The Unsearchable Ones

The HIJINKS ENSUE STORE Is where you can buy stuff that I made! It supports me and my family and keeps this little operation going.

Funny T-Shirts, Geeky shirts, Doctor who parody shirts, Team Edward James Olmos shirt, Groverfield Shirt, Sci-Five Star Trek Parody T-Shirt in The HijiNKS ENSUE Store

There are two lies in the above comic. 1) Josh would never “Bing” anything, and 2) The Apple Store would never deny Josh anything. They simply pull up his purchase history, count the copious amounts of zeroes, and immediately start peeling grapes for him. I, on the other hand, being the guy that buys a new computer every 4+ years, a new pair of phones every other generation and a new ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE EVER, get the standard “this is out of warranty and even though there was a recall it only applies to everyone in the world BUT you” treatment.

When the Macbook Pros came out in 2007, I made my switch to Mac as did my wife. A little over a year later people were noticing that the power supply cables were coming unsheathed and fraying all over the place and, in some cases, catching fire. Apple started replacing them free of charge to avoid a class action suit (though I believe there was eventually a suit and a settlement). Once day my wife’s power supply cable up and caught on fire while it was plugged into her computer. It burst into flame EXACTLY where her leg would have been, had she been using it at the time. I knew about the issue and brought both of our power supplies in for replacement. The Genius on hand told me he could replace the one that had already combusted, but not the one that was in grave danger of combusting since it was still in it’s pre-combusted state. So I went home, set it on fire with a lighter, brought it back to the Apple store and got a replacement.

COMMENTERS: Give me your best computer repair/ tech support/ massive malfunction story. Was the dumbness on your head or theirs? Every try to return something that you clearly ruined through your own stupidity? A buddy of mine once returned a CF-Card sized micro hard drive that his cat had peed on. Luckily the Best Buy employees aren’t in the habit of sniffing every return.

If you used to get HE in your email inbox through Feedburner (a service I stopped using this year because Google stopped supporting it), this service seems to offer the same functionality for free.

Just plugin the HE RSS feed [http://hijinksensue.com/feed/] and your email address.

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28 Comments

  1. 2007-ish, I sat down at a friend's brand new, top of the line, all-the-powerups Mac Pro. I crashed it in exactly 16 seconds. It's not easy to impress an electrical engineer without using tools, but he was somewhat in awe of my abilities.

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  2. A long time ago, I was in Burma. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being raided in a forest north of Rangoon by a bandit. So, we went looking for the stones. But in six months, we never met anybody who traded with him. One day, I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had been throwing them away.

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    • So why steal them?

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      • Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

        Or, failing that, they light power cables on fire and exchange them for brand new ones.

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        • Alfred Pennyworth was in the SAS, right? I vaguely remember the comics mentioning that he had a, uh, particular set of skills. Skills he had acquired over a very long career.

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          • He was a field medic in the SAS, as I recall. AND an actor of the stage.

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    • Have you told this story, it seems oddly familiar…. or am I a noob who is missing an obvious reference to something?

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  3. One time I sent out my highly sophisticated and really cool hovering 3D mapping "Pups" to explore an ancient temple and I still got lost. In the end I got a nice dose of acid out of it.

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    • Are you still eligible for a refund, or discount on your next purchase? Without an acid-melted-off face?

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  4. Still, you can play " angry tentacles" on it!

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  5. Wait, I could've got that cord replaced for free? Hell. I assumed that because I got my macbook secondhand they would charge me up the wazoo. It was a pretty impressive fire.

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  6. I "had a friend" with an Xbox that failed in almost exactly the same way as a red-ring-of-death error, but just different enough to not cause the RROD (which was covered by an extended warranty) itself. So "my friend" wrapped the Xbox tightly in a blanket and turned it on, and what do you know, the next day it had an RROD!

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  7. I once had a computer that started hanging on boot. It would get to the same point in the process and either spontaneously restart or sit there taunting me.
    I thought it was the hard drive.

    I tried booting from a CD, from a USB stick, from a different operating system on a CD, and they ALL hung on boot.

    The eventual solution was that if I plugged a bunch of things (hard drive, card reader, USB stick) into the USB ports then it would boot just fine and dandy and would have no issues at all.

    Two weeks later the laptop gave up the ghost and I got my first Mac.

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    • The gaming rig I built for myself did that for a few years, thanks to an update from MS or the motherboard company…it wound up it was a glitch in the MOBO itself when the update was applied.
      As long as I had a USB stick in a port it would boot just fine…eventually a patch for the patch fixed it.
      Me luvs computer.

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    • Actually sounds like a power supply issue… oh well…

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  8. My boyfriend used to work at CompUSA before it collapsed. One time this one user called tech support and said his computer wasn't working. It quickly became apparent that he'd spilled something on the plastic box that housed the hard drive, had taken the whole thing apart and was now trying to put it back together.

    After running in circles and calling back several times, he got my boyfriend on the phone. The conversation took a turn for…well, this:

    User: It won't even turn on! I can't figure out what the problem is!
    Boyfriend: Is it plugged in?
    User: Yes!
    Boyfriend: Do you see a glowing blue crystal-looking thing anywhere in there?
    User: …No?
    Boyfriend: You should see it, it's the particle circulator.
    User: Particle circulator? What happens if I don't have one?
    Boyfriend: Then the particles don't get circulated and you can't turn your computer on. You really should call Dell about that if it's missing. They'll set you up with a new one.
    User: Oh, okay. I'll do that then. Thanks. *hangs up*

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  9. I really only have one horror story, but it's a doozy.

    The display adapter on my iMac died a month after the warranty/AppleCare ran out. I took it to the Apple Store, and they informed me that not only would it take nearly an entire day to repair it, but it would cost me thousands of pennies.

    I was crestfallen and could barely choke down 90% of my Auntie Anne's the next day when I arrived at the mall 20 minutes too early to take receipt of the machine.

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  10. My roommate had a Compaq laptop. He'd taken it with him to Iraq twice. It survived both tours, even the time the mortar round landed next to his tent (fortunately, he was on duty at the time).

    After he got home from his second tour, he got a shiny new Toshiba and gave me his old laptop.

    Less than a month later, while chasing after my son, I caught the power cord between my toes and somehow broke the power connector inside the case, tearing it loose from its internal connections. The damage required a complete replacement of the motherboard (which was slightly – slightly – cheaper than just buying a new computer).

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    • How *exactly* do you use your feet when you run?

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  11. Well, I don't get much for new computers basically ever, but I did get a guitar pedal replaced after I totally broke it myself.

    I use a 1spot in my pedalchain, which for those who don't know, means there's a daisy chain with multiple outputs plugged to each of my pedals, with only one block to plug into the wall. When I got my nova drive, without even thinking about it, I just threw it on one of my open 1spot plugs and ran it. Noticed the distortion only kicked in at full volume, otherwise I just got a toneless fizzle. Turns out, when a pedal comes with it's own power supply, it's a good idea to USE THAT POWER SUPPLY. A 12 volt pedal doesn't much like a 9 volt supply.

    But hey, the website I ordered it from replaced it without raising an eyebrow, so no big deal. Didn't even have to pay for return shipping.

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  12. My store had a customer who kept buying prepaid smart phones, with the extended warranty on them (which covered accidental damage). Except he kept waiting until that phone was no longer available, then smashed his phone with a hammer to try to upgrade for free. The thing is, when you look at broken phones on a near-daily basis as part of your job, you know what intentional damage looks like…

    But of the many stories I could tell about providing tech support, my favorite so far has been the lady who brought in her iPhone saying the internet didn't work. I don't know who sold this woman on buying a smartphone, but it turns out we just had to teach her. Painstakingly. Starting with "hey, see that picture that looks like a compass and says Safari? That's how you get to the internet. Now try typing anything you're interested in… like cats! And it will search for anything about cats." That's pretty much word for word how it went, but it went on for about an hour…

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    • I work as tech support for an expensive tax software. At least 75% of the people who call needing help think that the internet either lives inside Google. Or they don't understand where to enter the web address even after you explain it to them carefully.
      I used to work at Walmart and people would call us like we were their local IT. I had to tell this one woman how to set up an iPod… she had the instructions in front of her. Another woman brought back her router because she couldn't follow the pretty pictures in the setup guide. Even me demonstrating with the cables went over her head.

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  13. Just the other day at my store there was a return of a laptop. The person was complaining about their laptop no longer booting up when they turned it on. As the described it, it would turn on, get to the boot sequence then go "black".

    We complete the return and traded the laptop they had for one of equal value though they also tried to get us refund them for the anti-virus they purchased online.
    They left with their money and their laptop. Out of sheer curiosity I turned it on, and plugged it in. A few moments later it booted up and ran a massive update to the OS. Unfortunately company protocol is that we still send the laptop to central to be trashed.

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  14. I had an iPod Nano (my Mini had crashed and I bought the Nano the day before I saw the first ads – take THAT, Josh!) and since it was raining, I put it in the pocket of my poncho. I didn't know said poncho was REALLY waterproof. The sound stopped and I reached in my pocket to find my Nano in about a half-inch of water. I dried it out and took it to the Apple store thinking they'll find water damage and I'll have to buy a new one. Miraculously, they decided that I deserved a new one for free since it was only a month after I bought it. Huzzah!

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  15. Me, I use electronics up to just after the point they break down. My first laptop? The Pentium4 processor overheated, so my computer kept shutting itself down to cool down. The surface was hot enough to fry an egg on (I think, I never had an egg on hand to test that theory)!
    I'm currently on my 3rd laptop, 2nd iPod, and 2nd XBOX360. RROD. I had to ALL transfer the memory from the old one's HDD to the new one.

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