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Oldfolks Home “I Hate Dell” (Influenza)

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Oldfolks Home I Hate Dell

Approach Influenza as a series which serves to help give insight as to where music is born; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists. Here, Ricardo Lopez of Winnipeg’s Oldfolks Home describes the song that may forever remove the group from consideration for a Dell sponsorship.

On “I Hate Dell”:

In January of 2003, I received my very first computer which I had ordered from Dell computers a few weeks prior. I was very excited because this finally meant that I could download anime straight to my own computer and not my roommates, and more importantly, I could start recording music at home. Whilst I was waiting for the computer to arrive, I had been searching through the depths of eBay to find cheap recording gear. It all arrived at around the same time so I went about the business of learning how to use it all and getting the software I needed. That’s when I encountered my first problem.

While trying to record, it would stutter and I couldn’t record for more then a few seconds. I tried my audio card on another computer and it worked fine, so I thought, “it must be the computer!” So I called Dell.

When you call Dell’s support line, you’re calling India. I must have called India everyday for almost two weeks. Thinking that it was a problem with their computer, they sent new parts, several service
people, but nothing seemed to work. In my own research, I found out that the motherboard on my computer had issues routing USB audio cards and that all I needed to do was to change the routing in the BIOS. No problem… one problem.

Dell set up their BIOS so that you can’t change the routing. I learned this by calling Microsoft (who’s call center is also in India) and they assured me that windows was capable of making these changes, but it was Dell that had disabled the ability. So we called Dell, they denied there was a problem, and then there was an argument between two people who were probably sitting in the same building. After Dell admitted they had disabled the function, I was escalated to their highest help desk, which was located somewhere in North America. The now-humbled Dell employee assured me that I would receive a call the next day at a certain time and I was relieved that this now two week ordeal was going to be over! They didn’t call that day at all. It was that evening that I wrote “I Hate Dell.” I still have the tear-soaked page I wrote the lyrics on.

When they finally did call, they said it wasn’t their fault, which it wasn’t since no one could predict how the new motherboard would react with old USB audio interfaces. So I hung up, sold the card, and got myself one that runs through firewire. I haven’t had a problem since. – Ricardo Lopez