Je ne suis pas Lenovo.

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.

Readers may have noticed that I have not posted for a while. My semi-routine blogging got interrupted – by Lenovo. Here’s how.

My office’s copier contract ended and it was time for a new copier. Copiers these days – I address those more Luddite than I am – are networked. That means one needs a computer that connects your computer to the copier. I call it the server – hopefully not a stone age reference. (The computer guy keeps a straight face.) Then you can scan to your computer (and other users’ computers), fax, and print remotely to the copier. I needed a new computer to act as the server as the one that served this function to the old copier  was a computer as heavy as a Buick and that ran an operating system that Windows does not support anymore  so it was extremely vulnerable to hacking. I doubted the new copier could talk to the old computer. My solution – take my home desktop to work and have it serve as the server and then get something else for home. I liked the idea of something I could use as a desktop, a laptop for travel, and a pad for reading. I earlier had a laptop/tablet and realized, as I was developing Popeye forearms, that it was too large and heavy to serve as a proper pad. I bequeathed it and went back to my desktop for writing and actual paper for reading – putting back to use the paper bundles with witty covers the New Yorker would send me every week. But now was my chance to try again.

Searching the net, I found that Lenovo had a new product, the Thinkpad Tablet 10. It claimed to be a pad with all the power and capability of a laptop or desktop and the ability to be configured to actually be a laptop or desktop through a series of ingenious accessories, including a Dock (not a docking station) which, according to its YouTube boosters, was magnetic, elegant, and ingenious. I decided to get it. Curiously, here was the machine of the Millenium, imho, and no one was selling it. A few days after I caught the purchase fever – like new Love, when I decide I want to buy something after careful, rational research, once the decision is made, I can barely think of anything else until I have it. My capitalist Minders have trained me well – I found it on Amazon, and thanks to Amazon Prime, had it two days later. I got it just in time to bring my desktop to work to assume its new role as a server.

Now at home, where I usually write my blog, I had a pad, which one would have to have the tenacity of Jean-Dominique Bauby (Dive Bell and the Butterfly) to write a blog with, which I don’t. I needed the Dock. Again, curiously, the accessories were not available in stores or online. This is a real product with a real company behind it, Lenovo, probably the largest tech company in the whole Communist International,  and yet the accessories for a device marketed as great because of the great accessories, were not available. Despairing, and without a writing tool to satisfy my readership, I went to the source, the Lenovo website, and ordered the Dock and a nifty cover, also not available anywhere, from Lenovo directly. Soon, but not Amazon-soon, thereafter, the cover came, but no Dock. A patient person – remember I am an immigration lawyer and deal with a bureaucracy for which 60 days is the blink of an eye – I waited about three weeks for the Dock. I then emailed Lenovo through their Customer Contact online system twice and got no reply (and no notion that the emails were ever sent). Finally, I called Lenovo. The woman in Customer Service tapped away on her keyboard which I could hear over the phone and told me that my cover was delivered three weeks earlier. I agreed, but told her that it was the Dock I was calling about. She tapped away a little more and then asked if she could put me on hold. Having not embezzled billions from party coffers, I thought it safe to wait. She came back five minutes later and informed me that Lenovo was not making the Dock. I exclaimed, “That is real weird because that is the only reason I bought the pad in the first place.” All that waiting to get a pad that would also be a desktop (I should add that with the cover and a bluetooth portable keyboard I bought, it was also supposed to work like a laptop, though the cover, which served as a stand, sucked as a stand), and it could never happen. Never. Ever. I realized that berating a poor lady on a telephone in Orange County (I am guessing) about my motivation to buy my computer would help neither of us, I thanked her and hung up. I had gone a month in anticipation, learned Windows 8.1, which I think is a quick way to develop schizophrenia – should I go online or use an app, but the app isn’t available (I think the tag line for all app advertisements should be, “Now available at the iTunes Store, coming soon for Android, and never for Windows.”), should I type it, click it, or touch it? – and ended up without my dream machine. I contacted Amazon online, printed out some labels, and sent the Pad back. To my relief, Amazon took it back and refunded me. Then I went to the store and got a new desktop – I am right back in the 1990’s where I belong.

And so, readers, that is why I have been down for the last month or so. One day I’ll find that versatile pad that is also a desktop and perhaps also a portable fishing rod. But that will have to wait until this desktop becomes obsolete in 2025. Anyway, to paraphrase Charlton Heston, Damn you to hell, Lenovo. Posted January 18, 2015.


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