Who is aware of, possibly this column could have been titled «Acer, all is forgiven». So, I contacted acer service NZ to see if they could assist. The assist guy I spoke with was a pleasant enough fellow and seemed genuinely keen to assist. Indeed — he recognised the machine from «previous encounters» when it had been returned earlier than. I requested if he may organise to have it repaired or changed and he stated he’d examine and name back. True to his phrase he did call back however I was informed that a replacement machine could not be organised and that there’d be no probability of any repairs being done until the following week — that may have meant another 5 days down-time. Feeling that this cannot be proper I emailed Acer International’s head workplace to try and get some remark out of them. You guessed it — nothing. I can only assume that Acer, each locally and at a head-office degree have no interest in fairly resolving problems with their hardware. Although they’re a clone, Acer appear to be pitching their products and repair on the higher finish of the clone market and justifying their high prices by claiming superior high quality and assist — however based mostly alone experiences I’d have to say this is just «smoke and mirrors». The local distributor’s angle sucks (though their assist workers are nice sufficient). The truth that the worldwide headquarters didn’t even hassle to acknowledge my email is further proof that there are much better locations to spend your Pc budget. It also appears as if I’m not alone with my experiences, quite a few Aardvark readers have emailed me recounting their very own tales of woe with Acer gear. A fast scan of Deja News additionally indicates that a major number of individuals have had equally unsatisfactory experiences with Acer gear and help. My Conclusion: Defective hardware is bad enough however when the supplier has this type of attitude to help then I’d advise you to simply Avoid, Avoid, Avoid! You will get higher merchandise and higher assist for a similar cash. In truth I’d wager that you will get better merchandise and better support for a lot less money than you’d be losing in the event you purchased an Acer! Lesson Learnt: The web has a wealth of sources out there to help you verify the validity of a producer’s or vendor’s claims before you buy. Most of the major search engines now provide the ability to look usenet postings and DejaNews is one other excellent engine for scanning newsgroups. These newsgroups are often a superb source of third-occasion experiences and opinions. It solely takes a couple of minutes to find out whether that XYZ gizmo you’re about to buy has a good repute with finish-users — so do not take the risk, check out public opinion first! Even within the native area, keeping an eye fixed on the nz.comp newsgroup may have saved a few individuals shedding their cash when Pc General went stomach-up final week. There had been plenty of postings of late declaring that their products and repair had been decidedly sub-customary. Dawinism sees to it that poor products and service ultimately drive a company into bankruptcy. It’s a shame that Acer have such a silly attitude in direction of conserving their customers comfortable. As an example, I see Digital getting plenty of mileage out of their affiliation with NBR. They’re claiming to be the engine behind «New Zealand’s Busiest Website». Although much of the 7am News traffic is now served from its US-based mostly server, the site continues to be 100% NZ owned and operated. With the each day count of user-periods now approaching 300,000 I’d wager that 7am News is busier than NBR by an order of magnitude or extra. Digital are clearly getting a number of mileage out of their association with what (no matter their true rating) is undoubtedly a very talked-about Web site. The NBR site carries the Digital Logo and I’m sure the publicity and PR value of the arrangement is of great worth to them in the native marketplace. Now, if Acer had got their act together maybe they could have had a real claim to being «the computer behind the busiest NZ-operated Web site on the earth». Hey, if there’s any vendor on the market who thinks their products and assist are as much as the task of again-ending 7am News and who might like to put claim to being «the hardware behind the busiest NZ-operated Web site on the planet» then e-mail me and I believe we might be able to come up with a mutually beneficial association. Is the web reliable sufficient? Who remembers why the online was constructed? That’s proper.. it was designed to be a highly fault-tollerant network of computer systems that would be immune to a single, or even multiple outages. The thought was that if one computer or communications link failed, the site visitors could possibly be routed around that gap in the online. Great thought is not it? But what’s happened? From my very own experiences it seems that nearly every day the variety of non permanent gaps in the web appears to be rising. One minute CNN’s out of reach — a traceroute showing that there’s a problem somewhere close to Atlanta. Next thing you know HotWired is off the air and the issue appears to be in California. Perhaps my consciousness has been extra heightened just lately because the activities of the 7am News robot are more far-reaching. I get several alarms each day, telling me that a site has been unreachable for more than 15 minutes. A traceroute signifies that as a rule the problem is at some random location within the USA. Okay, so it is no massive deal if you can’t convey up the CNN Web page for 20 minutes or so, I agree. But what occurs once we start layering more vital services over the online — as we seem to be doing. We’ve acquired ExtraNets, IP telephony, on-line share trading and a raft of different business-related services now reliant on the web. While a 30 minute outage might not be a giant deal to the typical Net-surfer, what happens if (as happened last week), the market starts to tumble and you want to get on-line and sell your shares earlier than the prices get too low — only to seek out that your Net-brokerage site is «quickly unavailable»? What occurs when head office in New York is attempting to send you an urgent encrypted email however a router in california has had a hissy-match and thinks that the .nz area refers back to the Pathfinder laptop on Mars? Maybe it’s about time we remembered that the web isn’t the mission-critical communications medium that some individuals assume it’s. Either that or we need to re-assume how community failures might be dealt with in actual-time. Free calls to the USA! Hey, these items is great! I have been lucky enough to have had trial entry to two IP telephony programs lately. Both the system supplied by Voyager/OzEmail and that provided by GXC are sensible and, I think, may well have some impact on the further reducing of worldwide toll site visitors from the Telcos. US 1-800 or 1-888 toll-free quantity however discovered they do not work from NZ? Well you’ve gotten two options, you may both use the Telecom Access 0168 possibility which can join you but may also cost you regular worldwide toll charges, or now you should utilize an excellent free service offered by GXC. If your Pc has a sound-card and microphone, you may download some free software program and name any 1-800 or 1-888 quantity within the USA absolutely free! Your call shall be restricted to a maximum of 5 minutes — but what the heck, it is free so who’s complaining! Okay, time for some blatant self-promotion. How lots of you regular Aardvark readers have by no means advised anyone about this site? Well how about telling a few of your associates, colleagues or buddies (okay, I’ll forgive you for not telling your competition). The extra readers I get for this weekly column, the extra time I can afford to dedicate to its manufacturing. Net users this week. If you’ve acquired a web web page, why not add the «Aardvark Icon», linked again to this site and in return I’ll function your site on the new «Aardvark-enabled Sites» page which I will be selling over the next few months. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours! I am unable to Believe It’s True! It’s usually accepted that use of the tag to make textual content on an internet web page blink off and on is an enormous No-No. Actually I think it is okay if solely a very small amount of text is highlighted and there’s completely no different approach to attract the reader’s attention — however these instances are usually very few and far between. But hey — why not make the entire menu flash? Another golden rule broken — the site’s a P.I.T.A. 640×480. Right of Reply. New Zealand News headlines from the most effective News websites on the NZ Web, all on one web page to save you time, cash and frustration — up to date each quarter-hour. All of the nation’s news on one page! Turn on your Java! Add this Remote to your own pages!