Thursday, September 26, 2013

Problems with Dell XPS One 2710

About a month ago, I purchased a refurbished Dell XPS One 2710 all-on-one desktop Windows 8 PC from Costco.com (online) - to replace my 7-year old Apple iMac.



The Dell arrived quickly and booted just fine. I realized that I really dislike Windows 8 and decided to install Windows 7. I ordered a Crucial M4 mSATA SSD (256GB Flash) and installed it inside the Dell with Windows 7. Now, I could boot either Windows 7 or 8.

The computer has been running great for the past month until two days ago.

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the Dell started having problems connecting to my Asus RT-66U router. It would connect and then randomly disconnect in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

I contacted Dell support and after 30 minutes of analysis, the technician requested that a new Dell DW1703 wireless card be sent to me, to correct this issue. A Unisys repairmen came in the next day and replaced my  DW1703 wireless card. However, the repair did not fix the problem and the PC still has intermittent connectivity.

Another Dell representative called me on Friday morning to ask about the Wireless repair and I explained that no progress has been made. We ended up trying lots of various things for over 90 minutes without any resolution. How many times can one install and re-install drivers?

Now, I need to decided whether to purchase another PCIe wireless card and install it, to see if this solves the issue or return the computer to Costco and purchase another iMac.

I finally decided that I had enough of debug time with Dell. The iMac seemed to tempting. I decided to return the Dell XPS One to Costco.

Today, I packed it up and returned it back. Now, I need to see which iMac is the most suitable replacement.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kayaking on Donner Lake

Today, we decided to visit Truckee and the nearby Donner Lake, to enjoy the last remnants of late summer at Lake Tahoe. The day was sunny and warm , but became overcast in the afternoon, with a light shower.

The beach around Donner Lake was nearly empty and there were few people around.


Alex and Sasha did a few round of kayaking on Donner Lake. The water was a bit cold, but they did not mind and had a lot of fun. Here is a short video of their kayaking.







Inna and Alla also got to try out the ocean. They got caught in a light shower on the lake, but didn't mind. Inna went swimming in the cold lake afterwards.




We went for a short hike around the lake, covering mostly flat ground with lots of pines all around.



The trail was not asphalted, so Alex could not ride his scooter on the trail.



After the hike, we returned to our residence for dinner.


Eggs sunny side up coming right up.


Alex, little Sasha, and Liza enjoyed the hot tub.



Sunday, September 14, 2013

We decided to try mountain biking from Squaw Valley to Lake Tahoe along the paved bikepath naerby. The path follows Truckee River and we enjoyed the beautiful Lake Tahoe National forest.




A few people were rafting down the Truckee river. It seemed quite shallow in places.