Sep
09
2010
0

One Bad Mother – shut your mouth!

Youd have to know the theme song to really get it...

You'd have to know the theme song to really get it...

You’ll understand the title in just a moment…

For the last few months my laptop has been in bad shape.  Such bad shape I’ve been using a backup laptop. [1]  Something on my laptop’s motherboard went bad and killed the battery. [2][3]  I could still use it – but I had to keep it plugged in all the time.  If I needed to move it, I had to shut it down all the way, move it, then boot it up – since it had no battery life at all.

Well, Dell’s kick ass incredible customer service took care of me – once again.  I can’t thank these guys enough for going above and beyond.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my next laptop is going to be a Dell. Thanks to Lionel my laptop is sporting a totally brand-spanking new motherboard and power cord.  I’ve also just slapped in a totally new battery as well.

Anyhow, I’m beyond happy. [4]

  1. Trust me, the back up laptop is nothing to brag about. []
  2. You see, the motherboard – it went bad.  It was one bad mother…  Oh, forget it. []
  3. The photo does not belong to me and is probably the property of MGM. []
  4. Yes, yes, I’m a nerd – whatever. []
Jun
14
2009
0

How to Buy a New Computer: Part III Basic Laptops

New Laptop

New Laptop

I recently posted about how to buy a new computer.  First, you need to think about balancing wants versus needs.  My second post was about the new laptop category of cheap and lightweight netbooks.

Why should you choose a basic laptop?

If you are highly concerned about cost, portability, battery life and not as concerned about optical drives [1] , screen size, or keyboard size you probably want a netbook.  It will probably run you between $300 – $500.[2]

If cost-be-damned you just must have absolutely everything, well, then get yourself a high end laptop.[3]  The sky’s the limit with a computer like this.  You can configure an Alienware laptop that will make Deep Thought hide its processor in shame for $5,000.00 or so.

If you are concerned about cost but just cannot sacrifice optical drives, screen size, or keyboard size, you probably want a basic laptop.  A basic laptop is all about compromises.  You get the hardware you need from a desktop, but without the thin, light, elegant, and portable design.  These laptops typically weigh between 6 and 8 pounds and cost between $600 and $1000 or so.

There are so many nearly indistinguishable computers in this category, there is no real point in suggesting a particular laptop.  Just about every manufacturer has several choices for basic laptops.

  1. DVD/CD drives []
  2. Photo courtesy of Ciccio Pizzettaro []
  3. Scroll to the bottom for my pic k. []
Mar
24
2009
0

Drooling over the Dell Mini 9

New Laptop

New Laptop

Since I reviewed available netbooks about two months back several new options have opened up.[1] There’s the new Samsung NC110[2][3] and a slew of new Acer One’s.

However, none of them can touch the 4GB Dell Mini 9 on sale right now for $199 with Ubuntu.

I know I had earlier said that 8GB was too small for my purposes. I had even suggested that I was more interested in some of the other available netbooks over the Dell for this reason.  However, I want to make my next computer a Dell, true to my word.

The reason I’m considering the 4GB version where I was dismissing the 8GB version before is the incredible price and the purposes to which such a laptop would be put.  In order to do about 98% of what I need with a laptop, I could easily use a netbook.  On any given day I use:

  • Firefox for web browsing
  • Thunderbird for e-mail
  • Pidgin for instant messaging
  • FileZilla for FTP transfers
  • Notepad++ for programming/text editing
  • OpenOffice for word processing, spreadsheets
  • TightVNC for remote access

All of these programs are open source software and available for Ubuntu[4] and Windows.  So, in shopping for a laptop, I really don’t care about which operating system I use.  The 4GB Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu could do all of these things – and for a $199 price tag.  Plus, with the Mini’s SD card slot, I could pop in an extra 16GB of memory for only $26.

  1. Photo courtesy of Ciccio Pizzettaro []
  2. The Samsung NC110 is the successor to the NC10 []
  3. A review of the NC110 I found helpful []
  4. An easy-to-use Liniux installation. []
Feb
13
2009
0

400 Registered Users!

1955 Packard 400

1955 Packard 400

February has been a wacky month.  And, on Friday February 13th the 400th user registered for this website. [1] Since the 300th registered user, quite a lot has happened:

  1. Photo courtesy of atxbill []
  2. Trust me, its easier than it sounds… []
  3. I have several more of these planned []
Jan
09
2009
4

Dell Customer Service!!!

Dell

Dell Customer Service!!!

Dell’s customer service has been my single greatest customer service experience with any product, ever.

Let me break it down for you:

Here’s Lionel’s e-mail to me from just after midnight this morning:

“Jay:Lionel Menchaca, Chief Dell Blogger

That’s great news. I’m really glad to see it all worked out smoothly. I appreciate you being a loyal Dell customer. Feel free to tell any other Dell customers how to contact me directly if they need some assistance.

It’s customer’s like you that make this the best job I’ve ever had.

Sincerely,

Lionel Menchaca

Chief Blogger, Dell Inc.

www.dell.com/blogs

e-mail: lionel_menchaca@dell.com

Twitter: twitter.com/LionelatDell

phone: 512.728.8685″

If you’ve got an issue with your Dell, get a hold of Lionel directly.  He’s an incredible guy working for an incredible company.  Lionel and Dell took care of me.  This Dell XPS m1210 is my third Dell laptop, and my next computer will absolutely be a Dell too.

  1. It died within 1 year after my warranty expired, but by the time I talked to Dell it was more than a year out of warranty. []
  2. It was a very simple and short e-mail, so it took me forever to write. []
  3. The only way to fix a bad integrated graphics card. []
  4. Rock on completely, with some brand new components!” – CAKE []

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