just brew it! wrote:
I think the merger with Diamond/S3 ultimately killed Micronics... if not for that deal, they might still be around today.
It could easily be. Diamond started out as a great company. I remember buying my first VESA Local Bus video card, a Diamond Speedstar Pro, used on FIDONet. I called up Diamond at that time, on an 800 number, and politely asked the technician what the newest BIOS revisions and driver revisions. He let me know; they were newer than my card. I politely asked again what it would cost to get new BIOS chips (there were two, a low and a high) and a new set of driver disks.
Calm response: "Nothin'".
Him: "Nothing. Of course you'll have to wait a few days for shipping..."
Me (incredulous): "Hey, no problem! Where do I sign up?"
They shipped them to me free too; I got the chips and the disks a week later.
Flash forward a couple of years, and I have enough cash to buy Diamond's Stealth 64 Video VRAM, their top-end PCI graphics accelerator. Ingram Micro sent it to me, and I got it installed.
Driver issues all over the place in Windows 9x. The top-right hand corner minimize/maximize buttons in windows are corrupted, and I can see the desktop background through them (later down the road, we find out plenty of S3 Vision 968 graphics accelerators had driver issues, due to S3's inability to get its act together, though magazines like Computer Shopper and others never commented about that, simply labeling the Diamond card as the fastest they'd ever seen). Okay, I'll just call up Diamond's tech support.
No 800 number any more --great. I have to call California on my dime.
Two hours later, still on hold, no tech. I finally leave a voicemail. No reply.
Several days later, I try again. One hour later, I leave a voicemail. No reply.
I manage to get ahold of someone via an e-mail, who promises to send an updated BIOS and driver disks. They never arrive, and I never hear from them again.
I finally send the card back to Ingram, and purchase an ATI Graphics Pro Turbo, not quite as fast, but rock stable.
I send an e-mail to the CEO of Diamond Multimedia, describing my problems and disappointment in polite detail, and I'm pretty sure I managed to find a fax number and send a second copy. No reply --two weeks later, I send another one, indicating I will not be purchasing a Diamond product again.
It only went downhill from there until the company closed. After one or two customers had issues (we advised against their purchase, but it was what they wanted ordered), we steered them away from Diamond products completely.