About Dell

"Finally" I can tell a little about personal experience with DELL hardware and their service:

The issue: After about two months the motherboard of a DELL Latitude E5500 suddenly broke. That was quite clear after not getting any noise from the fan, HD and no BIOS message. Just the CAPS lock blinking. Called support hotline and explained what happened and what I already tried.

For the guy on the phone it took a longer while to identify my guess that it must be the motherboard, but anyway - better to be sure. The last thing to figure out was the particular main board type that was built in because there were two options. I didn't know in detail because it was DELL assembling the thing, not me.

To keep a short story short: "Next business day" to DELL really means "fix on next business day" - it's not just the first reaction on next business day. A guy from a partner company came to me / to the notebook with two spare boards and repaired the notebook. Other "local" support contracts expect that you bring in the thing to some shop in your more or less neighborhood.

It is really a pity, that the quality of computer hardware parts in general is not what it was 15 years ago. Unfortunately I see the reduced quality everywhere. Therefore a good service is essential nowadays.

Related post: The hardware, Going Linux, Ubuntu compatible hardware, The Dell Latitude 2110 and Ubuntu 10.04.1, The truth about hardware support.


Windows 7 RC

I needed a Vista test workstation today and as there was none available in our office I needed to install one on my own. As for my tests I thought that Windows 7 should be ok also I got a Windows 7 RC and installed that. - I was curious of the changes, as I found also a benchmark on the net comparing with Ubuntu - and that promised core improvements in Windows 7.

But after the installation was finally finished I got several update notifications with a certain delay after restart. And after it seemed to have applied them and asking me for restart I had to wait a good while because on shutdown it "configured" the updates.

What I still do notice is that after startup the machine is not really started up. Disk access is hanging around still a while starting services in the background. That is annoying since a very long time and I love to know that if Ubuntu/Fedora/... is up, it's up and I can work.

Well, and I was curious about the applications that come along with Windows 7 - here is the list:
  • Browser (IE8)
  • Windows Media Player
  • Paint
  • Desktop Notes
  • "Snipping tool" (a little screenshot tool)
  • Wordpad
  • Notepad
  • Calculator
  • Audio Recorder
  • DVD Burner
  • Fax Viewer
  • XPS Viewer
  • Tool for remote desktop connection
That's it - not much. Now I would have to install a bulk of other software. I just installed the VirtualBox Guest additions and - guess what - I wasn't asked for administrator privileges. I think too many people were annoyed by that dialog alwayss popping up on Vista so they removed it probably - or it was just a bug that this dialog didn't come up.

From the first impression I think they have cleaned up the system in comparison to Vista. So at least some important system settings seem to be more easy to find.

I tried to run the DVD Burner but it told me that my video card does not meet the required minimum requirements. - DVD Burner and Video card? - mmmmhhhhh. - Well, that just sounds familiar to me remembering installation of some applications under XP...

I did not do further general testing because I did not found any really exiting news - but for some, a better performance (at least when there is still nothing installed) is already exiting enough...

Related posts: Why I have chosen Fedora, Why I switched to Ubuntu, Why Linux?, The Microsoft logic.