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Background on the Toshiba. . .

Comparing major computer manufacturers, Toshiba has possibly the worse layout and organization I've ever seen. Every time I've tried to find information, it took an excess of 30 minutes of navigating the maze of links and defective search forms before I give up and scoot off to Google to try to find information.  If I had to judge from their website, I can't even confidently say that Toshiba actually makes computers. So I was less than thrilled when I learned from the original purchaser of the laptop that Toshiba had settled a class-action lawsuit levied against them involving a defective component in the monitor. It takes at least 6 clicks to even get to where Toshiba sells computers, which is an activity which they want to be successful with. Now how hard would it be to find information Toshiba would rather me not have?

As I had mentioned before, the Toshiba a few weeks after the Compaq Presario , always finicky about wanting to work, seemed to die for good. (It turned out that the new IBM 20GB drive I installed to replace the 6GB drive had died.) Now, when I first received the Toshi, it was near dead as well.  The original plan was to salvage the memory chips and other removable parts and install them into the Compaq. But at the time of its arrival, the Compaq seemed to be headed to the happy computing grounds, so I decided to see if the Toshiba was fixable. The Toshiba almost booted up completely once before freezing and crashing -- hard. After that, it would not turn on...ever again.  At most, the cooling fan would start up. Not very much good news to be pulled from that. But it was a bit more hopeful a situation than the Compaq, so I decided to take in to a local repair shop, and hope it might be a cheap repair.

Not a chance. It came to a defective mainboard and $500. Yeah, now you can get decent notebooks for $700- 800 after rebate, but back then you'd be lucky to get something for twice the repair cost of the mainboard. $1400-1600 was more likely for entry level machines. (Now, it's considered mid-level.) Anyway, I decided to drop the change on Toshi and two weeks later I had a working portable once again. Working, except for one thing -- every so often, the screen would dim drastically or even blank out. It would blank out regardless of the power saving settings, regardless of whether it was running on battery or on AC, and regardless of whether I was actually typing on it at the time. Read that previous sentence again. It would blank out even if I was at the machine typing or using the trackpad to manipulate the arrow pointer. It appeared the screen had decided to go on strike.

I'll continue on this and get to the class-action in my next post... It's getting late, and I need to find the paper with the class action settlement's website. I'll give you a clue... no amout of searching Toshiba's webpage will lead you to it.

Continued >>>