Friday, September 26, 2008

Acer Desktop Update

Well I've had a lot of fun with my new desktop, not.

After a couple of weeks, the system started to fail. The screen would garble up after about 20 minutes and the system would freeze and when hard booted up, do the same again until the system had cooled down. It was a suspected blown graphics card and should have been a simple fix but it wasn't. What happened, I went through technical support via Acer online web support. This went on for a couple of weeks, being told to do things I had already done to see what the actual problem was, which involved a system restore, re-install graphics drivers, check graphics card and memory were seated properly and to try other monitors. Not of that fixed the problem. Though to be fair, the person replying was polite and did respond in a pretty reasonable time.

He was just unable to provide me a contact number or arrange any help there after. The contact number to arrange me sending in the machine at first was disconnected. Later in the week, it had a pre-recorded message to go online and hung up on you rather than putting you on hold to speak to a rep as instructed in the email support. is the website to go, which wasn't where I was pointed towards initially. Anyway, I arranged the repair and went to UPS for ship it back to them, out to Texas, which cost me $40. I really should have just bought myself a new graphics card, but that's beside the point, it was under warranty.

A month later, I get my system back, the repair report said they had re-seated the graphics card. Low and behold, twenty minutes after I booted my system, it failed again. It would seem that they ignored my repair report that the system fails after 20 minutes.

Email support got me no where, just told to send my machine back. I wasn't impressed, another $40 and a month for some knob shite to not fix it again? Just slightly pissed and unable to get anywhere.

I first found The Acer Guy who seems to want to help and has a great blog about what is happening with the company, but he's based in Europe. He did after I emailed him offer to try and help.

I also went to the Better Business Bureau and they were fantastic. I lodged my complaint, they contacted Acer, and within a half hour of that, someone from Acer called me up to arrange for a prioritised fix on my system, which is within 5-10 days rather than the 2-4 weeks. They also paid for Fed-Ex shipping, I just had to drop my machine off at the local Fedex store.

The system arrived yesterday and they did replace the faulty graphics card and so far, seems to be running well again.

The details you'll need to make the BBB complaint, to the company US headquarters, which is in California, so you would file at that BBB chapter -

Company details:

Complaint against :
Acer America Corp

Acer America (USA only)
Acer America Corporation
333 West San Carlos Street
Suite 1500
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 533-7700

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mudbox 2009

Autodesk has been releasing some sneak peak videos of Mudbox 2009 which look awesome and some really handy new features.

The old Siggragh preview is also worth a peak as it shows a lot of things in action.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Boston Post Mortem

The IGDA's local chapter, the Boston Post Mortem September monthly meeting was sponsored this month by GamerDNA so a big hand of thanks to them for the talk, the food and the free drinks.

Jon Radoff who heads the organisation gave the talk, which was about gaming trends covering the big hits of COD4, GTA4 etc and the world of MMO's.

It was interesting to see how Rock Band faired against Guitar Hero in the long term in the amount of usage spent by players.

There was a lack of coverage on the indie market which I felt was a shame because it would have been interesting to hear how indie developers fair against similar competition - How Castle Crashers compares with other indie released games in regards to sales and level of actual game time players put in, because it is another realm to the large marketed big budget games, and for many studios, this kind of data would be far more valuable.

The venue, the Skellig is a charming venue though with a good bar and space at the back for the event to take place, but these events are busy and seating is limited, this means it can be difficult to actually ask questions in the Q&A session after the talk. Jon was willing to answer questions privately, I just didn't think that benefitted the audience as much as it could.

The crowd was made up with a good mix of professionals in the industry, the location being fairly central and with a lot of free parking just behind the pub helping out a lot in this regard. There were a large number of students or recent grads from a local games art school there, they were interesting to talk with, but did make networking and job hunting more diluted for those already in the industry.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Baby Carriers

Now that the baby is four and a half months old, with my mother over for a visit, we decided to get a baby carrier as it seemed like a handy thing for lugging the baby around if we didn't want to use the push chair.

After trying out quite a few from various baby stores and from some friends, we decided on getting the Lascal M1 carrier. The price doesn't appear to have any variation from website to website or store to store.

Well worth it after having it a few weeks. It's easy to put on, nice and comfy to wear and the baby loves it, to be able to look out at things or to snuggle up and sleep while your out doing your grocery shop.

It's so convenient to use when going to the market or parks that don't have smooth pathways as well as grocery shopping, not having to worry about the baby seat fitting in the trolly etc.

This carrier is well made, very sturdy, easy to clean and made with soft bamboo fibres that don't chafe and breathes nicely in the heat, which was a problem we found with the cheaper ones that we tried out, because having a baby right on your chest who puts out a lot of heat isn't particularly comfortable when your out and about in the heat.