Monthly Archives: November 2012

Advanced Imaging Spending and Reimbursement Drops – Another Reason to go In-House

Friends – The article below speaks to the decrease of spending (and the decrease in reimbursements) for “advanced imaging” (CT and MRI).  This highlights the necessity of NOT having a fixed-cost service contract on these modalities.  If reimbursements and patient volumes decrease, hospitals are receiving less revenue from these modalities and thus have fewer dollars to pay the contract costs.  As I have often advocated, it is better in most cases to move toward a service option that can flex linearly with decreases in volume and revenue.  The ultimate flexible service option in in-house service.  You only consume labor and parts when your equipment requires it.  Decreased equipment usage results in decreased cost.       Pat

Advanced imaging spending drops to bottom of services list

By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

November 26, 2012 — CHICAGO – A decrease in volume growth and cuts to Medicare payments have left advanced medical imaging near the bottom of all healthcare service categories contributing to overall Medicare spending — rather than at the head of the pack as policymakers continue to believe, according to research presented Monday morning at RSNA 2012.

Before the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 went into effect, advanced medical imaging was the fastest growing service category: In 2001, it was in the 86th growth rate percentile. However, by 2011 it was the slowest, in the 2nd growth rate percentile.

As far as advanced imaging is concerned, the DRA worked, lead presenter David Lee, PhD, from GE Healthcare, told session attendees.

“It’s sobering to look at all the cuts [advanced imaging has taken] over these years and surprising that Congress continues to focus on imaging as a source of healthcare savings, since it’s clear that Medicare spending for advanced medical imaging has slowed down,” he said.

For the study, Lee and colleague Dr. Richard Duszak Jr., CEO of the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, calculated per-beneficiary Medicare expenditures with Medicare physician and outpatient claims data from 2000 to 2010. Lee and Duszak’s team used Berenson-Eggers Type of Service (BETOS) categories (developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to track Medicare expenditures) and focused on CT and MRI.

The team calculated compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) over three periods: pre-DRA (2000 to 2005), DRA (2005 to 2007), and post-DRA (2007 to 2010).

For all services, CAGR was 7.7% pre-DRA, 3.5% DRA, and 5.2% post-DRA. But advanced medical imaging’s specific CAGRs had a much more dramatic spread, going from 17% in the pre-DRA period to -4.7% in the DRA period and 1.3% in the post-DRA period. In fact, between 2008 and 2009, 15 of 23 other service categories grew faster than advanced medical imaging; between 2009 and 2010, 21 of 23 other service categories grew faster.

Advanced imaging spending has slowed in both absolute and relative terms since 2005,” Lee said.

If advanced imaging isn’t to blame for Medicare spending growth, which services are? Post-DRA, the fastest growing service categories have been specialty care, nursing home visits, anesthesia, hospital visits, and office visits, according to Lee.

Making sure information like this gets into policymakers’ hands is a challenge, Lee said.

“We’re doing everything we can in this environment of healthcare reform,” he said. “The ACR continues to tell Congress that imaging has already been cut, and more of the same will threaten access to care.”

Self-referral: A DRA dud?

The DRA may have slowed advanced imaging spending for radiologists, but it did little to curb orthopedic surgeons’ private office use of MRI, according to a presentation given in the same session.

Dr. Vijay Rao of Thomas Jefferson University and colleagues examined Medicare Part B fee-for-service data for 2006 to 2010; they selected all CPT codes for MRI, and used Medicare specialty codes to identify orthopedic surgeons and radiologists, as well as place-of-service codes to identify scans done in private offices.

During the first four years of the DRA’s implementation, orthopedic surgeons’ in-office MRI volume increased 21%, while radiologists’ in-office volume decreased by 10%, the group found. And MRI reimbursements to orthopedic surgeons only decreased by 8%, compared with a 34% decrease among radiologists. Why? Orthopedic surgeons may have increased self-referral to make up volume, or there may be more of them acquiring MRI units — or both, according to Rao.

“One purpose of the DRA was to reduce the incentive for self-referral,” she said. “The thinking was that if the technical component payments were substantially reduced, the profit margin would be removed and [nonradiologist] physicians would be discouraged from buying and using their own equipment. But the DRA has not been effective in deterring orthopedic surgeons from purchasing or leasing these scanners.”

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Filed under Information, Service Dirt

You Can’t Have Repair Manuals Because They’re Copyrighted And You’re Too Dumb

Toshiba: You Can’t Have Repair Manuals Because They’re Copyrighted And You’re Too Dumb To Fix A Computer

from the buy-elsewhere dept

Many years ago, one of the absolute worst customer experiences I ever had concerned a Toshiba laptop that never worked properly — which was followed by ridiculous and rude service. Eventually, using the famous Consumerist Executive Email Carpet Bomb process, I was able to get things sorted out (and, despite them asking me to sign an NDA, when I sent it back crossed out the exec called me and said it was fine and that I was allowed to talk about the situation). Since then, however, I’ve stayed away from Toshiba laptops entirely. But having had that experience, somehow it doesn’t surprise me that, among the major laptop makers, Toshiba would be the one using copyright law to try to hide its service repair manuals (story found via Slashdot).

The situation involves an Australian site called Tim’s Laptop Service Manuals, which provides exactly what it says it does. Well, until Toshiba’s clueless lawyers got involved. Toshiba gave Tim a list of excuses for why he needed to take their service manuals down — most of which made little sense. At the end of the list was basically “we hold the copyright and thus you need to take them down.” Legally, they’re probably right. But, this is just one of those cases where it’s stupid to apply copyright law. It’s not as though Toshiba needed copyright as the incentive to produce these manuals. No, the only reason to assert copyright here is to try to limit repairs to authorized dealers, which limits the usefulness of their products to the public. In a sane world, this would be a case of copyright misuse. But, when it comes to copyright, we don’t live in a sane world.

The other excuses Toshiba gave are pretty silly and seem to revolve around the idea that ordinary Toshiba customers are complete morons who should never try to repair their own computer because it might blow up in their face or something. Tim’s response is a good one, noting that none of the other major laptop makers seem to have this problem. So, either Toshiba makes crazy-dangerous laptops… or, they’re just trying to protect dealer/repair shop revenue. It’s likely the latter.

My place of employment puts a massive emphasis on health and safety in the workplace, a policy I am 100% in support of. Safety is an incredibly important issue, and I applaud Toshiba for taking it into consideration, but I think they are a little misguided. I have personally never been injured or visibly endangered by working on any kind of computer system, much less a consumer notebook computer. I have also never heard of anybody else being injured by working on one. While I do understand the drive behind any concern for safety, the reality is that there appears to be no risk to the well-being of myself or any of my readers by providing repair manuals free to download, and so I do not understand Toshiba’s cause for concern here.

It is worth noting that Dell, HP and Lenovo provide service manuals for all of their laptop computers for download, free of charge or registration or membership of any kind, on their various support websites, which would indicate that none of these companies share Toshiba’s concern in this regard. I would not seriously take this to mean that Toshiba laptops are inherently more dangerous to service than laptops of other brands, thus causing them to discourage unqualified persons from doing so, but drawing on my own knowledge and experience I cannot see what risk they are attempting to mitigate here.

In the end, it seems like this is the kind of thing some lawyer thought was a good idea… “because copyright.” You get this with copyright maximalists sometimes, where they think that because a copyright exists, you must exclude people — even if it makes little economic sense. While I’m already not interested in buying a Toshiba computer, it would seem that this little stunt should scare many others away from purchasing their laptops. 64 Comments | Leave a Comment..

 

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:29am
    If copyright is their excuse for not providing a repair manual, what is their excuse for not providing start up disks?

     

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    Lord Binky, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:35am
    But it was Copyright that made me do it! I couldn’t say no…*sob*

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:39am
    A simple rule of thumb: Never fight over copyrights when you’re not in the copyright business.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Re:

    Becuase it’s on a hidden logical drive in case of emergency*.

    *NB: Emergency, in this case, is soemthing that only we at Toshiba know and you have to pay $1500 to find out.

     

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    Michael, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    At least grocery stores can still fight about it then.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:55am
    I dunno… considering one of their excuses is ‘safety’, and all those other companies provide repair manuals no problem, I’d probably lean towards assuming their products are so shoddy that they are indeed a danger for people to try and fix.

    (I’m mostly joking here, but when a company goes out of it’s way to hose their customers like this, they really don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt)

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah and the casual computer user has no idea how to access it or even create a restore disk. I am ok because I know what I’m doing but there are many people who don’t. Plus, I shouldn’t have to go to that bother.

     

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    Michael, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Safety

    “I cannot see what risk they are attempting to mitigate here”

    Well…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_suicides

     

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    Michael, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    Holy Cow!

     

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    Vidiot (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    Re: Holy Cow!

    Only dangerous if you’re USING it… not if you’re REPAIRING it.

    Plus, there’s a black-box warning on page 3 of the repair manual that warns about injuries and denies culpability. (At least I’m GUESSING there is.)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:07am
    had laptops from Toshiba and other manufacturers. would not buy another Toshiba under any circumstances. the one-time experience of trying to use the utter crap they produce was enough. this type of ridiculous, arse-up reaction disinterests me from Toshiba products even more

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:08am
    Maybe they fell for an internet hoax.

    I remember a few years ago at a gaming forum some people started a hoax to fool a 13 member into thinking that another member died when their computer got a virus that caused the computer to explode.

    Maybe Toshiba heard that rumor and their legal department decided to protect themselves from that fictional situation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:09am
    Correction, that should say ’13 year old member’.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:15am
    To make matters even weirder, under Australian Consumer laws (for Aussies anyway) stating that only an Authorised repairer can repair your product is actually an offence and liable to land the company with huge statutory fines – this law came about due to car manufacturers being complete morons about there warranties and only allowing ‘authorised repairers’ to service the vehicles.. A Big no no now!

    As for the service manuals, there are multiple places to now get them, and I myself have a few of the Toshiba ones from PDF files.. Might upload them all over the place now just for the lols

     

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    c3l3st0 (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:17am
    excuse me!? service manuals are under copyright protection! please help me leaving this planet!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Maybe they skimped on the safeguards for the batteries, and now they’re worried that they might have to issue a recall like they did in 2006[1].

     

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    Michael, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    “and I myself have a few of the Toshiba ones from PDF files”

    You manual pirate! You are stealing something. I’m not sure what, but I’m sure it is putting money into the hands of organized crime and hurting children.

     

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    Mason Wheeler, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    Actual danger

    There is one point of actual danger to be aware of: a fully-charged laptop battery contains about as much energy as a hand grenade, and people who are not aware of this have died from trying to open up laptop batteries before.

    The rest of the system is probably pretty safe, though.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    because of copyright!
    We can’t give you a disc, you might share it!
    And if we are saving cents by not providing them that is good business practice.
    Plus when the entire drive fails we can charge you magnitudes more to get replacements.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:42am
    I read some of the comments on the site where this happened, the responses were scary.

    – People are to stupid!
    – Repair technicians have to sign NDA’s and can’t let these out there.
    – It could lead to the collapse of the repair market, if just anyone could fix stuff.
    – The files your offering could be edited to make them dangerous!
    – They are available on the Toshiba site, you just have to click 14 different things in the perfect order and then you can get them.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    Re: Actual danger

    Obligatory…
    https://xkcd.com/651/

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    Some people should be taken out to the woodshed and shot.

     

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    roebling, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    what goes around, comes around

    Real reason Toshiba guards tech manuals? They don’t want anyone selling them to the Russians!

     

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    roebling, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    what goes around, comes around

    Real reason Toshiba guards tech manuals? They don’t want anyone selling them to the Russians!

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:54am

    Re: Actual danger

    Excuse what could be a stupid question, but would not the best way to handle that problem be to print, on both sides of the battery, a huge freakin’ warning not to attempt to open it?

    As well, with a manual you could have an entire page devoted to nothing but a warning not to fiddle with the battery, leading to twice as much darwin award prevention.

     

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    Reality Check, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Statistics

    87% of all PC repair related deaths are caused by Toshiba Computers.
    Of those, 98% are suicides.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    Maybe you could re-state that phrase… there are some agents here who’d like to speak with you…

     

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    Violated (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Acer

    I have seen Acer do this as well. Service manuals are vital when you need to do a repair or upgrade and before I even buy a new laptop I like to find out the service manual so I can truly understand the laptop.

    Acer though like to be very active in taking any distributed service manuals off-line only leaving the user guides alone.

    I certainly agree that laptop disassembly is a process not for everyone when some people can cause more damage and even fail to understand how to reassemble the parts. For me though I have a history of assembling computers and their step by step guides are easy for follow.

    The best part of Acer laptops is that they are designed to be easily assembled and upgraded when other manufacturers can make that impossible. It is just a shame their LCD bezels, or the area around them, tend to be weak as shit when they lack suitable reenforcement to handle daily opening and closing.

     

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    DCX2, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:08am

    Just fixed a Dell…

    Just swapped out the backlight on a Dell laptop the other day. The service manuals being easily available are one of the biggest reasons I prefer Dell products.

    Sure, they don’t tell you how to disassemble an LCD to get at the backlight, but it got me most of the way there. And I’ve had to swap out the power connector and a fan on the same laptop before.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Toshibas have a tendency to overheat it seems

    I’ve known five people over the last ten years with Toshiba laptops. All of them told me that they had regular overheating issues with Toshiba laptops. I’m talking about stock, off the shelf laptops with no user modifications. And those five people had everything from the cheapest laptop model available to a high-powered laptop that could handle current games fairly well.

    I had classes with two of them. They’d bring their laptops (two different models–at least one was a Toshiba Satellite I remember) and a cooling pad with them to class, and even then, at least once every 2 or 3 weeks the one or both of the Toshiba laptops would overheat during the class period to the point of automatically shutting itself off.

    I can’t ever recommend anyone to buy Toshiba laptops after what I’ve seen from Toshiba owners. (All five of those people replaced their laptops with a different model within a year) Stick with Lenovo, Dell, HP, Asus, etc. Just anything but Toshiba.

     

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    Lord Binky, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Holy Cow!

    It’s not the computer or even the repair-manual if it’s on paper that is dangerous.

    It is the Tormenter of Threads, the Harpoon of Hand-tools, the Twister of Torx, the infamous …. Simple Screwdriver.

    That and you would be amazed how often people complain that there should have been a warning not to stick the tiny screws up their nose or to not swallow them. *sigh*

     

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    skinny poppy (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:49am
    Toshiba still makes laptops?

     

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    Sean T Henry (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is the point where you buy a cheap yet better HD and load a linux distro then call it a day… or a computer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:14pm
    Why stop with service manuals? Why not bills of material, manufacturing data packages at every level of the supply chain, all test procedures, etc.? Sounds like sour grapes from one who should have known better than to distribute such materials without an OK from the manufacturer.

     

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    Violated (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Toshibas have a tendency to overheat it seems

    Such people need to look under undervolting their laptop CPU.

     

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    PRMan, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Injuries

    “I have personally never been injured or visibly endangered by working on any kind of computer system”

    He clearly never worked on those cases with razor sharp edges. I used to have a bloody, bandaged hand every time I built a computer in those days.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Toshibas have a tendency to overheat it seems

    See, I’m going to have to say that I’ve had nothing but the best experience with Toshiba laptops. Along with all the friends I have who switched to Toshiba from all the other manufacturers. Not a single problem whatsoever, and no overheating ever experienced. And I’m saying that from my own ownership and the experiences my friends have had, all of us buying Toshiba exclusively for over 5 years now.

    And, due to the fact that I’m the IT person for my company, I’ve switched us from buying HP and Dell laptops to ONLY Toshiba laptops due to their reliability in my experience.

    In point of fact, I’ve NEVER had a problem with a Toshiba laptop but have had nothing but problems with HP, Compaq, Dell, etc laptops since I first started buying laptops and working on them in general.

    As for manuals and customer experience, Toshiba has gone above and beyond for me personally. Of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

    But seriously, experiences differ. You and your friends have had overheating issues, at work I’ve had to recommend cooling pads for all the laptops made by every other vendor except Toshiba and ASUS. To each their own I say.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:37pm
    @Mike Masnick – I still have a Toshiba laptop, it has been it continuous use for almost ten years, I have never had a problem with it. It holds the door to my shop open.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Most of the majors stopped providing install discs about 3-4 years ago. Instead they put on that program to burn your own discs which no one ever does despite the constant pop-up warnings telling them to and the fact that it’s about a 3 click process.

    So their drive fails or they get viruses and then it’s the repair techs fault they never bothered to burn the god damn discs.

     

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    qyiet, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Injuries

    I got my share of cuts from sharp computer cases, but I can’t say it was even close to every time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Actual danger

    Well, that seems like a perfect reason to make the manual which presumably warns against that available.

     

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    ldne, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Ubuntu Live CD.
    Corporate Stupidity Problem Solved.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Toshibas have a tendency to overheat it seems

    Yeah, my Toshiba laptop didn’t have an overheating problem…because it came with a firmware problem that caused the CPU to be “stuck” at its slowest setting! I wonder how many never realized their laptop was running slow. Affected models include M200, M15-S405, M35-S359, Qosmio F10 & F10, Tecra M1, SPM-30, probably more.

    Toshiba never acknowledged the problem nor offered a fix for it publicly. Their low-level repair techs didn’t know about it, and the phone support people just read from a script that, naturally, never acknowledged that Toshiba was shipping computers with crippled CPUs. But their upper-level repair techs knew about it and could use special software to change the settings to allow the CPU speed to change. Eventually this software made it into public notebook forums, where it was aggressively taken down by Toshiba, citing copyright and the other ridiculous excuses outlined by That Anonymous Coward, above.

    After using the Toshiba CPU utility to get my system to dynamically adjust the CPU speed, guess what happened… overheating!

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Actual danger

    I just looked at my laptop battery as well as my smartphone battery, and lo and behold: there’s that exact warning! Along with the other important advice not to burn them.

    I would venture to say that no manual is going to be of any use to the kind of person who ignores those warnings anyway.

     

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    Ophelia Millais (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Injuries

    You’d think they could make it with rounded corners and the like … oh wait.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re:

    I don’t think they ever did. They make expensive doorstops.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    The instruction manual that came with my computer states that “recovery discs are not available”. Funny, I had my local computer repair shop order me a set of recovery discs.

     

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    Ross, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Found it and didn’t have to pay.

     

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    Richard Hack (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Their real reason

    is indeed revenue.

    Back in the mid-80’s, I was employed by an IBM Series 1 VAR (Value-Added Reseller). They were planning to become an IBM PC VAR, so they sent me to IBM PC Repair school (a week-long course on basic PC repair.) There I was told that PC repair was a profit center for any VAR.

    So clearly Toshiba is greedier than those companies who release their manuals as they don’t want independent PC techs and repair shops fixing their computers when their authorized dealers and the main company itself can profit from repair revenue.

    I’ve noticed that Toshiba machines tend to be more expensive than others and with less support for some time. I’d never recommend a Toshiba laptop to a client. Go for Acer or Asus or Lenovo or Dell.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re:

    Or, you know, they get a computer without a burner. Odd, I know, but my brand new Toshiba has a DVD drive without CD writing capability. How am I supposed to burn those copies, again?

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 12th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Actual danger

    “…a fully-charged laptop battery contains about as much energy as a hand grenade, and people who are not aware of this have died from trying to open up laptop batteries before.”

    I tried fixing my battery once. After tearing it apart and putting it back together again, several times, turned out it just needed to be charged.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:04pm

    Re:

    OMG 😦 I’ve been throwing them away for years now when I could have started a side business of selling door stoppers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2012 @ 11:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If it’s Windows… the Factory’s version of Windows won’t be able to activate unless SLIC chips of corresponding vendor is detected. So in theory, feel free to circulate it.

    (Much like the reason that Sun always offer free solaris verion of SunOS on their website. At that time they only charge for x86 version.)

     

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    Rekrul, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 1:36am

    Re: Acer

    I was going to post about Acer! I found an Acer tower system in the trash, that looks brand new. The only thing wrong with it is that someone removed the hard drive before throwing it out. In the process they also removed the HD cage and left it loose inside the case. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how it’s supposed to attach to the chassis. I looked for a service manual, then contacted Acer. Not only was I told that service manuals were only available to Acer techs, they couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me how to re-attach the cage. Instead they suggested that I take it to a local computer shop and have them figure it out.

    I then told them that I would never spend a single penny on anything produced by Acer.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 2:00am

    Re:

    in australian law you have to be ‘authorised’ before you are allowed to fix anything that connects to the power or the phone line.

    companies usually charge a fee for their service manuals because it cost them money to provide them.

    trying to repair your own equipment without being qualified also voids any warantee.

    also as anyone who has worked in the computer repair business, if you need a manual to fix a laptop, the problem is too severe and a replacement is probably necessary..

    what components do you think you would be able to fix with or without a manual on a laptop ???

    and if you need a manual to fix a laptop anyway, you do not have the skills to fix it, with or without the manual..

    again, mike, another non-story..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re: Actual danger

    let me guess, you’re not going to be in need of a service manual for awile !!!! LOL

     

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    Paul Keating, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:36am

    dangerous laptops

    ” I have also never heard of anybody else being injured by working on one.”

    Not true. Thank God they have removed those cup holders. I was once seriously burned by a a laptop when I inadvertently clicked the clicker thing – the cup holder closed spilling my hot cup of McDonald’s coffee.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:40am

    Re: Re:

    You need to be a licensed sparky to do any power or phone cabling, yes, but since when do you need a license to actually build or fix a computer?

    The availability of service manuals comes into it when you keep a laptop past its warranty date – and it’s not a matter of needing it or not, unless you’re some kind of superhuman repairer the proper manual will always make it easier and faster.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Toshibas have a tendency to overheat it seems

    With such a small sample size (everyone’s going on the two or three laptops they’ve ever owned, and how long they lasted for them), experiences will vary wildly. Actual hardware failures aside, it comes down to end user support.

    You say you’ve had excellent support from Toshiba – am I right in assuming this is for your business? I’ve seen companies bend over backwards to help a business customer while blithely ignoring the little guys, because who pays more money, right?

    There are way more variables to the overall qualify of a laptop than “it’s a Toshiba” or “it’s an ASUS”.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:49am

    Re:

    Out of curiousity, can you reference the actual law that says that?

    I don’t think Toshiba actually say you’re only allowed to get work done at an authorised repairer, only that only authorised repairers can have access to their manuals. In other industries, that might amount to the same thing, but geeks are resourceful and stuff and will try anything undocumented once.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Toshibas have a tendency to overheat it seems

    “You say you’ve had excellent support from Toshiba – am I right in assuming this is for your business? I’ve seen companies bend over backwards to help a business customer while blithely ignoring the little guys, because who pays more money, right?”

    No, it has nothing to do with my business. All the Toshibas I bought up until literally this past January were for personal use by myself, family and friends. Only this past January did I start buying for the company I work for, and I register them as personal laptops. Same as I always have.

    But like I said, never had a bad experience with a Toshiba laptop. And I’m not basing that on the 2-3 I’ve personally owned but the 20+ or so my family/friends have owned (combined).

     

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    Rick Hernandez, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Toshiba Laptops

    That’s why I recommend Dell to my friends and family. Eventually they will ask me to repair it and I like that fact that I can get all the manuals and support for just about nothing. Parts are very easy to come by as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re:

    I successfully burned those discs via the 3 click process, per instruction, only to find that they were corrupt when I took my computer to the repair tech. Which was just as well, because the tech said they probably had a ton of bloatware on them courtesy of the manufacturer and he was able to do a nice, clean install with his own discs.

     

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    Patrick Lynch, Nov 19th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    A much bigger problem in Medical Device Industry

    As a biomedical engineer, I have been repairing medical equipment for 37 years. In the past 20 years, companies have decided that they can only make their enormous profits if they withhold service literature and password protect medical devices. We, in hospitals can repair these items for about $60.00 per hour (salary and overhead), but the manufacturers can charge as much as $800.00 per hour to do the same job. The only way they can thwart us is by not training us and not providing passwords or service manuals. It’s a huge cost to healthcare, when we should be reducing costs. If service literature were not copyrighted, we could save healthcare at least $600,000,000 per year.

     

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Restrictions with the use of Epic

From Epic Pawn: “Re: Epic. The contract they sent me for the privilege of consulting with one of their clients will require me to end my HIT career!” Interesting points:

  • Apparently a hospital can’t hire a consultant to help with Epic until that person signs a lengthy contract with Epic.
  • If the consultant develops any kind of enhancement to Epic software and doesn’t sign over the rights to the hospital, the enhancement is automatically owned by Epic.
  • You are obligated to report anyone you know who has accessed anything related to Epic without authorization, even if you didn’t have anything to do with their access.
  • You can’t hire or contract with a former Epic employee until they’ve sat out a one-year waiting period.
  • You can hire an Epic customer’s project team employee only if you don’t assign them any Epic-related work for two years, and they are considered to be a project team employee until three months after go-live.
  • Your employees can’t perform any activities that compete with Epic – design, sales, consulting — for two years after they leave your employment.
  • You agree that Epic is a third-party beneficiary of the agreement your employees must sign, which gives Epic a right to enforce the agreement even though those people don’t work for Epic.
  • You agree that any legal actions will be heard in Wisconsin courts.
  • I’m sure there’s more, but it’s a long read and I’m getting numb.

from HISTalk (www.histalk2.com )

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