Saturday, December 27, 2003

Computer Repair #18

[This post is part of an ongoing series of posts in December cataloging how much time I spend repairing the computers here in the Brain household.]

The kids love computer games, so Irena (age 4) got the Cheerios game on CD for Christmas:

Yesterday she asks to play the game, so she unwraps the skrink wrapping and I stick the CD into her computer. I expect the CD to autorun and bring up the installer screen, but nothing happens. Urrr... This CD must have some crazy way to do the install. I take out the CD liner notes from the case and read the "Getting Started" section. It says:Seems normal. I assume a problem with AutoPlay, so I follow steps 2 and 3. There is no setup.exe file on the disk.

So I open the explorer and look at the disk. There are only 5 files on the disk:At this point, it is obvious that this CD is not going to work. There is no setup.exe file, and it appears that large parts of the game are missing. Irena, being 4, is asking, "When do I get to play?" So what do I do now? Call Tech Support and wait 10 minutes on hold so that they can tell me to take the CD back, so that I can get another one, which is likely to be defective too? (never mind that it is probably impossible to find the receipt, and never mind the amount of time it takes to return the CD.)

This isn't any different from buying any other toy that turns out to be defective on Christmas morning. But this goes a little beyond "defective" -- they've probably shipped thousands of these CDs and none of them will work. So there are thousands of other four year old kids across America and their parents are all stuck with this today. Thanks, Cheerios. Thanks Simon & Schuster Interactive.

Time spent on this repair: 5 minutes. Time spent consoling child: 10 minutes.

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