Remember that Samurai computer I bought from Dick Smith so long ago? The one that gave me two years of erratic troubleful service and which died on me more times than I can remember? The one that just as the extended warranty period was about to expire, they finally accepted was in fact crap and repaired under warranty, providing it with a new motherboard, new processors and new SATA drives? The one that a few days after being completely upgraded and supposedly fully repaired died yet again, repeating its earlier trick of going into an endless cycle of rebooting? The one I could not get to operate normally.
I had put it aside, bought a Lenovo laptop (subsequently stolen in Fiji) and basically had forgotten about it, leaving it wrapped in bubblewrap until I figured out what to do with it, or got around to salvaging usable components from it.
When I returned from Fiji, I brought it over to Australia with my other possessions.
I mentioned it to a young friend here in Katanning, who happens to be a bit of a computer whiz. He said he would take a look at it, so I dropped it off before Christmas, not expecting him to actually succeed in making the heap of Dick Smith Crap actually work.
But he did.
He found the problem that the service agents could not, and assures me the PC is now going, and should henceforth be reliable. I shall set it up this weekend, once I have tidied up the desk and made some room for it. As you might guess, the fault was actually a simple matter, once discovered. Someone had set the amount of memory available to the graphics and sound cards at a ridiculously low allocation. The computer was unable to boot up because it believed it had only 64 Mb of memory available instead of 2 Gb. So it looks as if I may be back in business on the PC. We shall see on the weekend.
The thing about Brad is that he is a young man with a young family, and is on a pension due to a serious injury that has left him partly disabled and in constant pain. Something I know a little about, at least enough to be aware that it can affect one’s outlook on life.
I should also mention that I first met Brad as a result of his non-registered unqualified fly-by-night plumber having carried out illegal and non-compliant work on his septic tank and effluent system. In other words I was the bureaucratic bastard from the Shire that made him rectify matters. Despite some court cases and tribunal hearings, he did not get anything substantial back from the cowboy he had initially engaged, so it cost him quite a lot of money. He had very little reason to feel well-disposed towards me. The only favour I did him was to convince the boss that he should not be prosecuted.
Yet he has been courteous and friendly all the time I was on his case. A true gentleman.
I offered him the PC to repair in order to give him an opportunity to earn a few dollars. When he actually fixed it I offered him $200 (being considerably less than 10% of what the feckin’ thing has cost me, or would cost me again to replace it). He declined payment of any amount, saying that he received a couple of hundred dollars a week in disability allowance, and he had decided that a good way to repay his “debt to society” was by helping out the hard working taxpayers who supported him. In this case; me. What more can I say?