Wednesday, July 02, 2008


In my last post I noted some of the many things that have gone wrong during my move from Indianapolis to Minneapolis. One of the major things I mentioned was the demise of my prized Media Center PC, which suffered from its second power supply problem in three years -- a big enough problem to deem the entire unit virtually unrepairable, or at least unrepairable for a reasonable cost.

At the time, the folks at Niveus said that the power supply took out the motherboard, that the old motherboard was no longer available, and that that meant I'd need to replace the power supply, motherboard, video board, audio board, you name it, for a price somewhere in the $2500-$3000 range. Given the number of problems over the years (caused, I suspect, by components running too hot in the silent, fanless chassis), I decided against repair, instead opting for a new PC custom-built by my home theater firm, Connect Home Theater.

Since that post, I've been pleasantly surprised by the response from the folks at Niveus, particularly VP of Marketing Brian Paper. I've always had a good relationship with Brian and Niveus, and when he heard of my plight, he offered to upgrade the entire PC for free. That, as they say, was an offer I couldn't refuse -- a $3,000 upgrade for free. So, after making sure that the folks at Connect Home Theater wouldn't be left in the lurch, I gave Brian the okay to proceed.

The "upgrade" involved shipping me an entirely new PC -- the latest Niveus Denali model. That included a 1TB hard disk (twice as big as the old one) and 2GB of memory (twice as much as the old one), along with the requisite new motherboard, video card, audio card, power supply, and the rest. Suffice to say, the new model performs superbly, and is just as quiet as the old one.

My only concern with sticking with a Niveus model was the early component failure issue, which I surmised was caused by too much heat build up in the unit. (My old PC got hot enough to fry an egg on . That's not an exaggeration; it needed plenty of ventilation, and even then got hot to the touch.) Brian assured me that while that might have been a problem with a PC made three years ago, today's components run much cooler out of the box, plus their cooling technology has improved. Turns out he's right; the new unit runs much cooler than the old one (warm, not hot), and hasn't given me a lick of trouble in the month I've had it back.

So here's a welcome exception to all those things that turn me curmudgeonly -- a company that stands behind their products, bends over backwards for their customers, and improves their products over time. Thanks, Niveus!

But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.