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What kind of company fires 10% of its workforce just because of a slow quarter?

Meanwhile, HP is refusing to honor a warranty on an external hard drive I purchased nearly a year ago. They are stonewalling me so that the time limit will run out. After I used the word "fraud" and "Better Business Bureau", my case was referred to their "Quality Customer Care Team" for "personal attention", which means calling me while knowing in advance that I will not hear the phone. The Quality Team cannot use email, according to the lower level clerks.


Last night on the special CNN station that they broadcast here in the Netherlands, there was a segment on China preparing for the 2008 Olympics. One bit, clearly aimed specifically at the Dutch, showed a group of pretty teenage Chinese girls wearing traditional Dutch costume and smiling and waving at the camera. A Chinese woman being interviewed on the meaning of this explained that there is a group of Chinese youth assigned to each country to learn the language and culture, etc. She said now the Dutch can know that they already have a bunch of fans right there in China!

Such hospitable people. How many countries are there in the world? 192? Watching the shear talent and dedication (forced or not) on that bit of video made it clear that China can easily produce an army of fluent, brilliant cultural emissaries for every nation big or small.


Hey, I'd be interested to hear more about how China will settle its score with Europe.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Eric, back in 1600, China was happy to sell Europeans its silks and pottery and other manufactured things that were, frankly, of much higher quality than anything Europe could make. In exchange for gold.

This is their goal again.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

DuVaul: aren't they stinkers? All companies wiggle and whine in order to prevent anyone using warranties.


HP is not accumulating a very good reputation for service, as of late. It used to be the "gold standard" of electronics. I used to fix electronic stuff, and I used more than one HP spectrum analyzer (kind of like an oscilloscope, but designed to reveal a sort of "mountain range" of RF frequency components). Now they probably have all the stuff made in China, or somewhere, and the US offices exist only to ward off claims when the stuff fails (which is said to be often). Western Digital and Seagate are the big names in hard drives.

If you have a bad drive, there does exist software that can often "lift" data from the drive, by running the operating system from another hard drive that can attempt to access a screwed-up hard drive that is inserted in the "slave" connection. You would want to have good anti-virus software on the "master" drive, however. At the same time, you must not have more than one of anti-virus program running on any one machine. You can get a trial version of what may be the best, Kaspersky, HERE.

You can get a great free one (Avast) HERE.

Whatever anti-virus is installed on the "master" drive cannot co-exist with another one. But you could have a separate firewall, although, yet again, only one firewall can be installed on the drive. Some anti-virus proggies come with firewalls (and I don't like that idea, since diversity is a big plus). One option is the Comodo firewall:

Comodo firewall

Once you have a good "master" drive running, you can perhaps glean stuff from the slave disk with:

Drive Rescue

This "Drive Rescue" is not currently available from my usual freeware sources, so scan the hell out of it with anti-virus, and anti-trojan software, such as a-squared.

THIS ALL ASSUMES you are on a Windows platform. I hope to be moving along to SimplyMepis Linux soon HERE

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