Monday, September 29, 2008

Laptop battery woes on Vista

Windows Vista wallpaper (by Microsoft)If you've got a laptop running Vista and it seems that your laptop battery never seems to hold a charge between the times that you use it, don't blame the battery -- blame Vista!

The default action for the SHUTDOWN menu option on Windows Vista is, believe it or not, SLEEP. Sleep makes the laptop boot up quicker when you turn it on, and that's what Microsoft says people want. The side effect is that Vista continues to draw a minimal amount of power from the battery while it is in Sleep mode. If you don't use your laptop very often, expect the battery to be dead or very low on power when you turn it on days later.

I first noticed this on our home laptop and have confirmed it in at least one of our test laptops at work.

Here's an explanation and here's a step-by-step guide to changing them, if you're not familiar with where they're located.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Countdown to Smart Car contest final

Someone from the Ottawa Sun called my home today. Fortunately, my wife was home and took the message rather than our crappy answering machine. They now have a date set for the "wrap-up event" for the contest that I qualified for back in June -- October 20th!

I was beginning to think that they'd never call. Apparently, they're also sending printed invitations very soon. He also told my wife that I need to bring a valid driver's licence.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The call

The dealership called this evening while I was making supper. Unfortunately, it was just their usual survey regarding the last visit -- in this case, the one where we took the truck to get its tires checked. It wasn't "Michael", so I don't know if this was the same call that we got yesterday.

I gave them a good review, although there really wasn't much for them to do other than to confirm that the OEM tires were crap.

I'll wait for Ford to mail us a survey and comment about the poor quality of the OEM tires since that's not the dealership's fault, it's Ford's.

Jim Keay breaks the silence

Someone named "Michael" from the Jim Keay Ford Lincoln dealership called yesterday and asked for me. But I wasn't home. They left a message with my mother inlaw saying that they would call back.

I assume that they'll try again today, after I get home from work. I'll be interesting to see what they have to say.

I did a search of "Jim Keay" and "FixAuto" on Google this afternoon and my complaint letter that I posted here shows up as the 3rd hit. If I just search for "Jim Keay", my more recent post about not hearing from them shows up 8th.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why are OEM tires crap?

With our first Ford Escape, a leased 2005 FWD XLT, the tires that came with it (Continental ContiTrac?) lasted almost 3 years before needing replaced.

On our purchased 2008 4WD XLT, just over a year old and with less than 22,000kms on it, we had to replace all four tires this morning... ~$700. :(

For the last month or so, on mostly smooth roads, we could hear a light "thup" sound that would speed up or slow down, depending on how fast we were driving.

I suspected the tires. We took it to the dealership and they confirmed that it was indeed the tires and they openly admitted that it's not the first time they've seen that happen with the original tires. Unfortunately for us, there's no warranty on OEM tires.

I've always heard that OEM tires on all makes of cars are generally crap, but this is the first time that we actually encountered a problem.

The guy at Canadian Tire said that OEM tires generally have a lower quality rating than the exact same tires if they were bought new.

Why do tire manufacturers willingly sell poor quality tires to car manufacturers? As a consumer, I might now label all tires from that manufacturer as being crap, even if they're not, because they sold a sub-standard tire at a cheaper cost to the car manufacturer. They're only hurting themselves in the long run.
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