{July 19, 2009}   temporarily away

so, I finally got tired of all the little hardware problems with my laptop. I called dell. I jumped through their hoops. I backed everything up. and tomorrow they’re sending a box for me to put my laptop in.
it’ll be back, without the hardware issues (I hope), in 7-10 business days.

this means no laptop for two weeks. :/ sucky, but it was the least painful time of year to do this. and the warranty is only good for another month anyways.

I do have my n810 and my ancient desktop machine, and pete says I can borrow his laptop if I need to – but getting a proper working environment set up always takes time. and effort. and I hate doing it. so I’m going to have to cut one or two plugins from my gsoc project. perhaps I can get them done after gsoc, or perhaps someone else can write them – they’re really not that hard. :)

it’s funny… I love packing and unpacking *things*. moving is fun for me. but moving to a new *computer* is something I hate. I just want my computer to stay the same and stay working, and there’s always a ton of little details that don’t Just Work or are different or something…

James S. says:

What’s wrong with your Dell? Many people say that Dell offers good quality but all I read everywhere is “Well, my Dell XYZ is broken but they fix it soon for free”. Nice that this is so easy but I want a laptop to work with but not a laptop from which I know it is easy to fix. Can you still recommend your XPS?

Chani says:

lots of other people have XPS laptops, and only one of them has had the sort of trouble I’ve had. most of them were quite happy with their laptop.

Ian Monroe says:

@Jamaes well laptops are less reliable in general since many suck at heat issues. For instance I don’t even know how to clean my laptop and I doubt it has some sort of antidust magic to keep it from looking like my desktop does on the inside after some months of not cleaning (eg a complete mess). The laptop runs hella hot and is noticeably less stable.

So desktops: they’re still pretty cool. :)

xyz says:

james, I suggest you a latitude e6500… i’ve it for 4-5 months and it’s the best notebook i’ve ever had. Full compatible with linux (i use gentoo, with (k)ubuntu it’s just too easy :) ) and i have it as i wanted it (without stuff i never use, but with the cpu, hd, ram, etc that i prefer)… oh… and i get it without windows, they gave me a cd of freedos (i don’t know how much i save, probably just few euros, but at least i don’t have a cd i never use :) )

xyz says:

ian… you can just open your notebook screw by screw and clean it with air… it takes a day, but the final result is good :)

Ability to replicate between systems is important, make a good backup (I suggest a gentoo livecd) tarball, and when it comes back, untar and redo grub :-)

Carroarmato0 says:

maybe the only true vacation for an IT persone is one without his/her laptop xD

As far as laptops go, my experience with Dell has been flawless (just recently upgraded from an insperon 640 to a vostro 1310). No real trouble with the hardware (outside of broadcom wifi, but even that was ok), and never a hitch.

A collegue had some heating trouble with his vostro 1000, but in under an hour we had it open, cleaned the radiator and back together, and it’s been fine since.

Oh, and as for writing plugins, I’m not going to take your word on how hard it is… ‘To do easily what others find difficult…’ and all that :)

Téo says:

A year ago I bought an XPS 1530: grainy screen, backlight bleed, bumped keyboard, broken fan. I RMA’d it the same week and got a new one with more or less the same issues. Plus, it felt very plasticky and cheap compared to some other notebooks from HP or Lenovo. So I just asked for my money back, returned the XPS and got myself a shiny Thinkpad R61 (for the same money unfortunately I had to settle for a slightly slower system) which has been working flawlessly ever since.
I’d buy from Dell again though, maybe a Latitude some time, if not for the quality of their hardware, for the quality of their customer service (at least in Italy).

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