Zhooibaal\’s house of the unholy

29 July 2006

The BenQ Chronicles: The Final Nights

Filed under: Other — zhooibaal @ 14:59000000

Benq
As some of you probably know, I’ve been having a little dispute with computer manufacturer BenQ. If you don’t know about this yet, you can read the entire story I have posted in the past by following the next few links in chronological order:

  1. First Daniel, now me…
  2. Relief…
  3. Now it’s official: I f*cking hate Benq and KDZ Express
  4. The Benq chronicles part #1
  5. The Benq chronicles: small update
  6. The Benq chronicles@Geeklimit.com

So, what do we have now. The title of this blog entry sais “The Final Nights… This means that the dispute has almost been solved now! After 4 months of phonecalls and e-mails (this only applies to the last incident) I finally got what I wanted out of them, but I’ve save that for the end of this story. First the last chapter of my fight against Benq: enjoyment matters.

The final battle

After the last return (which must have been about 1 or 1.5 months ago, I don’t remember the exact date) I could only conclude that my laptop’s dvd burner was still not functioning properly. So yet again, I gave the BenQ RMA hotline another call to say the same thing again that I’ve said multiple times allready to get the same answer again too. They wanted to come and pick it up again, but this time, I refused. I told them that I wanted this issue to be solved and that I wanted it to be solved quickly, it had to be done yesterday or actually even a month ago.
So now this guy told me to go the website and send an e-mail to BenQ and await their response. He also told me that it was important to give them every detail possible. Because the RMA hotline and the service center aren’t actually BenQ, but another company hired by Acer Group (BenQ is a part of Acer Group), they couldn’t help with that. I think that that is quite a shitty excuse not to help me, but I did that anyway.
So, I wrote quite a lengthy e-mail to BenQ, received a confirmation from the website that it had been received and so I started waiting for a response… 1 week later… NOTHING. So then again, I called the RMA Hotline and they told me that this wouldn’t neccesarliy be a band sign; if it takes longer than a few days, then it might be possible that the problem has been moved up to a higher level, so that means that they are working on it. OK, fine, so I waited another month and then I decided that it was time to write yet another e-mail, this time a bit less friendly. Another week passed, no response whatsoever.
As you can probably guess, I was yet again getting pretty angry with BenQ because of this.
Yet another e-mail went their way… This one (English below):

Beste heren/dames,

De kwestie waarover ik eerder al een aantal keren gemaild heb en waarover ik ook al een aanzienlijk aantal keren telefonisch contact met de RMA helpdesk heb gehad loopt ondertussen al meer dan 3 maanden (vanaf 4 april om precies te zijn) en ik vraag me nu toch echt af of dat jullie hier eigenlijk wel mee bezig zijn?
Hebben jullie enig idee hoe vervelend het is als een apparaat 3 keer achter elkaar voor hetzelfde probleem niet of onvoldoende wordt gerepareerd? En hoe vreselijk vervelend het is als er daarna geen contact wordt opgenomen na alweer meerdere e-mails? Als u mij probeert te bellen zal dat in mijn pauzetijd moeten gebeuren zoals ik in de vorige mail ook al heb laten weten, dus tussen 13:30u en 14:30u of na 18:00u als ik ben afgewerkt. Ook helpt het niet echt om 1 keer te proberen te bellen en dan vervolgens weer een week niet. Ik heb al een aantal keren thuis het bericht gekregen dat Benq weer eens gebeld had en dat die mij op mijn mobiel zouden bellen, maar de tijden waarop ik door iemand op mijn mobiel ben gebeld was blijkbaar tijdens werktijd en daarna geen enkele poging meer. Hoe denken jullie op zo’n manier iemand aan de lijn te krijgen? Het is toch gewoon volkomen zinloos?

Het enige wat ik wil is dat mijn laptop eens een keer volledig goed wordt gerepareerd en dat hij dus niet in een maar deels werkende staat wordt teruggebracht en ook zou een verontschuldiging voor hoe dit is gelopen en een compensatie voor het ongemak erg op zijn plaats zijn.

Ik hoop u hiermee voldoende te hebben ingelicht en een spoedig antwoord per e-mail of telefoon (dus tussen 13:30u en 14:30u) zou ik zeer op prijs stellen.

mvg.

–Jens Waschk

English version:

Dear sirs/ladies,

The question about which I have sent you multiple e-mails and about which I have called the RMA Hotline several times allready is allready running for more than 3 months now (from april 4th to be exact) and I really wonder if you are actually doing anything about this at all
Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have a device that has to be returned 3 times in a row for the same problem and that it comes back without repairs or badly repaired? And how terrible irritating it is that when you send mutliple e-mails that you still don’t get any response? If you want to call me, you’ll have to that during my breaktime as stated in the previous e-mail, so between 13:30h and 14:30h or after 18:00u when I get off work. It also doesn’t really help if you only try to call once and then wait for another week to try again. A few times when I got home from work I got the message that BenQ had tried to call me and then that they would call me on my cellphone, but the only times I got called on my cellphone was during worktime and never again after that. How do you think you can ever get hold of someone when you do things like this? This is completely useless, isn’t it?

The only thing I want is that my laptop will be repaired properly for once and that it doesn’t get returned in only a partial working state and an apology and compensation for the discomfort would be right in place here.

I hope to have informed you enough for now about this and I would appreciate it if you would contact me either by e-mail or by telephone (between 13:30h and 14:30h).

Yours truly,

–Jens Waschk

But no, ofcourse I didn’t get any response to this, I should have expected that. So now I decided to look up the number of BenQ NL in the digital phonebook and simply call them instead of that shitty service company. I had a little talk with the lady on the other side and I could clearly notice that she didn’t really like me. She sounded irritated after the first minute allready and I kept her on the phone for about 10 minutes and finally she gave me an e-mail address so I could contact BenQ directly and she told me that I would get an answer by next monday (I called BenQ on friday july 14th). So I should have gotten a response to that e-mail on monday july 17th, the lady’s name was Monica and she told me to address it to her. I won’t include the e-mail here, because it sais just that what you can read in the other stories and this story as well.

Ofcouse I didn’t get a response that monday so I sent another e-mail, just a reminder and this friday (yesterday) I decided to call once more and act really angry and throw away my friendlyness entirely. I threw quite some nasty words to the lady on the phone (Monica again) and then she decided to put me through to the head of the service department, exactly what I was hoping for.
The head of the service department is also a lady, called Jessy May (I think, I got some e-mails from her as well in a previous issue, which was handled properly in contradiction to this one) and after exchanging a few harsh words with her she finally told me the thing I was hoping for:

Instead of trying to fix the laptop once more, she promised me that a new laptop was allready been ordered and that it’s due to arrive next week or the week after that and that my old crappy laptop was going to be exchanged for that one!

Finally, some good news, now I can only wait for the darn thing to arrive and then I shall say goodbye to Deimos forever and I shall call the new one Deimos MK2 and hope that that one is better…

…Next line.

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18 July 2006

The joystick for the quick

Filed under: Bargain hunting, Console gaming, NES — zhooibaal @ 18:24000000

Take a look at this:
NES Quickjoy 1NES Quickjoy 2NES Quickjoy 3
This is actually a real and fully functional joystick for the NES! It was kind of the complete opposite of what I was expecting though. I had it mixed up with a joystick-like device that was released for the SNES a few years later. It looked like this:
SNES joystick
As you can see, the SNES joystick is quite a bit larger and has more of a arcade style feel to it.

The NES joystick, better known as the QuickJoy, doesn’t actually offer any new movement features. No analog control or something like that. It moves just like the d-pad on the original controller does, with the only exception being the stick on top of it. It does feature an auto-fire function though, but I haven’t actually tried that.

It’s quite good fun to play with this thing instead of the standard rectangle NES controller, but playing Super Mario Bros. with this thing is nearly impossible. A game that is very well playable with the QuickJoy is Slalom and I bet that there are a lot more games that are very well playable with the QuickJoy. One of those games would be this little game where you control a penguin sliding over the ice trying the reach the other side without getting hit by the obstacles and while picking up powerups, but I forgot that game’s title.

I got the QuickJoy for a mere €5,00 from gamesgarage, not too much for a controller that I had never seen before in my life, which is also the main reason for the mixup with the SNES joystick. If I ever get a SNES (which I undoubtly will) I definitly want one of those as well!

Another interesting thing I found while I searched for the SNES joystick on google was this:
SNES to USB
This is a device that converts the SNES controller port to plain old USB which will allow you to connect any SNES controller to your PC or MAC. Unfortunatly the webshop where I found this one does no longer sell it… Bollox…

…End of line.

04 July 2006

Layout changy time!

Filed under: Other, Random — zhooibaal @ 20:49000000

Dear readers,

For some strange reason the layout I was using before today got me bored of it and I decided to change it to this one. It’s not the newest one available here on WordPress, but it’s more functional than the other one and I think it just looks smooth.
What’s also very important is that this theme supports comments on pages, so if you think you can add something usefull to any of the pages found in the sidebar, feel free to post. However, I set that all posted comments need to be approved before they appear on the site, because a lot of spam messages are being missed by Akismet Spam, the built in spamfilter here. But don’t worry, I will approve all comments that are not spam or otherwise unacceptable.
I can’t give you a real definition of what’s acceptable and what’s not, but if your comment doesn’t ever show, you can assume that I found it to be unacceptable.

This way you can also just post something you’d like only me to know as a comment somewhere, but state that it’s a private message in the first line of the comment and I won’t have it appear on the site.

Yours truly,

–Jens a.k.a. Zhooibaal

…End of line.

Sega, it’s Mega!

Filed under: Bargain hunting, Console gaming, Games, MegaDrive, Retro — zhooibaal @ 20:27000000

Last saturday, july 1st, my buddy Frank van Gent brought me this very nice piece of old videogame console hardware which we had agreed on me taking it over for €20,00 (nice price :D).
Frank is a dj over at GamesFM.nl, he has his own show there called Mad Rock which is dedicated solely to heavy rock and metal and broadcasts every monday and thursday from 22:00h till 24:00h local time (GMT+1). You can listen to it here.

Please note that GamesFM is a Dutch internet radiostation, so any talking will be in Dutch.

Anyway, the hardware he got me is nothing less than a Sega Megadrive 2 (hence the title of the post) bundled with 2 controllers, the Menacer package and 8 games. Sonic 3 came bundled with the console as well. The Sega Megadrive may be better known as the Sega Genesis in the USA.

The MegaDrive itself looks very clean and is in a great working condition and so are the controllers:
MegaDrive 2 boxMegaDrive 2MegaDrive 2 controllers

Then there is the Menacer, which was Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Super Scope for the SNES. I don’t have that one yet, but I’m sure that’ll get one sometime in the future.
The Menacer, unlike the Super Scope, can be taken apart to use it for different types of games. You can use it as a single handed handgun by using only the base unit. You can also use it as a 2 handed rifle by attaching the stabilizer part to make it rest against your shoulder or you can even use it as a sniper, like the Super Scope, by attaching both the stabilizer and the binocular module.
As you can probably allready understand, the Menacer is quite versatile, but unfortunatly, it doesn’t work perfectly on my TV set. This is probably due to the fact that my TV is 100hz and should be 50hz for the Menacer to funciton properly, just like the lightgun for my Saturn which is found in this post (the large blue gun). Allthough the Menacer suffers a lot less from the 100hz than that Saturn lightgun does, it’s still noticable that it’s not very accurate on it. Sometimes (with the onscreen crosshair turned on) you can see your aim jumping around the screen from time to time.
I don’t think the Menacer is very good looking either… To be more precise, I think it’s friggin’ ugly, but that doesn’t matter, it works and it’s cool 😛
Menacer boxMenacer disassembledMenacer assembled

And last but not least, the games:
MegaDrive games
I have yet only played Menacer and Virtua Racing. Mortal Kombat and Sonic probably don’t need an introduction, but Eternal Champions kind of does. I hadn’t ever heard of this game before and found out that it is a 2D beat ’em up, but I haven’t yet played it.
Menacer just is a collection of 6 simple games that are controller with, oh yeah, the Menacer. 5 of them involve shooting at stuff with the Menacer, but one of them doesn’t. In one game you controll a ball and you have to bump another ball to the wall to turn the color of the piece of the wall you hit. Once they’re all turned, you win and go to the next level. In this game the Menacer acts like a primitive type of motiontracking controller.

And finally, here is a picture of me holding the fully assembled Menacer:
Me holding the Menacer
Frank, thanks again and don’t forget to come over for a game of Virtua Racing sometime soon!

…End of line.

01 July 2006

Here we go! Super Mario!

Filed under: Games, Nintendo DS — zhooibaal @ 16:11000000

Yesterday was the official release of New Super Mario Bros. for the NDS in Europe. In Japan it has been out for over a year now and in the USA most people have finished it a long time ago as well.

I still think it’s bullshit that games like this don’t get released on the same date worldwide… I’ve played the American version that my buddy Daniel has and now I’ve played the European version and the only difference between these two is the coverart. It’s the exact same game, so, to be honest, I don’t think there is a legit excuse for not releasing this game on the same day here in Europe as in the USA…

So, yesterday was the official release, but stores have been selling it a few days earlier allready, so I decided to pick one up. The store (Intertoys Budel) had both the USA and the European version. The difference being a black box for the USA version and a white translucent box for the European version and some different coverart. I decided to take the European version.
New Super Mario Bros.
So, what’s to tell? It’s Super Mario Bros. exactly the way it should be, period. Read more about it here.

…End of line.

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