As a few of you on LSW Slack may know, we (well, my wife, but I’m spending my time helping her cope with it) have been having more than our share of ComputerWoes this holiday:
- Her 4-year-old Toshiba Satellite, which she was a couple of months away from replacing, suddenly died when she tried to wake it up from sleep mode.
- She wants to stick with a 17″ screen (this is her *only* computer) and there aren’t a lot of good choices from brands we semi-trust. A clearance Toshiba model was sold out at our local OfficeMax. We went to Fry’s; they had a more expensive Toshiba that seemed pretty nice. We bought it (and Office 2016–and now realize we probably should have gone for the multiuser Office 365 subscription instead, but that’s a different story).
- First good OD/OM news: Clark, the computer tech at our local OfficeMax was able to recover all the data and bookmarks from the broken Toshiba’s hard disk for a very fair price ($50; since OD/OM also had a great sale on 32GB USB 3.0 flash drives from the brand we both prefer, Sandisk–$9.99, which really is a great price, I purchased a couple of them and gave the tech one to use for the data).
- But…two days later–day before yesterday–the new Toshiba wouldn’t boot up–power light, wifi light, nothing else. This is after she’d pretty much restored and loaded everything, and was starting to get stuff done again.
- Took it back to Fry’s. They were actually willing to do a “brain transplant”–swap the hard disk into another Toshiba of the same model–but, tada, they’d run out of that Toshiba model. We could drive a long way to another store or… The only other suitable 17″ notebook was a Dell Inspiron: smaller hard disk, less RAM, but an Intel i3 CPU rather than an AMD; same price. So…we made the exchange.
- ANYWAY: The other OfficeDepot/OfficeMax thing that feels like a seasonal miracle, even though I didn’t need it: Seeing just how much faster USB 3.0 is (and both of our machines–I have an 8-month-old Toshiba Satellite, also a 17″ screen, replacing a 7-year-old Gateway notebook that’s still operational but overheating–now have USB 3.0 ports), we both think we’d like to use USB 3.0 flash drives for backup and have extras. The store was out of the sale units (the sale ends Sunday), but what the heck, if I purchased four of them from OfficeDepot.com (for $39.96 plus tax), they’d throw in free delivery.
- I ordered the flash drives yesterday afternoon, around 3 p.m. Figured they’d arrive midweek next week, the usual 3-5 business days. That’s fine: we don’t need them yet.
- Half an hour ago–20 hours after I ordered the flash drives with free delivery and no rush anything–there was a knock on the door and a delivery person handed me the box. Which apparently shipped last night at 7:30 p.m. from a Fremont OD warehouse.
A long and odd story, but the shoutout here is: Really? 20-hour FREE delivery when I didn’t even request it? I don’t expect it to happen again, but hey, good for OfficeDepot/OfficeMax
(I’d always been an OD shopper–Mountain View has a big and very good OD store that was in walking distance of our old house–but it’s OfficeMax in Livermore, and since they’re both really OfficeDepot now, we’ll manage. And their tech support person, Clark, really is great. He looked at my 7-yr-old Gateway to see whether it was plausible to replace the noisy fan and keep it as a backup computer. He concluded that the fan was a symptom of overheating, showed me the whole situation, said probably not worth trying to fix for such an old machine…and didn’t charge anything. Now, if only they had the Toshiba 17″ notebooks in stock…)
So: the closest to a Christmas present we’re likely to get (our family doesn’t do presents for adults, a wise decision made decades ago), and always good to deal with user-friendly companies.
And to all…happy holidays, whichever you do or don’t celebrate.