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MPC Computers Shutting Down

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the 17-year-run dept.

Businesses 137

davidphogan74 writes "MPC Computers (formerly Micron's computer division) notified the Idaho Department of Labor in a letter on 12/29/2008 that it would terminate its remaining employees. The company had been operating under the protection of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy since November, after it laid off 200 employees in October. MPC said 147 employees would be terminated immediately and 51 would be retained while the company liquidates its assets. Last year, MPC bought the professional business unit of PC company Gateway, which itself had been bought by Acer earlier that year. MPC had sold business technology hardware to mid-sized business, government agencies, and education organizations since 1991."

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Follow the example (-1, Troll)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300177)

SCO should follow the example and do the same.

Re:Follow the example (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300327)

Great, so a new company can get their property and hope to profiteer from it.

We can start it all over again.

GOD EXISTS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300419)

PROVE ME WRONG

Re:Follow the example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300847)

They're in different situations. SCO has Microsoft behind the curtain pumping money when it's needed.

RIP Micron (2, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300209)

Micron always made rock solid, good performing machines. They even had a high-tech name. Anyone know why they failed?

Re:RIP Micron (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300233)

They only appealed to an elitist community.

Re:RIP Micron (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300955)

Apple is doing well.

I Keed. I Keed, I love my MBP.

Re:RIP Micron (5, Interesting)

black6host (469985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301745)

Maybe. For me, the appeal was a rock solid office machine. I still have a Pentium II server I put in place for a business about 10 years ago, running Novell 3.1. They got over 7 years of service from that machine without issue. Sure, had to replace a hard drive but that's to be expected. I booted it up about a month ago to retrieve some data from it and it still runs just fine. They also got 5-7 years out of the desktops. The only reason they were retired is that technology had just progressed so much and Novell didn't have the applications that Windows offered at the server level. I still have these businesses as my clients, in part because I put in solid equipment that lasted for as long as they wanted it. I'm sorry to see Micron go....

Re:RIP Micron (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302819)

It's not exactly difficult to build PCs that last. There's really just one component you have to not chintz on: the power supply. That's the one part that will fry your system if it's a no-name piece of garbage.

The fact that other PC vendors' systems fail so often and so brutally is almost always the result of weak unfiltered power supplies and thermal stress. A scary number of brand names build their PCs to boot, not to last. I have seen so much dumb shit while repairing/upgrading even brand new machines, I have to wonder what kind of landed idiot is responsible for prototyping these mass-produced lemons.

If Micron was smart enough to spend the extra $40 on a quality power supply and an extra cooling fan, great! But how do you position an "unshitty" PC for sales ? Clearly they did not figure it out, and that's why they are exiting the market today.

Re:RIP Micron (0, Flamebait)

Chysn (898420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300255)

> Anyone know why they failed?

You know what I blame this on the downfall of?

Society.

Re:RIP Micron (4, Funny)

vbraga (228124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300309)

Oh, I bet it's George Bush fault too!

Just like the lack of coffe in the machine this morning :/

Re:RIP Micron (5, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301115)

Oh, I bet it's George Bush fault too!

Just like the lack of coffe in the machine this morning :/

Indeed! Unfortunately, neither your coffee machine nor Micron qualified for bailout money. :(

Re:RIP Micron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300395)

Seconded. I'm currently still using my old Micron keyboard to type this. I clean it every couple of months,to remove food debris and it continues to work flawlessly. I've bought other keyboards, and they've either had failed keys at some point or just quit working. It's a keeper.

Re:RIP Micron (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300449)

I am guessing price. "Cheap" is the only market that is really growing right now. You would see a bigger hit with HP and IBM if they hadn't already addicted everyone to services...

Yup, cheap (4, Interesting)

Tau Neutrino (76206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300485)

And that's why Apple is doing so well. Oh, wait...

Re:Yup, cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300781)

If you call less than 10% of the marketshare "well", then I suppose.

Re:Yup, cheap (2, Informative)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300853)

Take a look at their PROFIT share and you'll change your tune.

Re:Yup, cheap (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301427)

Ten percent of the whole computer market? Yeah, I'd call that doing well.

-jcr

Re:Yup, cheap (1)

bluephone (200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302327)

Hey, if that's failure, I'd take ten percent of the computer market and be happy in my failboat.

Re:Yup, cheap (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303291)

I'd love to be the kind of failure that has a couple billion in the bank.

-jcr

Re:Yup, cheap (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303905)

I call it "very well" for a hardware manufacturer.

Re:RIP Micron (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300491)

Who's micron?

Re:RIP Micron (0)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300499)

This is not Micron, this is: MPC: http://www.mpccorp.com/ [mpccorp.com] that is going out of business.

Re:RIP Micron (4, Informative)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300603)

MPC made all PC's that had "Micron" written on them. That's because the "M" stood for "Micron."

"Micron Technology" (the semiconductor manufacturer) created MPC to handle the PC business aspect.

Re:RIP Micron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301211)

Micron PC was purchased by a private company and became MPC. Later, it went public. I used to recommend them, then everything went downhill. Their support was awesome before the Gateway deal.

I once killed a MB while flashing it. I was worried I would be eating the cost, but support just asked how I wanted it shipped. I loved how support answered the phones, too, "Thanks for calling, I'm so-n-so from Idaho."

I will miss them. They were not the cheapest, but Intel mainboards and other quality components made for very reliable PC. The company was reliable, too, until they blew their wad over the Gateway division. Organic growth seems to always be discarded for some get rich scheme.

Re:RIP Micron (1)

drharris (1100127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300783)

I'll agree. I was a loyal customer for 15 years. Their support was absolutely top notch. I never had to wait more than 10 seconds when calling them and only once did I ever need to escalate a call beyond the first person to answer.

I think this is what put them out of business. The PC industry is a race to the bottom. Price is king these days and if you aren't willing to sacrifice your quality in the name of more profits, you will be replaced by someone else who is.

This is a very sad day for me.

Re:RIP Micron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300893)

Micron always made rock solid, good performing machines.

I completely disagree with that statement.

Re:RIP Micron (5, Informative)

Calmiche (531074) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300927)

Living in Boise, ID, maybe I can shed some light on this.

MPC has been steadily going downhill for a couple of years. I didn't work for MPC, but I had several customers who did. The gossip from them is a tale of outsourcing gone bad. MPC used to assemble PC's here in Idaho. A couple years ago, they outsourced most of the manufacturing overseas. Instead of building a new factory here, they built in China. All went well for awhile, then the quality started to slip. Companies stopped ordering. There wasn't enough money left to bring the manufacturing back to the states. Finally, the high oil prices of last year destroyed the profit margin they were making by outsourcing the manufacturing.

They have been in a death spiral ever since. They hoped to fix it by declaring Chapter 11 a couple months ago but that obviously didn't work.

*Disclaimer:
Please be aware that all my information is third hand and may not reflect other peoples experiences.

Re:RIP Micron (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301753)

Could have something to do with the Memory Cartel...
553. Tabrizi admitted at trial that he had told Sang Park, then the President and Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai, that he wanted to "kill" Rambus and force RDRAM from the market. (Tabrizi, Tr. 9105-07). Tabrizi subsequently testified that what he meant by "killing Rambus was really just "Rambus suicide, (with) me watching on the sideline. " (Tabrizi Tr. 9109). In his June 2000 email to Park, Tabrizi stated: " (i)f Intel does not invest in us, I really want to ask you to let me go back to my old mode of RDRAM killing. I think we were very close to achieving our goal until you said we are absolutely committed to this baby." (R 1661 at 2).

http://www.rambus.org/ [rambus.org]

Re:RIP Micron (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302153)

outsourcing causing their death.

I take a wee bit of comfort in that, in a schadenfreude kinda way.

maybe others will learn from this? maybe sending work offshore is NOT always the best way to 'fix' things?

Re:RIP Micron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26304073)

Possibly you've misunderstood that this is an offshoring success. This bankruptcy is just the final winding down of head office staff & the remaining investors who didn't have the sense to shift their funds to China. Rest assured that all the upper management who navigated the change were well renumerated, and will likely move on to similar positions, with similar responsibilities. Not one will have a personal bankruptcy.

Is the Chinese manufacturing even listed as MPC assets, or had MPC shifted to full outsourcing, using contractors? And even if MPC owned all or part of the Chinese facilities, those physical assets and jobs will now be sold locally, remaining Chinese facilities. This is a completed outsource.

So yeah, there are lessons here, but not quite the way you're thinking. Unbridled capitalism was only good for the US as long as the US remained the best playground. That's not the case anymore, and the US hasn't even begun the necessary cultural change to recognize this, and then to figure out a new structured capitalism that would be best for the nation.

Re:RIP Micron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303799)

Nice, another /.'r in Idaho. I'm over in Sun Valley...

Re:RIP Micron (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301051)

The best part was their warranty support for businesses. Not only were ALL of their level ONE support A+ certified (so they weren't total idiots at least), but they would allow onsite storage of spare parts. They would give us a spare desktop to keep on site in case any of our desktops needed a part. Part dies, we swap it with one from our spare system, call Micron and a swap is made for the extra part. They would even do chassis swaps for off site laptops where they would even clone the serial number/asset number of the system being replaced. None of this "Send it in and maybe in 5-10 days we'll give it back" crap. I'm sad to see a company that had such great policies go down.

Re:RIP Micron (1)

Cloudwalking (1210878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302743)

Micron didn't fail. They still make really good [crucial.com] memory :)

Re:RIP Micron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302833)

I can vouch for their build quality in the 2001-2005 timeframe (prior to the Gateway acquisition). I in charge of Hardware for over 1800 leased desktops spread over about 8 locations at a middle-sized engineering firm (18 months per machine and then they'd get swapped out for new ones). I went through about 4 generations of Micron PCs while working there and can honestly say that I probably had maybe 15 true hardware issues the whole time (mostly hard drives failing, a couple of motherboards, a couple of power supplies) - far less than a 1% failure rate. The RMA process was painless and efficient, and I actually spent most of my time handling the leasing swaps (imaging new machines and moving data to them, re-imaging the machines being returned to their base state). Dell charged a lot more money at the time for inferior machines, and as everyone knows their build quality and service have slipped quite a bit from the early 2000s...

anybody else read it like me? (3, Funny)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300215)

TRON strikes again! Eat it MCP! Oh wait...

Come to think of it, I bet TRON caused a bunch of layoffs too. Gosh, that kinda makes the movie more of a bummer :(

Re:anybody else read it like me? (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300357)

Off parent topic

Come to think of it, I bet TRON caused a bunch of layoffs too. Gosh, that kinda makes the movie more of a bummer :(

Didn't TRON and Flynn destroy the MCP and his monolithic ways to allows users access to their own programs again? Wouldn't this be more productive and have need for a bigger work force?

I may need to watch it again.

Re:anybody else read it like me? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301039)

...allows users access to their own programs again?

No, the MCP was then replaced with a BOFH who carried on in a similar fashion.

Re:anybody else read it like me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300591)

Here is all I read

[...] terminate its remaining employees

It seems as if the machines are beginning to take over.

Ex-Gateway customer. (2, Informative)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300221)

Well, this certainly makes me feel secure about the hundreds and hundreds of Gateway computers we've got at work. I'm sure warranty repair parts will be easily available.

*cough*

--saint

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300525)

If the warranty was from a 3rd company you should be OK. Desktop components are easy/cheap to replace. Laptops are not so easy.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302561)

Our problem is that the last hardware refresh for our computer labs (I work for a college) was all Gateway Profile all-in-one systems. They're nice, but almost none of the parts are standard; and, from what I hear from our desktop support people, the power supplies are prone to failure.

Awesome.

--saint

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300539)

I work for a schools system that has Gateway systems. We haven't seen any warranty parts since October.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

Petaris (771874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300681)

We had been standardizing on Gateway E-2610D systems (made by MPC) for the last two years. Their a good system except I have had the on-board NIC die on a few of them. Now I have to re-spec for some other brand. It irks me but it will probably be HP as I no longer trust Dell (since an issue we had with a bunch of Optiplex boxes). Anyone know of a brand that offers the same motherboards/chipsets for a few years at a time? I want to be able to use as few images as possible to manage our machines.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301443)

Look at the HP Compaq dc5000/7000 series. They're rock-solid stable business PCs that keep the same hardware for at least a year and a half.

We've deployed a few hundred dc5750's over the past few years, and they've been amazing performers.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

Petaris (771874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302803)

I am actually working on specing out a dc5800 Microtower model. I think its probably what we will go with. I have experienced their home user line a few times and its horrid but I have heard good things about the business/enterprise lines. Another school near us has used them for a number of years with good results.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301519)

Would that Optiplex issue be the bursting capacitors on the GX270?

I've had a handful of newer Optiplexen (620s IIRC) with dodgy power supplies, but (pulling a figure out of my butt) that's less than 5% of installed base, and Dell was good for quick replacements.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

Petaris (771874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302753)

We had the cap issue as well but there was just some general flakiness of the hardware and some ps issues as well. Also Dell was a pain in the arse for getting the CAP issue taken care of.

Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (1)

Petaris (771874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302865)

Sorry to reply to myself but I just thought I would mention quick that Dell wasn't the only one having the CAP issue. I know that, at the very least, HP had it as well.

Kinda harsh... (4, Funny)

rzei (622725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300249)

I for one believe that firing the employees in question would be enough, instead of termination. Perhaps it'd even be cheaper choice.

Re:Kinda harsh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300277)

Nuke MPC from orbit; it's the only way to be sure.

Re:Kinda harsh... (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300393)

No worries, the termination of expired human capital is fairly streamlined nowadays.
At first they make all but one employee jump off the building. The remaining employee will then clean up the mess and finally jump (along with the gore in a zipbag) into the crunch gears of a rented garbage truck.

Admittedly, the rental of that garbage truck (1 day) and those zipbags are still a cost factor but the they're working to optimize that further (experiments with paperbags are being carried out as we speak).

Re:Kinda harsh... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301531)

Nah, 50 ohm terminators are pretty cheap. Just stick one on the end...

Re:Kinda harsh... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302013)

Soo... MPC was this worlds CSC? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Kinda harsh... (1)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302347)

No, CSC [csc.com] is this world's CSC ;-)

This Explains Things (2, Insightful)

AMSmith42 (60300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300301)

This explains why my MPC salesperson didn't bug the crap out of me like other salespersons. I faxed in a P.O. in September but never heard from her again. Perhaps she'd been laid off early or quit. I wasn't worried about it because there were more critical items I was dealing with at the time. There's one contact I'll be deleting on Monday after Christmas break.

Re:This Explains Things (3, Interesting)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300465)

It could be worse. The salesman for MAD Computer sold us a bunch of systems after the company had shut down. He didn't tell anyone, just continued to sell product on hand.

Re:This Explains Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301269)

It could be worse. The salesman for MAD Computer sold us a bunch of systems after the company had shut down. He didn't tell anyone, just continued to sell product on hand.

Along with the remaining stock of ferschlugginers, fonebones and left-handed veeblefetzers?

Micron Quality (2, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300303)

Micron made some bullet proof laptops. About five years ago, when I worked as a civilian for the Department of the Navy, they gave me one bangin' Micron laptop. My friend had a Micron full tower back in college and the thing was bullet proof. It ran Linux flawlessly. In fact, I was going to purchase one because they are clearly superior to Dell but I they were out of my price range at the time. I guess everyone is now looking at their bottom dollar so quality has lessened. Still a shame, but people would rather pay less than a small amount more. In the three years that I had that laptop, I put it through hell and never once did its hardware fail. It survived rough handling and, an embarrasing slip out of my hand.

Re:Micron Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303269)

Well, I guess working at the Navy would give you plenty of opportunity to determine exactly how bullet proof your laptop really was. I hope you posted You Tube videos of the test.

Good bye warranty (1)

DeathKnoT (1169311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300307)

This is going to be a pain in the ass especially for business customers who i guess now have no support. They were also having issues delivering machines with massive delays months.

Re:Good bye warranty (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301155)

I'm currently in that group. We had a shipment of 55 PCs that just came in last week, only to hear about the future of MPC on Monday. We now have a bunch of MPC and Gateway PCs that effectively have no warranty or support coverage.

Re:Good bye warranty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301603)

Ouch, 55 brand new PC's a week before the close up.

We canceled all outstanding orders with MPC as soon as the Chapter 11 hit the news. We had been using them for 10yrs for our business computers and servers. Great support, overnight warranty parts with no bullshit hassle. We couldn't get a better vendor IMO.

The last year though things slowly went down hill, from delays on new orders with random excuses, to not getting any warranty parts anymore starting in Sept, tons on order, with excuses from them that the warehouse was out of stock, call back next week. We got a few parts shipped first week of December and then nothing since.

Re:Good bye warranty (1)

Locopelli (1443491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301543)

We have bomber Gateway desktops and (less-and-less bomber) MPC laptops throughout the organization. We shuddered when Gateway went kaput, realized all our eggs were in one fragile basket, and now we have no support. Luckily our warranties were up this month anyway. Condolences to those who purchased from MPC lately. Dell has finally stepped up to the plate, and now all our eggs will be in a basket in Round Rock.

FSM knows I'm a major pessimist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300313)

This is.....good? Bad? Catastrophic? On a good day I'm a severe depressive and major cynic, but life is slowing inching toward an hero territory.

Anyone want to give me a brighter picture?

Misleading Title is Misleading (2, Funny)

kevind23 (1296253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300365)

Don't scare me! What with all the Zunes freezing, you can't be too careful nowadays... the last thing I need is trusty ol' MPC to crash!

Re:Misleading Title (1)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300515)

Yeah, With it being a new year and all, I thought at first the computers themselves were shutting down a la Zune. Maybe "MPC Computers Going the Way of the Dodo" would have been a better title.

No Bailout for You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300371)

No Bailout for You!

Terminate! Terminate! gaah! (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300409)

in spite of the spectacular summary, I chose not to RTFA. too gory for work.

Re:Terminate! Terminate! gaah! (1)

Meumeu (848638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300729)

Exterminate! Exterminate!

Fixed that for you...

PC Magazine darling of the late 90's (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300421)

I remember reading a bunch of PC magazine reviews in the mid- to late- 90's and Micron PCs always seemed to be near the top of the editor's picks. Which led me to wonder: what the hell is a Micron PC? I knew HP, Dell, Gateway 2000, and Compaq back then, but I never saw a Micron PC in person. I guess I never will...I'm getting all choked up.

Expected this, did a few of the warrenty repairs (2, Interesting)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300443)

Unisys had a contract to do MPC computers. I think it was a hold over from the "oh fuck the customer is MAD, send a tech out there!" contract we had with gateway before they bought them.

There was one case where they sent motherboard after motherboard. (5 in total) to a gateway customer. Looked like someone in shipping kept substituting the wrong board. Though how you could substitute an ATA interface laptop board with with a SATA interface and expect it to work is beyond me.

But that was their laptops, there servers were very solid and support was GREAT. Always got on the phone with an experienced techs. I just think they shouldn't of bought the Gateway stuff.

MPC didn't have a big foot print though. Its hard to be the little guy in a bit Dell/HP world. Hate to see them go.

MPC's Downfall Makes Me Smile (3, Interesting)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300451)

I, for one, happen to be rather pleased that MPC bit the dust: We hired one of their former employees back in November, and he has proven to be a great addition to our (currently growing, amazingly) company.

Re:MPC's Downfall Makes Me Smile (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300523)

As long as he isn't in charge of parts requisitions for your desktop PC's you should be fine.

Re:MPC's Downfall Makes Me Smile (3, Interesting)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300647)

This is one reason the computer industry really helps keep the employment numbers high. Unlike the auto industry, employees can much more easily go to a new company and contribute right off the bat. So, when you read about these kind of layoffs just think that it's a good thing because the employees will end up at a place that is setup better in order for them to succeed.

Re:MPC's Downfall Makes Me Smile (1)

jerk (38494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302139)

It's not like there's a shortage of well-trained IT-related folks around Boise. I don't see why you'd be happy that a company that was once Nampa's largest employer is now gone.

Re:MPC's Downfall Makes Me Smile (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302301)

We had actually been looking for quite some time without success. Our requirements were not strictly for an IT person - we needed someone more well-rounded, and bilingual. This person fit the bill nicely, so we lucked out that he was pink-slipped. I am not tickled to death that MPC no longer exists, and I know it has left a lot of highly qualified folks w/out work. Seeing businesses fail is never a pretty sight for anyone. We just happened to benefit as a result, for which I'm grateful. Lemonade from lemons, and all that.

Re:MPC's Downfall Makes Me Smile (1)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302571)

What? He found another job without a government bailout to prop up this industry?!

Absurd!

Gateway was the death of them (4, Interesting)

citking (551907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300467)

We used MPC in a higher-ed setting quite consistently over Dell since they had better deals, more configuration options, and USA tech support.

Once they purchased Gateway however the service was horrible. Installing XP on a RAID-enabled SATA controller required the RAID drivers which Gateway/MPC techs refused to send to us. It took 10 minutes for them to find the system in the database and over an hour for one of their techs to scour their website for the proper driver.

MPC's only original 2 flaws were their oddly-interfaced website and their billing. You know how you get configuration errors if you have more cards than PCI slots? Well, their "default" configurations would always have a configuration error right off the bat. Things like that, plus poorly-updated tracking info made it useless.

And then their billing...I moved to a different department and therefore had a new purchasing card issued to me (and the old one canceled). 3 Months after a PC purchase I received a threatening e-mail from their accounts Receivable stating that the payment on the system was denied and that we'd better pay up now or go to court. A quick e-mail and a call with the new card number resolved things quickly, but waiting 3 months to bill for a system is a little odd.

MPC had a good thing going right up to that point (for the most part anyhow). The Gateway curse continues.

Dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300471)

You're gettin a Dell... or an IBM, or whatever.

Clearly the personal computer fad is ending. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300487)

Netcraft would confirm it if they themselves weren't in the process of closing up shop.

Bad Business Manners! (3, Informative)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300493)

They didn't even notify their customers. We had ordered hundreds of PCs (all-in-ones) for a new South Tower at our hospital and they didn't even have the courtesy to give is a head up! Just Plain rude!

Re:Bad Business Manners! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300939)

Why would they? If they were serious about trying to recover their business from chapter 11 then telling customers they were almost dead would have really put an end to their business.

One could also just say that you ordered PCs from a company in chapter 11 so it's also your own damn fault.

Re:Bad Business Manners! (1)

Manfre (631065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301073)

I doubt your account manager received anymore notice than you did.

In the grand scheme of things.... (2, Insightful)

sdnoob (917382) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300579)

this is like Michael Dell swatting a gnat.

MPC had been essentially non-player in the PC business for years, even after it's acquisition of the business unit of Gateway.

They had several lucrative contracts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300759)

They had contracts with the V.A. Coast Guard, Army, L.A. County school District. It is just another company fleeced by their CEO and other executives.

Not bad product, but really bad service (2, Interesting)

michael_allison (697265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300771)

We purchased some Gateway M275 tablets a couple of years ago and were pretty happy with them, but then MPC took over the business from Gateway and everything went down hill...the service we received was terrible and when we were looking at new tablets earlier this year, we were promised a lot by MPC and they didn't deliver on any of it. We had an order placed with them in August and they choose not to tell us they were out of business until two weeks ago...

yea.. -1 redundant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26300777)

How am I going to get on the Game Grid now???

My recollections of Micron (4, Interesting)

AmericanGladiator (848223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26300843)

I worked for Micron for a while. It has a somewhat confusing history. I was there in the mid-late 90's when it was called Micron Electronics. It was tethered to Micron Tech at that time (the memory maker). Micron Tech in hindsight did well to spin off Micron Electronics (MPC) in 2001.

Micron Electronics had previously acquired ZEOS computers along with a small groups of engineers from a little town in Minnesota that had expertise in chip design, specifically north bridge chips. It was these engineers that I worked with.

It was no secret that their strategy was to create performance/gaming PCs. They did that by going up against the Intels, VIAs, and SiSs in creating the fastest northbridge ICs for a given CPU. They also designed their own motherboards and extended the commercially-obtained BIOS to take advantage of features in their chipsets.

Even though they were based in Nampa, Idaho, they had significant operations in Minnesota (in fact all design was in Roseville, MN). Nampa had a larger workforce, but it was primarily production.

I'm somewhat sad that they folded, though I'll admit I haven't followed them for a while. My thoughts are that Dell/Alienware and the DIY market took away the high-end customers. Micron (Electronics) attempted to get into servers with the purchase of NetFrame in the 1997 timeframe. I don't think they ever got any real traction with those products, though.

R.I.P. ZEOS/Micron Electronics/Micron PC

Re:My recollections of Micron (1)

weiserfireman (917228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303245)

I worked for Micron CMS from 1991 to 1994

One day I had an "Edge Technology" 386 dropped on my desk to replace an old 286. It was one of the first 30 prototype PCs from the company that grew into Micron Computer. It was very obviously a prototype, but I did fun stuff with it. It helped to work for a memory maker. Micron made a line of memory expansion cards that ran in ISA slots. I ran around and found all of them that I could find. I eventually had about 256MB of memory stuffed in this box. I set most of it as a RAM Drive. The AutoExec would copy Windows 3.1 to the RAM drive and then launch it from there. I had a small batch file that I launched when we wanted to shut down to copy Windows back from the RAM Drive to the Hard drive. Engineers used to come in and marvel how much faster my computer was than theirs was. It was stable enough for the uses we had for it and it ran like a bat out of h**l. Before I left the company, I bought a Micron PC for my home.

Micron Electronics eventually bought the CMS division, moved it to Nampa and eventually sold much of it to Plexus.

do77 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301001)

that 7he project OpenBSD wanker Theo fanatic known And piss cocktail. Wash off hands tired arguments ultimately, we

Their tech support sucked (2, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301501)

I work in higher education. We've had a few MPC-Gateways (my area is mainly Dell, thank goodness, but other techs are not so lucky), and nearly every time we've needed support on a Gateway box, it's been terrible. I've had an incompatible drive sent to me, twice. They have refused to send me restore DVDs for in-warranty machines, when the restore partition failed[1]. It can be difficult to find the correct drivers on their website.

And now, we've got this then-expensive 22" widescreen monitor that went bad a couple months ago and is putatively still under warranty. Except now that they are bankrupt and dissolving, there is no warranty. We've got the money that he already bought a replacement, but that's a regular burr beneath my saddle that we paid for something which we'll never get.

[1] A problem because of said machines needing XP Tablet Edition, and us not having a site license nor media for that version.

Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26301767)

We used them as our primary computer provider. When the bailouts were just going out to banks they were filing for Chapter 11. It's been well over a month or two since they were processing RMA's normally, and it's been up to 6 months since we first started noticing increased delays with service.

Hell, just a week and a half ago the Judge made a ruling that allowed them to take care of 'preferred customers'. Luckily, that included us. The downside was only the stuff that was back ordered could be put in and they "lost" several RMA orders (they redid many of those).

We received notification on Sunday I think that they had told their employees to make a phone conference Monday morning before coming in to work. They laid off all but 20 people who are doing nothing but closing their doors.

It's a real shame too. Their ClientPro series was pretty useful for an all-in-one. Wall mountable, and didn't suffer the heat damage that most all-in-ones do. We've had several installed without any real care at various places across the US for up to 3 years without issue!

And on the ones WITH an issue, we usually just send a hard drive since it was in a tray and swapped it out to fix software issues. Cheaper than sending a technician since a janitor can do the swap.

It's sad news, but its OLD news if you were a customer of theirs.

Not completely familiar with MPCs warranty stuff.. (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26301847)

But if MPC owned a large number of warranties, and they are now defunct, why is this allowed to affect the consumer at all? If I buy a warranty from company 'A', and company 'A' sells their warranty department to company 'B' a year later, why can I as a consumer not go back to company 'A' and demand that they honor the warranty that was originally purchased under them? Company 'A' likely was paid for those warranties, and I don't find it unreasonable to expect that money from company 'A' be used to cover their decision to sell what was their responsibilities to company 'B'. After all, the warranty was between company 'A' and myself. If company 'A' didn't handle the decision to sell to company 'B' in the best interest of the consumer, then company 'A' should be held responsible for them.

Businesses should be aligned to honor and treasure their customers. If businesses do not want to make those decisions willingly, then laws should allow customers to go and file a lawsuit as applicable. I'm sorry but the customer shouldn't be allowed to lose without recourse because a few people were selfish assholes. I'm sure the business owners have been reimbursed quite well for running their business into the ground. If the decision makers made a bad decision, then the business owner should be walking away from the business with the clothes on their back and their tail between their legs. Nothing less than this should EVER be acceptable.

It's situations like this that make me somewhat leery of buying one of those 3rd party warranties. If ABC computers wants to warranty my Dell PC for 3 years for $349.99 will ABC computers really be in business for the next 3 years? If they flop a week later, do I have any options for recourse?

It's a fact that when the economy is down, more people will actually use their warranty options rather than just buy a new computer and justify it saying "Well, the computer is 2.5 years old. Why not buy a new one instead of the hassle of warranty". Money is tight, and consumers will use their warranty to the maximum extent possible.

I feel bad for the employees at the company that were effectively jobless days after christmas, with no warning of their impending 'layoff'. I find their letter justifying why the couldn't give 60 days notice unsettling. They're admitting they screwed up, and i'm sure their former employees are comforted by this fact, right? I hope they ban together and demand those 60 days paid, as is required by law. Who pays their salary for those 60 days? The people in charge that decided they'd gamble with people's jobs and try to get 'financial assistance' to keep those higher-ups a job.

It all stinks of shit to me.

Re:Not completely familiar with MPCs warranty stuf (2, Informative)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302589)

I feel bad for the employees at the company that were effectively jobless days after christmas, with no warning of their impending 'layoff'. I find their letter justifying why the couldn't give 60 days notice unsettling. They're admitting they screwed up, and i'm sure their former employees are comforted by this fact, right? I hope they ban together and demand those 60 days paid, as is required by law.

Indeed, and now there is even a template now on how to do just that: [nwsource.com]

A day after dozens of protesting workers walked out of the Republic Windows & Doors plant with their demands met, they said they hope their triumph will inspire others nationwide to take similar stands against employers if need be.

"Sometimes people are scared to say something to big companies," said Ricardo Caceres, who spent his first night in his own bed after sleeping on a flatbed truck in the plant during the six day sit-in. "But we stood up - opened everyone's eyes." ...

About 200 of the 240 laid-off workers occupied the doors and windows manufacturer last week, demanding severance and accrued vacation pay after Republic gave them just three days notice before closing the plant down...

Wednesday's agreement means the laid-off workers will each get about $7,000 in accrued vacation pay and eight weeks of salary. Each will also get two months paid health care.

not surprised... (1)

pwolf (1016201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302285)

I've had to call in a few gateway laptops and didn't have any problems at all until I called in on the day someone over at MPC decided to change their input applications and database. I was on the phone for 2+ hours and was eventually cut off and had to call back the next day when I was on the phone for another hour or two. Every time after that I've had nothing but problems from MPC. Every call took way too long and one person even told me to have the user I was supporting call them so submit the support request. WHAT?! After telling them how completely unprofessional that would be on my part and how angry my user would be, they created the ticket.

Still have a working Micron P2 system at work. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303463)

It's for old Windows testing like 9x and 2000. The only that failed was its HDD and CD-ROM drive.

There goes the warranty (1)

Trilobyte (19074) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303879)

We just bought another 35 of their All-in-ones over the summer, for the computer lab at the university... MPC had a great warranty on their machines, and a great service dept., which let us keep things running smoothly. So much for that!

Too bad (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26304127)

If you can not be the price leader, then you have to learn to be the market leader. Companies like that need to create their own markets. Sadly, business ppl today are worthless.
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