out, as it would seem to be a waste of money, and we can't seem to find anyone who would take them off of us (preferably purchase).
Are you aware of any company who is in the business of purchasing old processors? Failing that, are you aware of anyone who would take them off us at all?
Alistair W Bone
He who casts the first stone
I feel I must comment on a letter from John Seitz (PC Week 13 May) in which he made some very disparaging remarks about CompuServe.
What particularly irked me was his statement about sending mail from one CompuServe account to another. He said: "If you're on CompuServe and want to send Alan Stewart a message at his personalised address of [email protected]
com, don't forget to preface it with INTERNET: - their message server isn't smart enough to figure out that a message from CompuServe to compuserve.com is internal, and will reject it if you don't"
As anybody who has taken the trouble to "RTFM" would know, the correct format in the above scenario is "abstewart" only. The help files state quite clearly that you should omit the @compuserve.com part of the address when sending mail to another CompuServe account.
Criticise by all means, but do us all a favour and please make sure you have apprised yourself of all the facts before making any comments.
Glaring inaccuracies such as the above automatically make me disregard any criticisms even if they are valid.
In conclusion, I can't help wondering why Alan Seitz has not sought the services of an alternative ISP if he is so dissatisfied with the level of service provided by CompuServe.
Got a gripe, then don't delay, get your pen out and write today send all your correspondence to:
- The Editor, PC Week, VNU House, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London, W1A 2HG. or on the Net at http//www.pcweek.vnu.co.uk or Email [email protected]
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