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Wednesday, August 13 12:01 AM EST

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


No Believers this week a sure sign of AOL's decline. So I bring you an episode of "Things People Eat"

Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 11:44 AM
Subject: Vegetarians Eye Rocks

At the risk of being accused of being a vegetarian without a sense of
humor, I have to point out that there are actually people who go beyond vegetarianism and won't eat anything that causes the death of an animal OR plant. I believe they're called fruitarians. They'll eat a bean or a tomato, for instance, since that doesn't kill the plant, but they won't eat an onion or a carrot (apparently they don't believe that life begins at fertilization!). I always wondered how these people felt about eating stone crab claws. I've heard the fisherman break the claw off a live crab and then throw the crab back to grow a new claw. It sounds cruel, but hey, it doesn't kill anything...

Dell Support

Finally, a rebuttal for Dell's support...

From: Chad
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2003 6:41 PM
Subject: Dell Tech Support

I'm not sure what the big deal is with Dell Tech Support. Granted, I am coming to them as a technical representative (Sys Admin) from a large company. Maybe home users get treated differently.

My lastest interaction with them was a few weeks ago when my laptop's keyboard went to crap.

I went ONLINE and filled out the support form (No waiting on hold!).

The important part is the "Problem Description":

System Label: Latitude C640

Problem: Keyboard/Mouse
Operating System: Windows XP
Problem Description:

Certian Keys on keyboard non-functional (9, o, l, ., F7).

Laptop top is dual boot. Same Behavior in WinXP and Debian Linux. Dell Diagnostic Software confirms there is a problem.
Currently using external keyboard via USB as a workaround. No problems with keys there.


Noticed that I eliminated all possiblities except the keyboard.

A couple hours later, I got an email stating that my keyboard needs to be replaced and on-site service will be scheduled. The new morning, a service tech called to set up a time to come in that afternoon.

So, if you can diagnose the problem before-hand and show evidence that your theory is absolutely correct.


PS. No I didn't spill coffee, beer, or any other liquid on the keyboard.

And some more tips...

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2003 10:03 AM
Subject: Heh queue bashing

Poor suckers...hitting 0 won't get ya anywhere at Dell but maybe an operator who has no freakin' clue. :) If people REALLY wanted to not wait on hold, there's a number on the bottom of EVERY system that will get you ahead of the millions who still don't have a clue. Each system has a sticker labeled Express Service Code. If people used it when prompted, they'd be amazed. 90% of them just don't listen to the prompts.

And for the poor people who end up in Panama, Malaysia, or Bangalore... write your congressperson or something...Every call starts with "Oh My God! You speak Engrish!" hehe.

When getting tech support out of the country...don't get mad...get a laugh... There's the Meow game and the Name game...try it!

Meow game: Just call in, and as you're talking to the tech, just throw in a 'meow' here and see how many times you can do it before they ask you about it. You'll be amazed.

Name game: Instead of Vladipihafeen they've been shortening their names to things like Jack and Noel and Bob... just refer to them by name, any name... "Ok Ralph, I clicked on OK. Is that right Mike? Ok, Britney, it says I'm out of memory. Ok it's done rebooting Aguilera..." chances are they won't even's weird, yet entertaining.

More Dell games...

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2003 4:50 PM
Subject: Oh man..3 emals in one day..

Another new form of Dell entertainment is and click on the Live Help with the Web button, which takes you to a new chat room (LiveForum) with some totally lost techs ... I mean hours of entertainment... "mykeyboardsspacebardoesntwork!" ...they take every question seriously .. No idea if they're here at the HQ or what, but they're great fun. Almost as much fun as Gateway online support!

Remember, you didn't hear about it here.

Star Wars

From: Charles
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 8:00 AM
Subject: It's never the end OR Enterprise Security Team vs.

This hypothetical is a joke I heard once. Consider a battle between a
Star Trek security team, which always die moments after appearing and a squad of Imperial Stormtroopers who couldn't hit the broad side of a planet.

Now that's a battle I'd like to see!

That's all for this week!

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