Today I found out that my laptop has been effectively toasted. Not a great result for a computer I bought about a year and a half ago (I think I bought it in September 2008). Turns out that the CPU fan and heat sink assembly apparently needs to be replaced. Best Buy quoted me $253.06 to do the replacement, which is ridiculous given that I bought the computer itself for about $650 including a 1-year warranty. I looked up the fan and heat-sink assembly part number on the web and a new one costs between $30-$50 (depending on which processor/video card assembly I have), so, to me, it looks like Best Buy is trying to take me for a ride. Of course, the “diagnostic” costs ran up $85, which I don’t get back. Ridiculous how much repair companies screw over less-technical consumers. Most consumers wouldn’t even attempt a repair themselves–I tried it but didn’t want to wreck anything, so stopped halfway.
Anyhow, this means I’m once again in the market for a new laptop. I think I’m going to go with a Dell, this time, given that I haven’t heard too many problems about them and NI has some nice employee discounts with Dell. This is the first time I’m stepping out of the HP market in nearly 6 years (basically since college) and given my experience with Toshiba (in high school) and Compaq (which has now been bought by HP), my realistic choices are basically Dell, Lenovo and Sony. And, I guess, Apple. I will be not-very-seriously looking at Apple during my purchase, this time, and if the pricing matches up properly, who knows? Of course, I’d have to sacrifice 64-bit Windows (I think?) unless Boot Camp can run that stuff now.
With my old laptop, I’ve already salvaged my hard-disk so what I could do is reuse the RAM in my new purchase (if their timing, etc. matches up) or try to buy the fan/heat sink assembly online and fix it myself. We’ll see after I get my laptop back.
Anyhow, that’s it for now. Just a bit of grumptastic news, but the bright side is I will be getting a new computer soon (oh, my!).