Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Over 12 years in administrative confinment...?

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

Nebraska State Penitentiary inmate Thomas Fleming told a federal judge that his stay in administrative confinement — from August 1991 to January 2004 - constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Fleming, 45, is seeking $1 million in punitive damages as well as unspecified compensatory damages from corrections officials for the more than 12 years of confinement that, he alleged in a 2003 lawsuit, left him psychologically and physically scarred.

Fleming was placed in administrative confinement following an Aug. 31, 1991 assault, in which penitentiary employee Max Fredrickson was stabbed multiple times with a homemade knife, doused with flammable fluid and set on fire by inmates bent on escape. Fredrickson survived the assault and the inmates involved -- including Fleming -- were quickly subdued.

The inmates eventually received extended sentences, including stays in administrative confinement. That's spending 23 hours a day, Monday through Friday, in a cell described by Fleming as 7 by 10 feet. They are allowed one hour on those days in a small yard defined by three high walls and a grate. The inmates are restricted to their cells on Saturdays and Sundays. The cells consist of a concrete slab and thin mattress, sink and toilet. Visitations and shower times are constricted, as is the chance to communicate with other prisoners or staff. On at least one occasion in 1992, Fleming said, he was beaten by staff after he returned from a Lancaster County District Court hearing on the incident. On other occasions, he said, he returned to his cell to find the room torn apart.

Fleming was sentenced in 1987 on three robbery counts. He was paroled in 1990 but was arrested again and sentenced to 15 to 30 years for armed robbery.

I'm sure that Mr. Fleming, if just given one more chance, could mend his ways and become a productive member of society. After all, he didn't mean to stab that CO multiple times and set him on fire - the CO was just at the wrong place at the wrong time! Mr. Fleming has been a model of virtuous behavior since he's been in administrative confinement, I'm sure.

Administrative Confinment is for inmates that choose to assault an officer, whether or not they are successful. Inmates have also been put into AC for special circumstances involving threats towards officers, as well as instances of violent attacks on other inmates. These inmates generally are not what you would consider as "good people." Many are mentally ill.

The administrative confinement housing unit in the facility I work at is set up so that an inmate can get out of AC within 4 to 6 weeks if he behaves himself. For the first week of AC, the inmate is considered in ZERO status. He gets nothing but hygene items, his bedroll (consisting of 2 blankets, a sheet, and a towel), his clothing, and himself. All AC inmates get 5 hours of recreation a week, per Nebraska Jail Standards. When they come out of their cell, they are shackled and belly-chained.

If the inmate gets no write-ups during that week, he will be placed into 8-20 status, which means he can have up to three books in his cell at one time and he can start earning privileges back, such as a radio, extra recreation time, visits and telephone privileges.

If at any time an inmate commits an infraction (which some can't seem to help themelves from doing) the inmate goes allthe way back to ZERO status and has to climb up the ladder from the bottom once more.

Inmates that behave...go back to general population. It's entirely up to the inmate which direction he or she wishes to take. I personally recommend behaving, but we can accomodate you either way.

I have a feeling that Mr. Fleming has a hard time dealing with other people in a humane manner, that he has a hard time viewing other people as something other than as a tool to get him what he wants. Mr. Fleming belongs in AC until he's judged to be safe for both officers and other inmates to be around on a regular basis.

Omaha's CompUSA....gone?

So by now you may have heard CompUSA is closing a metric shit-ton of stores throughout the United States...

Guess Omaha's store is on the chopping block.

Funny, I could have SWORN I saw it the other day there on Dodge.

While the prices at CompUSA were not very good, it was still a nice place to go and look for something you might want to pick up later at...say...Newegg. In a fix, you could go in and pay for something you needed RIGHT NOW. As long as RIGHT NOW was in normal operating hours anyways.

So, two tech stores have been kicked out of Omaha so far...CompUSA and Circuit City.

Where can we go for our computer hardware fix in Omaha now?

Nebraska Furniture Mart
Best Buy

and for the ghetto computer guy...DIT Computers

That's pretty much it. Tell me if I missed one.

eVGA Customer Service and how it makes me giggle like a little girl

So, back in April of 2006 I swindled a friend of mine into giving me 300 bucks for my old eVGA 7800 GTX video card and a few computer parts. I take that $300 and take another $300 and pick up two of the new 7900 GT 256-meg cards that came out, to take advantage of SLI on my DFI Lanparty motherboard. The cards are ordered from Newegg, they arrive, are installed, and SLI-fueled gaming joy is mine. Life is good.

This is an eVGA 7900 GT:

Sometime in January of 2007, I start noticing some artifacting in several games I play, mostly Battlefield 2 and Medieval 2: Total War. This is somewhat annoying, as I've put about $2200 into this machine, but due to my reticence to admit there is an actual problem with MY gaming computer, I let it go for a while.

So the artifacting gets bad. I can't game for 20 minutes without spikey jagged graphical flickering obscuring my view. I finally get annoyed enough to start fixing the problem. Evidently, 7900 GT's, such as mine, are now notorious for memory problems which are causing (gasp) artifacting. They're being RMA'ed left and right. So I pull out one card, test the remaining 7900 GT...yup, it's....artifacting. I pull out that card, put in the other one...it's fine. Ok, this is workable, I can still play on the one card while I send back the other for replacement.

So I start the RMA process, which I've never done before, with eVGA. I request an RMA number, receive it the next day, print off the convenient label that eVGA e-mailed to me, and send my card back to eVGA. About a week later, I get a package in the mail, which I presume is another 7900 GT.

By this time, I've settled with playing my games with just the one 7900 GT. It's slower, especially with Medieval 2's 1000-man battles, but overall - not a problem on a temporary basis. So I'm not in a huge hurry to get my replacement video card installed. I get some time one night about a week later after I get home from work, and figure, "Hey, why not open up that package and install that card, so I can have SLI back?"

So I open up the package and this is what I see:

Whoa! That's not a 7900 GT with 256 megs of video ram at all. That is, in fact, a 7900 GTO with 512 megs of video ram. Take a look at that heatsink/pipe setup. The fan's bigger than the 7900 GT's (which means it's going to run cooler, with less noise) Sweet!

Once the initial euphoria settles, I realize that, as cool as this is, I cannot install both a 7900 GT and a 7900 GTO into my machine and have them working together in SLI mode. To have SLI mode working, you need two cards with the same graphics processor. The GTO is faster than my GT. Crap.

So I go to the eVGA website and shoot an email off to their customer service department.

Question (2/25/2007 9:45:30 PM): I recently submitted an RMA for a 7900 GT and sent it in. I got back a 7900 GTO card. While this is a nice card, even fantastic, I purchased a set of 7900 GT's with the express purpose of running them in an SLI configuration. Sadly, I cannot run the 7900 GTO and my remaining 7900 GT in SLI mode, no matter how much I wish I could. So I am now running the new 7900 GTO alone, by itself, while my poor 7900 GT is sitting on my desk, looking at me with forlorn hope of a productive life. What can I do about this? Would it be possible to send in my 7900 GT for another 7900 GTO so I can run my system in SLI mode? I'd understand why eVGA couldn't do this, but then, what's life without a little hope? I purchase eVGA products because of their reputation of customer service, please help me out. Thanks!
I get a reply a few days later:
Answered By Aaron H (2/27/2007 1:33:31 PM): I can work with my RMA department to make sure that we can upgrade your other 7900 gt. I just need you to verify the serial number for your 7900 gt and your shipping address and we can start an RMA for your 7900 gt to a 7900 gto. EVGA Tech
Wow. I totally expected eVGA to send back a polite little "Sorry, but we're not going to give you a free upgrade" note. I expected something along the line of "Hey, why don't you go find yourself a nice big pile of sand and a comfortable hammer, and go pound sand for a while."

Instead, eVGA took care of my needs, and gained themselves a loyal customer for life.

Yay for me. Yay for them.