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My "emachine" experience...

I've tossed this simple little page out on to the net to warn others about the "emachine". I don't normally go around knocking manufactures about their products, but in this case, I can't help myself.

I do not work for a computer company nor do I sell any type of computer equipment and I AM NOT PUSHING any particular brand of computer. In fact, this is the only webpage that I've ever slapped together that is negative in any shape, form, or manner.

I bought my "etower 266" back in February of '99 (At the time I owned a "Micron P90"). While shopping around for a faster computer I ran across an ad for these new "emachines". The price was amazing! I HAD to have one...and since I already had a good monitor all I needed was the computer. I bought one!

The first time I cranked it up, I was amazed at how much faster it was than my old "Micron". Wow! I patted myself on the back for my clever purchase. I was well pleased with my brand new "emachine".

Do you remember that episode from "The Andy Griffith Show" where Barney bought that used car from that little old lady??? Well, it wasn't long before I knew exactly how Barney must have felt...that sinking, sick feeling...

1) The first problem that occurred was a sticky letter "T" on the keyboard. On occasion, after hitting that key, the application I was using would fill up with "t's". Ouch! I pulled out my old "Micron" keyboard and plugged it in, intending to ship the "emachine" keyboard back to "emachines" for a replacement. (I was never able to contact "emachines" for instructions on how to return it.)

2) Within the first month of ownership my floppy drive went stark raving crazy. If I tried to access the drive, it would kick on, stay on, and lock up the computer. I finally managed to get a "emachine" technician on the phone and he tried his best to get the problem corrected. No luck! All he could recommend was to reload "Windows". I did and that fixed the problem for a week or two (I'm still living with it 4 months later, unwilling to reload "Windows" every few days...Not to mentions reloading all of my other programs...) I have NO complaints about the "techie" he was friendly and he did make an all out effort to fix the problem. The problem, of course, is actually making contact with an "emachine" technician. "emachines" doesn't answer e-mail, which I finally realized after sending 4 or 5 over a month's time...And actually getting one of their technicians on the phone was purely a stroke of luck. I don't blame the "techies", I suspect that they are overwhelmed with contacts from customers. "emachines" really needs to hire some more technicians for their customer service department!

3) The last straw occurred last week when my "emachine" started making a gosh awful racket. It made my poor ole ears hurt and filled my heart with dread! I took the cover off and after poking around discovered that the power supply fan had gone bad. Even though the computer was still under warranty, I assumed that it would be take way too much of my time to get "emachines" to fix it. Even assuming I could have gotten in contact with them, they would have wanted the computer shipped back to them and my computer probably would have been gone for several weeks. I NEED my computer and CAN'T go weeks without it!

So...I decided to fix it myself! I pulled the power supply unit out and went shopping. No such luck. So I bought a replacement fan. "Samsung", the maker of the power supply, very cleverly had GROUND OFF the screw heads attaching the fan to the box. In other words, short of using a cruise missile, there is no way to separate the fan from the power supply. "Samsung" doesn't want to sell just a replacement fan, it's much more profitable to sell the ENTIRE UNIT! But I outsmarted them all (And probably voided..har har...the warranty)! I bought a replacement fan and using "Liquid Nail" (Great stuff by the way) GLUED that sucker on top of the old fan, piggy back style, and wrapped 'em both with electrical tape to control air flow. It works great and It only set me back $15, AND I didn't have to wait weeks for a repair job...Score one for me!

The only bright spot concerns my keyboard. After selling my old "Micron" along with it's keyboard I was forced to plug the sticky keyed "emachines" keyboard back in. I suppose that after all the use that it's now had, the "T" key no longer sticks. Thank goodness for small favors.

YOU might have better luck with an "emachine"...but if I had it to do all over again...I would have bought another brand and spent a "little" more money. It might be worth the risk to buy one for light duty use, but I would not recommend one if you plan on using it several hours every day.

From way down here in Mississippi: Good luck to ya'll and be careful out there...

July 7, 1999


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miked@tsixroads.com

Last updated April 4, 2000