Monsoon Madness, Cats and Why Being a Linux User Can be Tricky

Apologies for how few pool updates we’ve had! There are two reasons for this. One) we have had frequent enough monsoon storms that there have been significant delays. Two) Chris and I both run Linux rather than Windows PCs or Macs.

I got a new work laptop about 45 days ago. It’s a swanky business grade Dell and by far the nicest laptop I’ve ever bought. On day 35 of owning said Dell, that is, 5 days after the point I could have returned it, the screen went wrong.

I have been using Linux since 2010 when my Windows laptop went wrong when Chris and I were engaged. I tried his for a few days and was sold on it being way better than Windows. This Dell laptop is the first time we have tried to get me a professionally supported Linux laptop rather than buying a PC with Windows, nuking Windows and replacing it with a version of Linux.

We got the computer through Dell.com with ample support, both a 3 year warranty and weekday in-home support. We got to try this out almost immediately with a problem just 5 days out of the window in which we could have sent it back.

A few days later, a tech did indeed come to our house. He was a nice enough guy, but not any good at his job. He nearly put my keyboard back on backwards, for instance. He replaced the screen and the hard-drive. By the time he left, we went from having a computer with a screen problem to a computer that would not boot. We spent ages on the phone with Dell phone support with someone who may well have been a robot from the 5 sentences she seemed able to utter, but she absolutely could not connect us to anyone who worked with Ubuntu Linux, the flavor of Linux Dell sell on some of their computers, including high end ones like this one. She said the best she could do was two business days before connecting us to anyone that might be able to help.

Come 2-ish today, we had had enough after a 5 day wait. Chris rang back and asked where the call was. We were finally assigned a Linux tech. One of them called us and he fixed the issue in minutes. It was extremely simple. Replacing the hard-drive had messed with the settings that had been there when we received the laptop and it needed to be reset in order to boot Ubuntu.

It turns out the big delay was that in the entire massive organization that is Dell, they have exactly FOUR people employed to help with Ubuntu Linux related problems.  Bill Gates, mate, you had a monopoly and your pals still do 😉 A duopoly with one overpriced competitor is still basically a monopoly from a functional point of view. At any rate, although I am a big fan of his charitable works, I could kick Bill Gates about now for creating a world where even when you pay this much and it appears to be offered and supported, a big company like Dell just can’t be bothered to properly support anything other than Windows and iOS.

So long, long story short, this is why I have not done any videos recently. Making videos on the new Dell is much, much faster and less annoying. Editing and encoding on my old laptop would take 5 times as long.

As for the pool, something called forming happened. It was basically some guys flattening the earth and mapping out where the concrete around the pool will be. We also picked out our rocks that will cover where there is no concrete and our hot tub has arrived, though it cannot be installed until a lot more happens.

Here is a video catch up with all that, plus some of the best bits from the monsoon interspersed with cute cat stuff:

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