Archive for the ‘dell’ Category

PC Envy

September 6, 2007

Kent Newsome just bought a new (and quiet) toy. Of course, I’m immediately jealous. 🙂

I’ve been pondering for the past month or so about what my next system purchase will be. I’m torn between a laptop or a desktop machine. The Dell XPS M1330 has caught my eye – no pedestrian Inspirons for this tough guy! 😉 But buddy at work got a nice XPS 710 desktop system a while back and I have to say, when you pair that up with a Dell 24″ LCD monitor, it’s pretty damn nice too.

My current machine is still plenty usable. It’s a P4-3GHz, and with running Openbox on Feisty, I’m very happy with the speed. It’s very capable for most of the stuff I do. Of course extra processing power (even in the M1330 I suppose) would do me fine for encoding all those damn screencasts too. 🙂

So right now I’m torn between a laptop and a desktop. The laptop makes infinitely more common sense to me. And I’m not looking for a desktop replacement style laptop either. I like the 13.3″ screen because I’m interested in a light, portable and capable device. We have a 17″ HP laptop at work and it’s a behemoth. Completely at odds with what I’m looking for (the guys at work say I’m nuts).

Another problem? I’ve been out of the computer buying market for quite some time and haven’t paid enough attention. A T5300 or T7200 processor means almost nothing to me. And worse still, I’ve never owned a laptop so I’m at a loss as to what to really look for technically. One thing is for sure, it’s gotta be a Dell – family discount y’know. 🙂

Mis-Advertised price. What would you do?

July 13, 2007

Okay, it’s ethical question time again. Have I ever asked an ethical question here? Dunno. But here goes:

You go visit the Acme Co. website and notice that they’re showing their rocket-powered roller skates on sale for $24.99. You’re impressed, mostly because those specific skates are normally listed somewhere around $125.00.

Soon, Acme Co. realizes that the pricing shown is a mistake and erects some sort of electronic barrier to block the page. Some enthusiastic shoppers (who obviously love rocket-powered roller skates) are able to circumvent the barrier and find the incorrect listings. They place orders. Lots of orders.

Shortly thereafter, Acme issues a notice describing the mistake and offered those customers a discount. Normal orders on those mis-priced roller skates increase by 200X over the weekend.

Now would you:

A) Take the discount and be happy.

B) Accept the discount, grumble and tell Acme Co. that it should be more careful.


C) Capitalize on Acme’s mistake and fight – for four years -right up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

For me, it’s either A) or B) depending on the situation. For a Quebec man and his dealings with Dell Inc. it’s C).

There are lots of other minute but important details to the case. But it just drives me nuts when I see people try to capitalize on other people’s mistakes in that way.

No, I’m no saint. I’ve had people undercharge me for things, and later, when I realize it, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. But there are many more times where someone has undercharged me and I realize it right there and then. I tell them. They appreciate it. I feel good.

Maybe I’m just hokey. Or does the idea of spending 4 years fighting for my right to capitalize on someone else’s mistake sound perfectly noble to you?

Expanding the Dell Linux experiment…

July 10, 2007

Dell’s interest in Linux is getting thicker… and Leons getting larger…

25 absolutely free Inkscape screencasts to anyone who can tell me in
the comments where the 2nd half of that line comes from… 😉

Ubuntu To Jump Shark – free admission

May 2, 2007

Given the impending news of Dell shipping systems preloaded with Ubuntu, I guess there is no doubt now that Ubuntu has jumped the shark. What’s next? Trying to get Linux slapped on the side of an IRL race car? At this rate, there will be people using Linux who’ve never even compiled a kernel before!

Oh the humanity!

Honestly, I don’t see the march towards free and open source salvation (or disaster depending on your point of view) stopping any time soon either. I’m not going to join the geeky hordes in calling this the ‘Year of the Linux Desktop’ – even though this year it seems somewhat more realistic than the last ten, but looking at the surroundings, it does give you pause for thought.

Some interesting things from my perspective:

1. Free and open source development is not slowing – people not getting directly paid for developing things hasn’t been a major stumbling block to this point.

2. The general public is getting more tech saavy. It doesn’t matter if they are switching to Macintosh. At least they are beginning to realize that there are completely viable non-Microsoft alternatives. While awareness is growing at what seems like a snail’s pace, it is growing – inexorably.

3. If Vista hasn’t been a failure, it sure hasn’t been the runaway success that it needed to be to maintain utter long term dominance.

4. Virtualization may make the choice obsolete. If I can run XP in VMWare, or XP in Parallels on a Mac, then the sacrifice of moving from one platform to another will vanish.

5. The pace is relentless. Who can move faster? Microsoft, Apple or FOSS developers? Doesn’t releasing an OS every 5 years leave you a little hog-tied when technologies rise and fall so quickly? Apple sounds like it is trying to make some big steps with Leopard. It has to. I haven’t heard of one thing in Vista that could be considered a big step ahead. Linux will undoubtedly scramble, catch up and likely surpass Apple’s best efforts within a year anyway. Such is the tenacity of riled up developers when the gauntlet is thrown.

6. Free and open-source software is empowering the people who make and do interesting things. Open vs. closed models is becoming the big debate more and more often. Witness Silverlight v. Adobe.

7. If you can succeed as wildly as Ubuntu has, with a default brown theme, you can do just about anything! 😉

So the shark-jumping is not the end. It’s hopefully only the beginning.