Dell Support

So my Dell Latitude D620 screen died yesterday. The first thing I did was look through my emails where I could find the order information hoping that I had indeed taken out the 3 or 4 year warranty rather than the default one year. Thankfully that was the case.
I logged onto Dell Ireland support chat and started describing my problem to an agent there. At one point, she recommended that I needed another power adapter. WTF? Her final diagnosis was that I had a memory card problem. It was obvious she was just going through some script and at the end, the solution was obvious, send an engineer to where I was working. However, when I informed her that I was working in Switzerland, she told me that she could not organise an engineer from Ireland. I would have to call Dell Switzerland myself.
After trying to logon to chat with the Dell Switzerland support site, I decided to call the help line. After going through the many options to get to Latitude support, I got a guy on the line who was able to speak English. What was impressive about his approach was that he was didn’t follow a script. He quickly looked through the chat log of the interaction that I had with Dell Ireland and disagreed with the diagnosis. I did a couple of different tests and he seemed to be going through possible causes of the problem in his head. It seemed that I was listening to a technical Dr. House going through symptoms in his head and trying to work out a diagnosis. Finally, he said that he would send a technician on Thursday to physically look at the notebook. Here’s hoping my normal laptop is back tomorrow.

Once upon a time in Norway

Telemegaphone promises that your voice will be carried over the fjords of Norway by calling a number that is hooked to the loudspeaker powered by wind turbines. However, if the weather is especially calm, there may not be enough power make your announcement heard.

According to A Very Short List where I got the tip, it will only continue until September 6, the start of deer hunting season.

The requested URL /elgg/action/systemsettings/install was not found on this server.

I just heard about elgg when I was thinking of adding some social networking features to a website I maintain. Fortunately, it has recently released version 1.0. The version without the bugs right? The first issue I came to was that my local versions of MySQL and PHP were out of date so I downloaded the latest versions and installed them onto the machine.
Great, now it was allowing me to perform the install and I came to the first settings page. Filled in the appropriate values and hit return. Then the message “The requested URL /elgg/action/systemsettings/install was not found on this server.” came up. WTF?
Back searching on the elgg google group and the the elgg troubleshooting page. Tried changing the .htaccess page and the apache httpd.conf file. Nothing changed. Tried everything suggested and nothing has changed. Now I’m just bored and going to leave elgg until version 1.1.

Siebel 8 Tools

It seems that in the latest version of Siebel Tools, some much needed improvements for developers have been implemented and let’s face, have been long overdue. The interface uses a tabbed UI where workflows, scripts and applets can be kept in context and accessed in the same way as Firefox works. One of the most irritating aspects of developing workflows in earlier versions was that the context of the workflow was lost each time you wanted to reference a script or fields on an integration object. That meant querying again for the workflow and bringing it back. Of course, if another reference lookup was required context again was lost. Think of it like using one instance of Internet Explorer and then using Firefox. it’s a vastly improved interface in my opinion.
The problem of workflow simulation working on a haphazard basis has also been improved. I think that in three weeks, I have only encountered the “Workflow Finished” message twice.
Referencing scripts was a bit better but it meant using the Windows menu item each time. Scripting has also been improved with the addition of auto-complete. For example, using ActivateField now prompts with a list of fields from the BusComp. This reduces lookups and spelling errors.
The only question is why did it take them so long to implement those changes that provide so much productivity gains for devleopers. Could it be that it is the first full release done under Oracle?