Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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07/14/2004: "Dell Power Supply Nightmare"

After talking to countless local computer repair shops, all of them telling me a standard 400w ATX power supply with a P4 connector would work perfectly in my Dell Dimension 4550 computer, I've come to find out that only Dell's 250w power supply will work in my machine. That means I won't be able to upgrade my video card this fall, and obviously 250watts wasn't enough juice for the applications I'm using or else it wouldn't have died after only 13 months. (one month past warranty)

My entire experience with Dell customer service has been terrible....from being put on hold for over an hour until I finally hung up, to being told conflicting information, to having such heavy accents that I can barely understand them, to being downright rude.

I had always had such a high opinion of Dell up until now. I had a problem with an Amazon order recently and the difference in customer service between them and Dell was night and day. Amazon will bend over backwards to help you out. That's why I keep using them when I can find things for less money on other sites.

One thing this experience has taught me with Dell, my next computer I'm going to build myself.

Replies: 14 Comments

on Wednesday, July 14th,">Stacy said

Bummer. Sounds familiar, though. Jeremy (my boyfriend) has to deal with difficult customer service all the time with his computer business. It's always entertaining to hear him talk to them because he's not always polite or courteous, like me. :)

I was wondering if you've used any gel/thickening mediums for oil paint that you've liked. The Art Dept. won't be getting anything in for a few weeks, so I'm thinking of ordering some. This isn't anything real important to me, but I'd just like to get something that's good to deal with for the monet I'll be doing.

on Wednesday, July 14th,">Stacy said

Would you even recommend using a thickening medium for a monet? Finding techniques on his style and what he used has been a little difficult.

on Wednesday, July 14th,">Stacy said

The problem with plein aire and impressionist painting is that no one can teach you what to do, you just need to go outside and paint. The more I'm looking at these Monet's, the more increasingly uneasy I'm feeling about this whole thing. They really are fabulous, Monet being one of my old favorites, but it's been awhile since I've looked at anything other than classical pieces of art. Hmmm...

on Thursday, July 15th, John said

It's not that 250w was neccesarily less than the power needed to drive your components. In fact you'd prolly be fine with a new 250w PS, as long as you haven't and aren't going to add new components. It may have gotten too much dust, or been damaged by the subwoofer incident, or it just burned out. They don't test literally every part that come off the line, jsut some of them, and some are just gonna die sometimes.

on Thursday, July 15th, John said

Oh, and congrats on your opening, and sales.

on Thursday, July 15th,">Elise said

If you want to create an impasto type texture for the Monet paintings, you can use a product called Lascaux Impasto Gel (which I haven't tried but sounds great) or
Liquin Impasto...I use liquin a lot, though have not tried this variety either.

I have used Winsor & Newton Oleopasto which works quite well.

I found a website called Monet's Painting Techniques" That explains a bit of how he painted including this bit "At least between around 1874 and 1895 he consistently worked in full impasto, and, when corrections had to be made, he generally left his previous working intact below the new layers."

Don't worry about the job; if you take your time and maybe do a few sample pieces to get the hang of it, I'm sure you'll do fine.

John, thanks for the bit about my power supply, I think I was just feeling pissy last night when I wrote that. I'm sure the 250 will be fine and anyway, I hear that Dell under-rates their power supplies and that actually a 250w is closer to 350w. I was mostly peeved at how I was treated.

And yes, I'm quite happy with the sales, although I haven't started any new paintings yet. I'm worried I'll get lazy if I allow myself to get undisciplined with my studio time. The weather has just been so gorgeous!

on Friday, July 16th,">Stacy said

thanks for the info. I tried ordering some oleopasto, except that it cost me $45 in shipping to Alaska for a $7 tube... so I'm just going to wait on that for now.

on Friday, July 16th,">Elise said

Hi Stacy,
I should have mentioned that for shipping with Dick Blick, you need to place orders over 200 dollars in order to make it practical. They'll give you a discount on shipping that's only 10 percent of the regular price, anyway, it's really cheap that way.

I usually wait and place an order when I've reached that amount. If you like, I'll let you know when I'm going to place another order and you can get items in on it as well.

Your other option is to have the Art Department order it for you. If you know what product you want just tell them and they add it in on their next order. If you do go through the Art Department, could you ask them to order 2 of them? I'm out as well. If that can't get the oleopasto, any of those impasto mediums should work equally well.

on Friday, July 16th,">Stacy said

The Art Dept. is out of that medium and won't be getting any in for about 3 weeks. The problem with Dick Blick is that I don't need anymore supplies... but if you *happen* to order anything from them within the next week or so, let me know?

on Friday, July 16th,">Elise said

No problem Stacy, I am always ordering stuff from them, I can always check with a few other artist friends in town to see if they need anything. If we get enough soon enough we could maybe place an order beginning of next week or so.

on Friday, July 16th,">Jackie said

Elise (and Stacey):
Have either of you tried ordering from Daniel Smith for art supplies? They have a good catalog (when I lived in Kodiak I ordered from them more than Dick Blick). They have a huge store here in Seattle.

on Friday, July 16th,">Elise said

Hi Jackie,
yes, I've ordered from them before, I think I quit awhile back because Dick Blick had cheaper shipping on large orders and I could get our local art store to order small items for me.

I haven't ordered from them in years though, so I'll have to check it out.

By the way, one of our adjunct librarians is considering taking a job as school librarian in Kodiak. She's been living here in Juneau for a long time, do you think the transition would be an easy one?

on Monday, July 19th,">Jackie said

E: Your friend would probably find Kodiak alot quieter than Juneau. We don't get the cruise ships,so there's a shorter supply of tourists. That may be a plus to her. Weather-wise, the climate is pretty similar, except that I think you get warmer summer temps, and are more protected in winter weather. Kodiak is beautiful, and there's no lack of outdoor activities for those so inclined. Do you know which school the job is at? My sister-in-law has been librarian at the High School in Kodiak for a good 5-6 years (at least since I moved down here),and has been on sabbatical (I think) the past year going to grad school in California.

Kodiak is a smaller town than Juneau - certainly has a small-town mindset. It's probably no more isolated than Juneau. They have a great auditorium with nationally and internationally- renowned performers scheduled during the fall-spring.
You're welcomed to pick my brain more on the topic-kinda hard to do a general overview of the place!

on Monday, July 19th,">Elise said

Jackie, It must be your sister-in-law that my friend will (potentially) be replacing. It's a temporary position to replace the school librarian who is away getting her MLIS!

My friend has a masters level teaching degree however, and the person she spoke to said that if they like her and she works out well in the school librarian position, then they would consider trying to hire her for any other positions that might become available, since she would be relocating to Kodiak for only a temp position.

It's not a done deal or anything but she is hopeful. From how you describe Kodiak, I'm sure she'll love it.

Anyway, what a small world eh?