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Ubuntu on Lifebook

About a month ago, I finally got up the nerve to wipe the Windows (and install Ubuntu) on my old Fujitsu P7120 Lifebook. I was quite surprised when a notification that my battery may have been recalled appeared on the screen immediately after installing the new OS.

I followed the link Ubuntu gave to the machine it had only just started living in a minute before (something Microsoft had somehow failed to do, ever). A few minutes later, I had confirmed my battery was indeed part of the recall. Fujitsu’s web site issued a confirmation email. I was ecstatic that a six year old notebook was about to get a new battery.

Several weeks passed, so I checked their confirmation email and found my order number on shop.fujitsu.com, where the status was still at RECEIVED. This this should have shipped at least the same week, so I called the toll free number and pressed the buttons. Fun.

The Fujitsu support person was somewhat clueless. After I told him I had an order number and confirmation, he still took me through the whole process of making the claim again. So, after reading off the serial number, battery lot number, and my address and everything directly from the confirmation email, I finally successfully reiterated (for the fourth time in that phone call) that the web site had already confirmed eligibility and generated my new battery order.

Once this had finally been established, my case was “escalated” and I was instructed to wait for a call from an “Escalation Specialist” within 2-3 days. The fact that it takes that long for something that’s “escalated” to receive attention makes me want to become an industry expert or consultant or something.

Anyway, I got the call yesterday. The person who took care of me really did a great job. We discovered the battery program had long since been discontinued, as the recall was in 2006 when the machine was still pretty new.

Also, I was told this machine was actually registered to the seller, Portable One instead of me as a private owner. That web site has a really good reputation, but I remember they severed their relationship with Fujitsu almost simultaneously with my purchase. Fujitsu told me that they may have received the recall notification and failed to forward it to me back in 2006. Of course, I also might have deleted any email from them thinking it was some kind of email marketing effort.

My “Escalation Specialist” worked around the expired recall program, changing the owner information to me instead of the reseller and placing the replacement battery order as a parts order at no charge. Props to Fujitsu for empowering their employee to do the right thing.

I gave this notebook to my Mom a few years after I bought it (a few years ago now), so it had been out of sight/mind for quite a while. When I later bought her a new notebook, I stuck the P7120 in a bag that sat on a shelf by my desk for over a year. 

I’ve frequently considered either converting it into a “netbook” (even though it has an 80GIG HD) or maybe installing some other form of Linux on it since Windows was beyond broken when I replaced it as my Mom’s computer.

So, the brand new battery showed up perfectly on schedule for me today. It’s charging right now. When my Lifebook was brand new, the battery lasted some ridiculously long period of time. In later years, it would only last around 15 minutes, which I don’t think had anything to  do with the recall… so if this battery is anywhere new in condition, I’ll have a truly portable system again. 

Of course, I have an iPad, so I don’t even know why I would want or need to bring this thing somewhere… but it’s not a bad deal for free, right?

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Ubuntu

Minutes after installing Ubuntu on my old Fujitsu Lifebook (PC notebook), I got this notification telling me the battery was recalled. This recall happened FIVE YEARS AGO, but neither Fujitsu or Windows was able to notify me. Ubuntu has been on the machine for a few minutes and a free battery for a 5 year old computer is shipping this week.

So far, I am very impressed with Ubuntu and you should be too!

Windows never told me this! (by Shawn Honnick)

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Windows XP: Windows XP’s Availability Extended Until May 2009

Windows XP: Windows XP’s Availability Extended Until May 2009