I got my spacebar back!

Friends know that the spacebar on my Dell Inspiron laptop hasn't been working for the past 3 or 4 months. I spilt some milk on my keyboard and well let's just say while the other keys recovered, this one didn't.
My experience with Dell customer support had been so annoying once before (my laptop casing still has a couple of dents in it. If my laptop was a person, it would be in therapy) that I decided to see if there were options. I knew there had to be, and was surprised to find just one that seemed to do the trick.

Thanks to the people at Swapkeys, I substituted the "[" key for the spacebar (choice of key based on ease of pain on fingers and redundancy of key.) It worked pretty well and had the unforseen side-effect of making my keyboard absolutely unusable by anyone else. I was surprised by how quickly I adopted to the new keys. Unfortunately the remapping didn't seem to work for all programs (over a unix prompt, the command line etc.) so it did place some limitations, but not on much that I did regularly, so I just never bothered trying to replace my keyboard.

Over the summer though, I decided to try to write some code again and just couldn't!
Every tool I've got accustomed to using (I wanted to go via cygwin and use Xemacs) demanded that I fix my damn keyboard. So, I called Dell again. Guess what? Something changed!! And this had to have been kicked off well before the CEO change.

Dell customer service was incredibly good. I chatted with an extremely polite, fast and diligent gentleman in Utah to promised to ship me a keyboard right away since I was within the warranty period. I didn't have to repeat the debate I had once before about whether something fell within the warranty or not.

Does this investment in customer service work? If you'd asked me months ago if I'd buy a Dell again for a personal machine, my answer would have been "no". My answer now is a "probably."....though I am leaning towards making my next purchase a tablet.


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