Tag Archives: tranquil PC

TranquilPC – good service or bad?

Whilst I’ve been frustrated with how long its taken Tranquil PC to fix my media centre, I finally got an explanation out of them on Friday; they’re not only replacing the hard drive but upgrading the whole build to the latest components needed to ensure repeat failure doesn’t happen. I’m guessing something overheated as the parts being replaced include the cooling system and the DC power supply unit.

I’m not sure if I should be annoyed at being shipped a ‘defective’ machine or impressed that they are taking the trouble to use what they’ve learned in the last 9 months of shipping my PC to upgrade it for me. I’m leaning to the latter; but we’ll see what kind of shape its in when they eventually get it back to me…

Media centre saga continues

SAMSUNG SSDAfter much chasing, the saga of my media centre PC continues. SSD failure. Who thought that happened, ever? Well… I know it happens, theoretically. I just never thought it’d happen to me. Wonderful as these devices are I guess they’re not necessarily as durable as I thought, despite the lack of moving parts.

I have been distinctly unimpressed by Tranquil PC’s response times; despite promising to return the machine within 10 working days, they’ve had it for the best part of three weeks and I’ve had to write to the company MD to get an update on where it is. I know how long it takes to swap out a drive… so not sure what they’re doing with it.

The failure is going to prompt me to accelerate my "personal cloud" strategy and choose one of the cloud providers out there to mirror my filing system. Dropbox is too expensive for the volume of data I have (50GB music, 40GB pictures, 2GB docs etc), but given that most of that data lived on the secondary SATA drive (which I’m hoping is intact) – with luck I won’t have lost anything too substantial.

What I will invariably have to do is go through the unique displeasure of reconfiguring a Windows install from scratch, including setting up the fiddly and frustrating Windows Media Centre software to receive HD, something that took a not insignificant amount of fiddly hackery to begin with. Google Chrome being the hub of a lot of what I do, and the fact it syncs stuff, will make it marginally easier, but there are other bits and pieces that need sorting too.

The rise of (Don’t) DIY PCs

h2452I’m so used to being able to fix my own computer problems it was a bit of a surprise when the – expensive – media centre PC my parents bought me for my 30th collapsed a week or so ago. Out of nowhere, it failed to boot.

The independent PC manufacturer I bought it from was unfailing in its efforts to help me troubleshoot. I was given instructions on how to remove the (clever heat-sink shaped) casing and check the cables (all fine). I ran BIOS checks myself (insofar as was possible). But there was nothing to be done – my primary hard drive had ‘vanished’ along, taking with it my Windows installation.

So it’s been shipped back to home base for maintenance. The cost of shipping, £25, is substantially less than the cost of even a small SSD of the same quality that I’d had in there, never mind the time required to rebuild the machine… but its still frustrating not to have been able to sort it myself. It’s one of the reasons I resisted Mac for all these years – I wouldn’t trust myself to take an Apple machine apart – but to its credit, at least Apple doesn’t have its sole support location in Manchester…