Phone SPAM - Part 2

I’ve heard back from my contact at Vodacom. (cough smitty cough):

I have looked at this clients complained and have established the following: We have in the passed received similar complained from this company (Platinum) Firstly they are not a WASP service so they don’t need to comply as stated. They are a company that do sales and use random cell phone ranges prefixes 082 445 xxxx to SMS clients or call randomly. If the client wants to stop them from contacting him, he needs to call then and advise them accordingly.

Platinum 0219441600


Sounds like they are from Cape Town, (but north of the borewors curtain).

So, I phoned them… Naturally, I ended up at a voicemailbox (for extension 1649), so I asked to be called back. Lets see…

If I don’t hear from them, next stop is the Ombudsman for financial services.

migrating to aptitiude

After reading an article about using aptitude properly, I decided that it’s time to make the switch from apt-get. Sure, on some really low memory systems, running aptitude isn’t an option, but for most machines, keeping track of which packages were installed as dependancies really helps keep a system trimmed.

I didn’t like the way that the author did it, I opted for a variant of one of the comments:

aptitude markauto ‘~i!~M!~nbuild-essential!~nsubversion!~nlibncurses5-dev!~npython’ \

While rather a monster command, it does a good job of selecting things that were probably installed as dependancies. If you see anything in the list of things to be removed that you want to keep, you just add in an !~npackagename. Then after that, I run aptitude, limit to ~i!~M (installed, but not automatically) and mark everything that should be a dependancy with M.

Then, it’s simply a case of only ever using aptitude, and your system will be kept nice and clean :-)

Aptitude search patterns are really powerful, instead of having to do the whole dpkg -l | grep ^r type mission, you can just do aptitude search '~c'.

Letter to Acer 2

Gianfranco Lanci
Acer Europe SA

RE: Extended Warranty not valid outside country of purchase.
Pages: 1 (including this)

Dear Sir,

I faxed your office on the 13th of November, concerning my Acer Ferrari 4005WMLi laptop (with an Acer Advantage Extended Warranty), that my UK employer bought me, out of my salary while I was working there. The laptop’s motherboard has failed, about 14 months after it was purchased. When I tried to get it repaired by Acer South Africa, they said that my extended warranty isn’t valid outside UK. I bought the warranty because I was explicitly told it would be valid Internationally (by the sales staff at Easy Computers).

You can read the rest of my previous fax here

I’ve since heard from Dave Malherbe of Acer South Africa, who told me that your office had authorised reducing the cost of repairs from R6 099 to R4 400. That’s hardly much of a discount, and I could still buy an entire new laptop for less than that. After a few phone-calls back and forth, he even agreed to drop it to R2 250, on condition that Acer SA kept my damaged motherboard. While I appreciate this discount, it’s not what I was looking for. I want the repair done entirely at Acer’s cost, as I purchased an Extended Warranty that (I believed) entitles me to this.

I’ve seen that other people are having major hassles with Acer support, so I weighed in as well, and made my impressions of Acer public, on my blog. It’s not my intention to rage about how terrible Acer’s support is, but rather to warn others away from the nightmares I’ve had to deal with. I’ve highly recommended the Acer Ferrari 4000 to everyone who asked me about it (or high end laptops in general), and I hope that none of them ever have to deal with these kind of support issues.

Please can you organise for my laptop to be repaired at Acer’s expense, under warranty, in South Africa. I’d really like this to end amicably. I’m not enjoying life on my old substitute HP laptop very much, at all, and I’d love to have my Ferrari back in working condition.


Stefano Rivera

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