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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at

Where’s My Laptop

It’s been almost 4 weeks without my laptop. I mailed it back to Toshiba and they received it on Dec 4. They then worked on it, and I got a few updates before they shipped it back on Dec 13, which was within their 7-10 business day window. I got a great lack of data about what was wrong in the package with a blank tech report. I did get some updates on the web, which listed a replacement system board and graphics board.

I had it for about 12 hours, having it blue screen while booting up on Dec 16th at night. I even pulled the memory chips out one at a time, replacing them back in to check on those being bad. I also tried to reload the OS, none of which worked. It constantly core dumped before loading Windows.

So I immediately took it back to the UPS store after calling Toshiba on Dec 17 and shipped it out. The Depot had it on 12/21, and since then I’ve had one note on 12/23 that says "diag - error code 0x0000009C""

No idea what that means, and I can see the tech having the 24th and 25th off, but today? Nothing?

Shoddy service, and it’s a huge pain. On the 12th I almost bought a new laptop from Amazon thinking that it would be good to have a spare. Then this past weekend, being unable to write upstairs, I started looking again.

I remember Glenn Barry talking about his PDC gift, and I checked out the specs. It’s a nice machine and has one thing I think is pretty cool: it will connect with broadband by inserting a SIM. That might be handy, and easier to use the tethering, which still seems immature. I found one for sale on Craigslist and I’m tempted to get it, but I want to be sure the keyboard isn’t too small.

I also tried out the 11” laptop I got my oldest and that seems like the keyboard might just work, so if I don’t get the Acer tablet, I think I will get a spare 13” or 14” laptop just in case.


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