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[Rant] My AmigaOne ExperienceANN.lu
Posted on 06-Oct-2003 15:31 GMT by Joe (Edited on 2003-10-09 10:04:34 GMT by Christian Kemp)151 comments
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Read at your own risk. [ Please also read Alan M Redhouse's side of the story. - CK ] Hello there. Heres some good things to say to all you chirpy AmigaOne owners. I ordered a G3SE in November 2002 and it arrived Christmas eve. It wouldnt work from the start. Oh what a fun christmas that was. After a day of owning it I felt like smashing it to pieces. Nothing would boot whatsoever and when it did get so far it would crash at the logon screen. I called Eyetech and they sorted it out. After a while they switched it to KDE.

Next set of problems. Instability. I tried everything and nothing would resolve. The machine was basically unusable, it was logging out randomly. I posted on sites like this for help and didnt get much really. Then it wouldnt even boot KDE after a while for some reason, so I tried a re-install. Then it decided not to read any CD's. I just left it there gathering dust, too stressful to even think about to be perfectly honest.

Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, I called Eyetech and explained about the constant problems. They said if I replaced the ROM chip and installed Debian instead of Suse it would make things better. I explained to them on the phone, I am a bit of a novice and dont really know how to do this. "Well the instructions are very clear" they say. I say "Well could I just send it back. I dont really know what I'm doing here and I dont want to make things worse". The phone conversation ends.

As I'm getting prepared to post the whole thing off I recieve an envelope from Eyetech which apparently contains a ROM puller and a ROM chip. We did not spot this at the time. There were instructions saying you need a paperclip (not a rom puller) so we got our paperclip and got prepared to remoev the "ROM". The instructions were very clear indeed... right. The photograph supposedly illustrating how to remove the ROM properly is somewhat poor quality and the mans finger is completely covering the ROM chip, thus making it impossible to see which part to remove (like I said on the phone, were novice). After trying hard to remove the thing we ended up removing the ROM chip AND the socket and most of the pins. We knew instantly the motherboard was now well and truly ####ed. We call Eyetech and they say there is nothing we can do now. After that we discover the ROM chip and puller hidden in a tiny sponge on the back of the envelope, with the replacement ROM (if we had seen this we would have known which exact part to remove).

As you can imagine I am furious with this, after 10 months of sheer hell from investing in the new "Amiga" computer, I am over £900 down, not going to get a penny back really and I feel like smashing the thing up.

Such a thing as this is what has driven me more and more away from the Amiga community.

One furious ex-Amigan.

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Comment 1DaFreak06-Oct-2003 13:38 GMT
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Comment 43Anonymous06-Oct-2003 20:53 GMT
My AmigaOne Experience : Comment 44 of 151ANN.lu
Posted by Alan M Redhouse on 06-Oct-2003 21:05 GMT
@joe aka Mike Powell


I don't usually comment on ann, but I must make an exception in your case to put the record straight, as you seem to have been somewhat economical with the truth in your frustrated need to find someone to blame for your misfortunes.

First we managed to get your A1 system to you for Christmas, against considerable odds and with a fair bit of overtime required, after some significant pressure from your mother. We explained the nature of the 'earlybird' systems to her, but she was insistant that you were a computer whizz and knew what you were doing. The system was fully installed and working when it left us.

Between Christmas and New Year I noticed that you were complaining on amiga.org that it was not working, but again under a psuedonym making it hard to track you down, particularly as you didn't bother to email us directly. After finding out who you were I rang you and arranged for one of our engineers to visit you, a 300 mile round trip, to sort it out, without any charge. Somehow the linux swap file had got corrupted and our engineer reinitialised it, showed you how to use it and left it in a working state.

During the year you asked about an upgrade to a XEG4 and we quoted you the cost, but heard nothing more.

Three weeks ago your dad rang up and I spoke to him. He said you had lost interest and wished to sell the A1, but needed to show the prospective purchaser that it would boot into Linux properly first. He asked what was the cheapest way to achieve this, and we discussed sending it back to us. I explained to him, and you when you came to the phone, that although we were perfectly happy to do this there is always a risk that something will come dislodged in transit, or worse, damaged. I said that things had moved on since you purchased your Earlybird system and that we were now shipping the systems with Debian Linux and updated firmware. We discussed would have to be done at your end to update your sytem, and that if it was beyond your or his capabilities it is somthing that any competant local PC shop could do in a matter of minutes. We agreed that we would send you a new firmware chip and instructions on how to remove it, a new set of Debian disks and the installer CD, and the latest Quickstart guide (all without charge). You were to either change the ROM and install Debian yourselves, or pay a local PC shop to do it for you.

If there were still operational problems after that then you were to send the system back to us for sorting and we would jointly work out a less harsh method of getting the system back to you than via a courier.

The new ROM's, instructions, disks etc were sent off to you as promised.

We received a phone call from your dad today saying that you had asked him to pull the ROM, but that he had not really known what he should be doing. He told me that he had attempted to - and with the aid of a small screwdriver used as a lever - succeeded in pulling the ROM socket off the PCB, complete with attached surface mount tracks. I told him that this in my view would not be a practicable repair operation on a multilayered board such as the A1.

I am sorry that you have had this bad luck, and can understand your frustration, but I believe that we have given you good customer service over the period of ownership of your AmigaOne. I think that it is grossly unfair for you to imply otherwise, or to imply that your lack of satisfaction with the system you purchased is caused by anything other than your own lack of ability with Linux. As others on this list have pointed out we clearly state on our website that 'if you want a switch-on-and-go system the earlybird offer is not for you'.

Alan M Redhouse
#45 John #49 Lando #52 JoannaK #60 Rich Woods #74 Anonymous #96 amigamad #124 MarkTime
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