I've been quiet recently. I spent a week with the cold, then a week being stressed. I'm hoping this week is uneventful.

One thing I've been meaning to post about for the past month or so are some positive supplier experiences I've had. Like most people I'm quick to whine when things go wrong and I've had a few things I didn't expect to go smoothly be fine.

First up, eBuyer. I mentioned in my initramfs post that I had a disk that had been damaged in transit (according to the manufacturer's diagnostic tool). I wasn't looking forward to trying to return this, as I feared eBuyer would try to weasel out of the RMA. However it all went smoothly. Took them a couple of days to issue the RMA authorisation number, but after that I sent it off including the receipt for the posting and they sent me an email to confirm when they had it and when they sent me out the new one. And credited the postage back to my credit card. I was gobsmacked. I've been using them as a cheap box shifter for a few years and always assumed that the instant I had any problems it would all be pain, but no. It wasn't the quickest of processes, but it did all proceed without me having to chase anyone.

Next, Scan. I've hated them for years. Pre 2000 I vowed I'd never use them again for reasons I can't remember. In 2000 I capitulated and ordered a Scan 2000 DVD player from them (which is still going strong). However despite being stiffed £10 for next day delivery it didn't turn up, nor the next day and eventually I had to ring them and find they'd failed to authorise my card and hadn't bothered to contact me. I vowed I'd uphold my pledge never to use them and until recently had done so. And then I needed some 1U heatsinks in a hurry and the initial supplier I'd found were being slow about getting stock. Scan had enough in stock so I decided to risk it. And they turned up next day, with several text messages keeping me informed about progress. I'm won't be using them in general, but I might try them again at some point.

Finally, regular readers (all 4 of you) will remember the pain I suffered at the hands of Xinit. Black Cat needed some new dedicated servers and I was having problems finding what I wanted (Xeon LVs for low power usage goodness). Neil had some good things to say about Sentral Systems (well, actually Flexiserv who morphed into Sentral) so I figured I may as well drop them an email. I wasn't really expecting much, so when they got back and said they thought they could do exactly what I wanted within a week I was sceptical. Especially as that was a complete server whereas even looking for the bare chips I was getting quoted lead times of at least 4 weeks. To be honest they didn't manage it in a week - it was more like a week and a half (I think the order was confirmed on a Monday and delivered Wednesday week later). Damn fine. Plus they kept me informed throughout the process and the one time I considered ringing them to ask what the status was they sent me an email within an hour of me thinking it anyway. The servers are nice and nippy too. :)