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(BBC)   Working Apple I computer sold at auction for $650,000. Still no price listed for the rarest of all computers - a working Dell laptop   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 63
    More: Followup, mother boards, Steve Wozniak  
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784 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 May 2013 at 10:49 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-26 09:48:32 AM  
Dell laptops have a reputation for not being reliable?


www.notebookcheck.net

I have an Inspiron 9400 from 2006 that still runs just fine, and that thing got hauled to dozens of filthy, vibration filled, and dust strewn oil rig job sites for several years.  I recently dropped it about 3 feet onto a tile floor and (miracle, I know) made it through without a glitch.

Over the years I maxed out the RAM, upgraded to Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, swapped the HD for an SSD and just a few weeks ago invested $19 in a new battery from Newegg. The only thing that pisses me off about the computer is that it won't recognize more than 3 gig of RAM even though it's a 64 bit machine.

Performancewise it's a little long in the tooth, but it's plenty fast for watching videos, editing docs in LibreOffice, surfing websites, and HTML coding.

Come to think of it, I think the old 9400 is every bit as fast as my almost brand new Acer Aspire One netbook.

=========

They also have  hundreds of Dell laptops at the high school where I teach, and though the things are old, slow, and damn heavy to carry around everywhere they seem plenty tough.

And I think the "slow" part is mainly due to a combo of limited RAM and shiatware on the standard install image like Symantec 360 and several competing brands of remote management software running at the same time.  WTF were the IT guys thinking?
 
2013-05-26 10:02:23 AM  
The Dell hate is unwarranted. Subby is just a trollin'.
 
2013-05-26 10:52:33 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: The Dell hate is unwarranted. Subby is just a trollin'.


Riche: Dell laptops have a reputation for not being reliable?


I've owned or managed about a dozen Dell laptops in the past decade or so. Ten years ago they were solid, never had problems with them. The last few i've had were junk, none lasted more than a year or so before major hardware failures. I bought my wife's dell for her last xmas, it died in Feb - 14 months. What a joke.
 
2013-05-26 10:59:03 AM  
I'm working on a Dell laptop right now so I'm getting a ki... taking bids.
 
2013-05-26 11:01:29 AM  
I've got two old Dell lappies in the house now, from 2004 and 2005 respectively.

I have one running XP and one with linux. Both are more than powerful enough for casual home use and rock-solid reliable, even now.

Subby don't know hardware.
 
2013-05-26 11:03:11 AM  
i42.tinypic.com

i don't think the pic in that article is an apple I. AFAIK, the apple I was in a wooden box, with apple having just supplied the boards.
 
2013-05-26 11:06:44 AM  
Why subby I have a working Dell right here I'll sell you for considerable less than $650000. Now it's not a *perfectly' working Dell but it does work.

Seriously I've owned 3 and the one major problem I had they dealt with it.
 
2013-05-26 11:11:23 AM  
The lifespan of electronics is vastly influenced by the care given by its owner, more at 11.
 
2013-05-26 11:16:44 AM  

snuff3r: Lt. Cheese Weasel: The Dell hate is unwarranted. Subby is just a trollin'.

Riche: Dell laptops have a reputation for not being reliable?

I've owned or managed about a dozen Dell laptops in the past decade or so. Ten years ago they were solid, never had problems with them. The last few i've had were junk, none lasted more than a year or so before major hardware failures. I bought my wife's dell for her last xmas, it died in Feb - 14 months. What a joke.


What a damn shame.
 
2013-05-26 11:16:46 AM  

FlashHarry: [i42.tinypic.com image 473x296]

i don't think the pic in that article is an apple I. AFAIK, the apple I was in a wooden box, with apple having just supplied the boards.


That's the Apple Lisa, which was the Mac's predecessor. It cost $10,000 when new and was an abysmal failure.
 
2013-05-26 11:18:27 AM  

dustman81: That's the Apple Lisa, which was the Mac's predecessor. It cost $10,000 when new and was an abysmal failure.


yup. one of the most famous tech flops of all time.
 
2013-05-26 11:19:19 AM  
i've got a great working Dell laptop.

the reason it runs so well is that i reformatted the drive (got rid of the windows OS virus) and installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.   Schweet!
 
2013-05-26 11:20:38 AM  

xaks: I've got two old Dell lappies in the house now, from 2004 and 2005 respectively.

I have one running XP and one with linux. Both are more than powerful enough for casual home use and rock-solid reliable, even now.

Subby don't know hardware.



be careful with that XP one online.  she'll pick you up a virus/worm.
 
2013-05-26 11:22:07 AM  
Dell told me to install Windows or Better, so i installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.  runs faster/better with Linux than it did with its original XP install.
 
2013-05-26 11:28:32 AM  

Linux_Yes: xaks: I've got two old Dell lappies in the house now, from 2004 and 2005 respectively.

I have one running XP and one with linux. Both are more than powerful enough for casual home use and rock-solid reliable, even now.

Subby don't know hardware.


be careful with that XP one online.  she'll pick you up a virus/worm.


One: No she won't. Windows really isn't all that hard to lock down and keep clean, provided your user isn't ...well, *special*.

Two: So what? I have it imaged fully. If it died, anything other than a full hardware failure of course, I am back up and running with a clean machine in about 20 minutes.
 
2013-05-26 11:40:43 AM  
Remember when every computer used to work for decades?

Good times.
 
2013-05-26 12:02:53 PM  
Work issued me a brand new Dell laptop back in Dec.  The HD failed this past Wednesday.
 
2013-05-26 12:11:02 PM  
except for when I wind up putting the thing in the bag not fully shut down, my dells have been great

user caused incidents can't be blamed on the manufacturer
 
2013-05-26 12:11:48 PM  
I have a 10-year old Dell laptop to the left of me on the computer desk (Windows XP). Not my primary computer anymore since I got a new PC in January, but it still works. About the only thing I can't do on it much anymore is play streaming content for more than a few minutes or it starts overheating. Other than that, no problems.


And I'm the third owner too.
 
2013-05-26 12:15:09 PM  
An Apple for $650,000?  Must have been on sale.
 
2013-05-26 12:27:10 PM  

Linux_Yes: Dell told me to install Windows or Better


Wow.  You really ruined that joke.  How hard is it to tell a 10 year old joke consisting of a single sentence?
 
2013-05-26 12:28:03 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: An Apple for $650,000?  Must have been on sale.


Good job! All we need now are a bunch of bad puns to complete this thread.
 
2013-05-26 01:20:41 PM  

Riche: Dell laptops have a reputation for not being reliable?


They are making one in a hurry.  The computer I am using now is my second Dell. The first Dell I bought five years ago still runs great. The screen on it died after only six months but the repairman came and replaced it under warranty and I never had another problem.  Then there is this new machine which remains an absolute nightmare.

I have a new Dell 15R SE (7520). The first one they sent me came out of the box at X-mas with a defective wifi card. It was flaky and then within a week it simply stopped working altogether, wasting too many hours "troubleshooting". So I sent the machine back and they replaced with yet another machine. It worked fine for four months and then the sound started to go flaky. Again, after hours of troubleshooting they agreed to send a technician out. It turns out that the little piece of cheap plastic that houses the headphone jack on the motherboard had worn a hole on the far end. It wasn't broken, just a hole, and this was causing the sound to cockup from some type of short. So they replaced the motherboard with the current one in this machine. Within three days the integrated graphics card on this motherboard has started to hit the crapper. At boot up the screen goes haywire and produces red lines all over the screen and then big red circles. While the screen is readable (barely) this lasts for 5-10 minutes then suddenly resolves itself. So it has been back to troubleshooting AGAIN.

So in five months the wifi systems has failed, the sound system has failed, and the graphics system has failed. I am working on getting the second motherboard for the second machine! I have spent at least 15 hours of life troubleshooting their hunk of shiats. I could care less about it being under warranty; it is the hit to my anxiety levels and productivity. I have already made up my mind that once this gets resolved I selling this laptop on e-bay and buying something else. It pisses me off to no end because I actually love the suite of hardware features on this particular model, which is why I bought it in the first place. But this experience is just too much. It's one thing to have a broken system here or there; shiat happens. But this series of repeated hardware failures is beyond the pale. I have owned more than a dozen personal computers in my life and never seen anything like this before.

Whatever positive reputation Dell had in the past it is not deserved now.
 
2013-05-26 01:30:54 PM  

Riche: Dell laptops have a reputation for not being reliable?


Yes.

To be fair, this reputation festers within tech support circles attached to companies that glommed onto Dell's ambitious plans through the 1990s and 2000s to dominate the laptop market by bottoming out on cost -- and Dell largely succeeded.  Over the course of various gigs where I had to either use or support Dell laptops bought by uber-cheap companies, I've developed something close to an allergy to them.  At my last job, the company had a policy of EoL-ing their Dell laptops after 3 years.  They honestly thought that was the longest a laptop could last, because Dell was all they ever bought.  Many of the Dells they bought didn't even make it that far; my own four-year stint went through THREE Dells, and I could make any Toshiba last for well over a decade.  I'm not in the least bit surprised that there are white knights crawling out of their basements to defend Dell, as I'm sure they found decent reliability in their mid-grade and higher models.  And frankly, I don't care.  Maybe if it wasn't them, some other company would've done it, but the royal PitA that Dell inflicted upon millions of users and technicians is a sin to never be forgiven.
 
2013-05-26 01:38:46 PM  
P.S. Their tech support was utterly useless as well.  One of the gazillion corners they cut.  So not only was our hardware guy calling Dell on an almost daily basis, he rarely got anything useful out of them.  It was mostly for CYA, to say he'd done due diligence.  I think he even needed a separate line just for Dell support because otherwise the hours he'd spend on hold meant he was otherwise unreachable by phone.

Corporate purchasers love Dell, though.  They sell their bottom-grade laptops so cheap you have to basically blacklist the brand to prevent your purchaser from single-handedly destroying your IT infrastructure.
 
2013-05-26 02:43:46 PM  
I've got a Dell laptop that I bought in 2002 that still runs fine, sure it's a little slow compared to things these days but I've never had any problem with.
 
2013-05-26 02:44:58 PM  
Toshiba and Dell laptops last like a year. And all of Dell's tech support is overseas (ie, crap).

Acer has treated me and people I know very well so far. No bad luck with Acer!
 
2013-05-26 03:09:10 PM  

FlashHarry: i don't think the pic in that article is an apple I. AFAIK, the apple I was in a wooden box, with apple having just supplied the boards.


There wasn't even a box; the Apple I was just a printed circuit board. Any boxes or cases you might see in pictures were custom built by the buyers.

I've read that Steve Wozniak did most of the work building it, so perhaps it's a bit unfair that they give Steve Jobs most of the credit here. You'd think they might at least mention him in reference to the "Woz" autograph on the board.
 
2013-05-26 03:14:08 PM  

snuff3r: Lt. Cheese Weasel: The Dell hate is unwarranted. Subby is just a trollin'.

Riche: Dell laptops have a reputation for not being reliable?

I've owned or managed about a dozen Dell laptops in the past decade or so. Ten years ago they were solid, never had problems with them. The last few i've had were junk, none lasted more than a year or so before major hardware failures. I bought my wife's dell for her last xmas, it died in Feb - 14 months. What a joke.


Pretty much.  During the 90s - I swore by Dell for laptop, PCs, and servers.  Now they put out complete shiat.  I just replaced my boyfriends Dell with a MacBook because I got tired of fixing his damn wireless every other day.
 
2013-05-26 03:14:35 PM  
Surprised that no one has yet commented on the Latitude / Inspiron 'dichotomy'.  Anecdotally, I've seen a lot of support for the idea that the Latitude line is designed and built for business, while the Inspiron line is home-oriented.  Generally (and the support figures from the local Micro Center tend to bear this out), the Latitudes tend to be more solid and reliable than the Inspirons.

Is this true with regard to rigorous statistics and measurements?  I don't know.  Even if so, it could be design, component choices, the way the different assembly lines are managed, staffed, and run; businesses could tend to provide better care and support for the machines than home users do.  Or some combination of all of these.  Generally, the biggest enemy for any laptop is heat, anyway

Personally, I've been building and admin'ing Dell Latitudes and IBM ThinkPads at work for about one and a half decades now.  I've seen damn few hardware failures on any of those units.  I'm currently using a Latitude 6420 myself, and it seems solid enough.
 
2013-05-26 03:38:21 PM  
what about Tandy's laptops
 
2013-05-26 03:48:27 PM  

dustman81: FlashHarry: [i42.tinypic.com image 473x296]

i don't think the pic in that article is an apple I. AFAIK, the apple I was in a wooden box, with apple having just supplied the boards.

That's the Apple Lisa, which was the Mac's predecessor. It cost $10,000 when new and was an abysmal failure.


10000 80's dollars is eleventy billion now.
 
2013-05-26 05:02:08 PM  

cyberspacedout: FlashHarry: i don't think the pic in that article is an apple I. AFAIK, the apple I was in a wooden box, with apple having just supplied the boards.

There wasn't even a box; the Apple I was just a printed circuit board. Any boxes or cases you might see in pictures were custom built by the buyers.

I've read that Steve Wozniak did most of the work building it, so perhaps it's a bit unfair that they give Steve Jobs most of the credit here. You'd think they might at least mention him in reference to the "Woz" autograph on the board.


Wait, I shouldn't have said "printed", as that implies there isn't anything else soldered on yet. So much for sounding like I know what I'm talking about.
 
2013-05-26 05:55:30 PM  
Dell in a nutshell.

Latitude = crap
Inspiron = decent
Precision = don't know, never had one
XPS = nice but overpriced

// sold my inspiron 8600 after several years, was still in perfect condition
// bought an inspiron 1525 that's still running well today (just replaced the CPU fan after about 5 years).
// I get big discounts at dell so the price to value equation is slanted a bit for me.
// the 1525 runs Ubuntu like a champ
// if you want to talk about crap laptops, I'm going to have to point my finger solidly at HP
 
2013-05-26 05:56:35 PM  
LOLWUT? My Dell XPS from 2007 is still working great!
 
2013-05-26 06:43:36 PM  
After posting above, I read this thread in its entirety.

It appears that there's LOTS of us with 7-10+ year old Dell hardware that is still haulin' ass and working fine. This is what we know.

It also appears that, more recently....say, after 2007/2008ish, their build quality took a shiat and never came back.

That would explain the dichotomy of responses listed.
 
2013-05-26 07:12:28 PM  

dragonchild: P.S. Their tech support was utterly useless as well.  One of the gazillion corners they cut.  So not only was our hardware guy calling Dell on an almost daily basis, he rarely got anything useful out of them.  It was mostly for CYA, to say he'd done due diligence.  I think he even needed a separate line just for Dell support because otherwise the hours he'd spend on hold meant he was otherwise unreachable by phone.'


My one Dell problem: It was acting up - to the point where they were going to send out a tech. The CSR took my info but I asked them to use my cell instead of my home number so I can meet the guy at home. 'No problem' said the man from India.

2) Day for the repair came and no call. I get home and there is a message on the VM saying the tech guy had called but since I wasn't home he would not be stopping by.

3) I call Dell/India and discuss this. They are very apologetic and make sure to use the cell number.

4) On the appointed day no call or tech guy.But there is a VM saying that since I'm not home the tech guy will not be stopping by. I call Dell India again. They have my home # as main number. I explain in NO uncertain terms that this is NOT the number to call. They apologize - read back my cell and say this is the ONLY number they will use. We reschedule.

5) On the appointed day no call or tech guy BUT there IS a VM saying you guess it! I'm not home so he won't come by. I call Dell India. They STILL have my home number for contact after telling me it was erased from system. I go ballistic on the CSR swearing and cursing a blue streak about how farked up they are and how they are screwing me and that I will be billing them for my lost time.

I am IMMEDIATELY pushed up the ladder to some sort of manager who apologized profusely and promptly send me a new computer. He then gave me the tech guy's number to call him directly to set up an appointment for set up.

While this was the only problem I had with Dell the experience was so bad it was enough to make me never buy another computer from them.

So Mike Dell - who ever owns them now - as no one to blame but themselves.
 
2013-05-26 07:33:56 PM  
Dell laptop hardware quality nosedived in the last 4 years, at least thats my experience with fixing people's computers
 
2013-05-26 07:51:10 PM  

dustman81: FlashHarry: [i42.tinypic.com image 473x296]

i don't think the pic in that article is an apple I. AFAIK, the apple I was in a wooden box, with apple having just supplied the boards.

That's the Apple Lisa, which was the Mac's predecessor. It cost $10,000 when new and was an abysmal failure.


Because Jobs secretly channeled all best Apple people to the project that became the Mac behind everyone's back.  Never been clear on why he didn't just shut the Lisa program down completely before the Mac debuted.
 
2013-05-26 07:53:05 PM  

Linux_Yes: Dell told me to install Windows or Better, so i installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.  runs faster/better with Linux than it did with its original XP install.


You know, I've always thought there was something funny about you, like you're trying to get something across to us in every single post you make, but I haven't been able to put my finger on it till now. Wait, wait, don't tell me. I've got this. Ah, I know -- you're a really, really big fan of Yes.

Listen, I like Yes as much as the next guy, but I think maybe you should just calm down a little. I mean, we get it, you know?
 
2013-05-26 08:34:37 PM  
My dell lappy from 2007 or so still works fine.  Cart it back and forth to class every day, watch tv at night and it always travels when I do.  I've added a larger hard drive and replaced the power cable once, but that's it.  Maybe you people should take better care of your electronics?
 
2013-05-26 09:35:27 PM  

lordargent: Dell in a nutshell.

Latitude = crap
Inspiron = decent
Precision = don't know, never had one
XPS = nice but overpriced

// sold my inspiron 8600 after several years, was still in perfect condition
// bought an inspiron 1525 that's still running well today (just replaced the CPU fan after about 5 years).
// I get big discounts at dell so the price to value equation is slanted a bit for me.
// the 1525 runs Ubuntu like a champ
// if you want to talk about crap laptops, I'm going to have to point my finger solidly at HP


precision are usually good, the only issues I've had were when they used latitude chassis. the latitudes weren't built to take the thermal output of the 3d graphics cards in the precision.

on the mobile workstation market there's not to many companies. Dell, Lenovo, HP, then there's boxx, polywell, and a couple others
 
2013-05-26 09:50:55 PM  
AdamK : Dell laptop hardware quality nosedived in the last 4 years, at least thats my experience with fixing people's computers

Interesting,

I've been thinking of getting a newer laptop, but have other things on my shopping list first. I'll have to do some fresh research then.

HP is still crap, right? Or is that just my work machines :P
 
2013-05-26 10:48:04 PM  
HP is crap.  Still have a relatively inexpensive dell laptop kicking after 4 years that's been a good work computer.  Though will say my dvd drive doesn't work in it and I haven't the foggiest *when* it stopped working since the first time I've ever (tried to) use it was a couple weeks ago.
 
2013-05-26 11:12:38 PM  
HP is crap for workstations.

Lenovo is either very good or very bad. Overspend, and you get the former. Match prices with the other big names and you get the latter.

Dell used to be rock-solid hardware. I've only been doing datacenter stuff as of the last couple years, so I can't speak of the desktops recently though.
 
2013-05-27 12:36:01 AM  

jake3988: Toshiba and Dell laptops last like a year. And all of Dell's tech support is overseas (ie, crap).


Know how I know you're full of it? All Dell's support is not overseas, in fact you even get a choice of what support to get when you buy the computer.

I have dozens of different Dell products from servers to workstations and portable devices, and the build quality has been good on all of them - I can count with one hand the times I have had to contact support. And when I have, the support has been excellent.
 
2013-05-27 12:58:40 AM  
I'm reading this on a 2006 Dell Inspiron B130, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2013-05-27 03:09:46 AM  

Linux_Yes: i've got a great working Dell laptop.

the reason it runs so well is that i reformatted the drive (got rid of the windows OS virus) and installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.   Schweet!


Linux_Yes: xaks: I've got two old Dell lappies in the house now, from 2004 and 2005 respectively.

I have one running XP and one with linux. Both are more than powerful enough for casual home use and rock-solid reliable, even now.

Subby don't know hardware.


be careful with that XP one online.  she'll pick you up a virus/worm.


Linux_Yes: Dell told me to install Windows or Better, so i installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.  runs faster/better with Linux than it did with its original XP install.


Please explain why Windows vs. Linux is relevant to a discussion of HARDWARE.

/I'll wait
 
2013-05-27 03:42:12 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: Linux_Yes: i've got a great working Dell laptop.

the reason it runs so well is that i reformatted the drive (got rid of the windows OS virus) and installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.   Schweet!

Linux_Yes: xaks: I've got two old Dell lappies in the house now, from 2004 and 2005 respectively.

I have one running XP and one with linux. Both are more than powerful enough for casual home use and rock-solid reliable, even now.

Subby don't know hardware.


be careful with that XP one online.  she'll pick you up a virus/worm.

Linux_Yes: Dell told me to install Windows or Better, so i installed Linux Mint 14 with the MATE Desktop.  runs faster/better with Linux than it did with its original XP install.

Please explain why Windows vs. Linux is relevant to a discussion of HARDWARE.

/I'll wait


Because herp derp Linux is awesome!
 
2013-05-27 04:57:33 AM  
Representative of the unwashed masses: Please explain why Windows vs. Linux is relevant to a discussion of HARDWARE.

Linux has a smaller install footprint and runs well on less powerful (aka old) hardware.

SpaceBison: Because herp derp Linux is awesome!

Linux IS awesome. But it's not for everyone and doesn't fit every use case.

// my dell netbook came with ubuntu preinstalled, the first thing I did was format it and install ubuntu (because dell's ubuntu setup was a POS).
 
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