Blogging might be slow over the next couple of days. I've been having major problems with my laptop, and although some of the finest bloggers have been known to post at work, I'm not eager to do that at the moment.
It started on my Sunday. I switched on my laptop and it wheezed, groaned, and finally ground to a complete halt; it wouldn't even start up. Instead, a message appeared on my screen telling me that my Windows file 'Hal.dll' was corrupt. I didn't even know what 'Hal.dll' was, and what it had done to make it corrupt (was it doing shady dealings with members of Saddam Hussein's regime? Was it leaking to the press without telling me?) But there it was: my computer refused to work.
Apparently I had to reinstall that file onto my computer. Easy enough - if I had the Windows disk. Unfortunately, the disk that I had used to install Windows on my computer was, um, no longer available. You know how these things happen.
The only option seemed to be to buy Windows again. I headed along to the Big W in Lonsdale Street and found a copy in the computer department there. Without looking too much at the packaging - or thinking why it was only going for one hundred and fifty four dollars and ninety-five cents - I bought it. That, as it turns out was a big mistake.
I took the copy of Windows home and put it into my computer. I tried several times to load it; load was something it would not do. I took out the packaging and looked through the booklets, and finally looked up in the top right-hand corner of the packet.
There was a sign in this corner that said 'Upgrade'. The sign indicated that I was to turn the packet on its side and read the instructions there. I did so:
Suitable for use with Windows Millenium, and Windows 98.
So it seemed this was an 'Upgrade' edition of Windows XP and not a full edition; and that it was only used to upgrade computers that had previous versions of Windows on them. I contacted Microsoft, and after having Celine Dion channeled through my brain for five minutes, I was put on to a Microsoft computer guy. He advised me that I probably did have the wrong version of Windows, and that the full version would probably cost around three hundred dollars.
Well, it looks like I'd made a complete goose of myself. In my defence, the package was wrapped in plastic and the 'Upgrade' sign was, I believe, partially obscured by a sticker carrying the barcode. It seemed fairly clear from the title in the middle of the package that I had bought a copy of 'Windows'. Not so.
Well, this Monday I was working late and had the morning off. I gathered up the receipt and took the package back to Big W. I gave it all back and asked for a refund. The girl behind the counter wordlessly took the packaging, went to the other side of the desk and started talking on the phone for five minutes. When she was done with this, she came back and told me that they could not give the money back.
I asked why not.
Apparently, because the packaging had already been opened, there 'is no way we can tell that you haven't used it.'
I was furious. I thought about staying there to argue, but there wasn't much use. I asked for the software back and left.
This is intolerable. I will get my computer working again; it has too much writing on it. I'm facing at least another three hundred dollars, and I've already foolishly spent half of that price on a useless product from a store which now refuses to pay me back for a useless product. I have no idea what to do. Can Woolworth's really get away with this? If you lovely readers have any suggestions, then hit me up in the comments box, please.
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