Tag Archives: dell

Dear Fanboys: Go Away

Do you have any idea how much I loathe the fanboy mentality? I honestly don’t care if you’re an Apple lover, a Microsoft admirer or an Android proponent – you’re all equally insane! Being a fanboy does not mean you enjoy or believe in one product more than another these days. It means that you are so insanely narrow-sighted that you cannot possibly understand that a different brand may just work better for another person – or even yourself.

Hat tip to Chu Chu for this fantastic fanboy depiction!

I had an eye on Twitter a few moments ago, and noticed that a friend was sad to realize that her three-year-old HP TouchSmart is slowly starting to fade. This has been her primary machine since August of 2008, y’all. She works from home and spends about ten hours per day – seven days each week – using the heck out of this beast. I’d say it has held up pretty well, wouldn’t you? Through blogging, Tweeting, video editing and even gaming, this setup has never let her down. Not once in nearly three years has she complained about this piece of equipment being bad, wrong, cheap or poorly made.

Wouldn’t you know it – an Apple fanboy was quick to jump down her throat in a Tweet response. His response? “That’s what you get for buying cheap crap. You should have gotten an iPad.” Fanboysaywhat? Are you serious here? Any computer that holds up for three years under intense usage – with NO upgrades or hardware changes at all – is obviously not “cheap crap” as you claim.

This is what I’m talking about. This person is so blinded by his lust for all things Apple that he has failed to realize his beloved product wouldn’t even work for what she needs. (Let’s also not forget that the iPad didn’t even exist when this particular computer became hers in August, 2008!) Would you honestly attempt to use an iPad as your main computer? If you can then kudos to you. As much as I adore my iPad 2, there is no way in hell I am going to get rid of my desktop. I’m willing to bet most of you wouldn’t, either.

Here’s a tip, fanboys: lighten up. Learn to embrace the fact that other people have different needs, wants and likes than you do. Stop harassing them and shoving your favorites down their throat each time there’s a problem with their favorite product. Guess what? Yours isn’t perfect, either.

Dell Venue Pro on Sale

After much disappointment over delays, the Dell Venue Pro is on sale. You can order yours for only $99.00 with a new contract. The highly anticipated device runs Windows Phone 7 under its shiny hood. The above cost is for the 8GB handset. The 16GB version will set you back only $149.00. If you don’t want to sign a contract with T-Mobile, you can snap up the goods for either $449 or $499. Dell is promising shipment by December 9th along with free shipping if you don’t need the gadget in your hands the next day.

Dell claims that using this device will lead to a more productive you. “It’s about mobile productivity…doing more in fewer steps…just the way you want it.”

We see the Venue Pro for everyday people with a diverse range of full and busy lives. They need to stay connected, be productive and keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family. Dell designed the Venue Pro to be a multi-purpose always-connected device to help people be more efficient, always connected and entertained.

The features appear to be pretty sweet:

  • Stunning 4.1” WVGA AMOLED capacitive, multi-touch display
  • A full portrait QWERTY keyboard to provide a better viewing & messaging experience
  • Elliptical, slender form provides elegance in a pocket-friendly size
  • Gorilla Glass for unprecedented durability and scratch resistance
  • Office Mobile built in
  • Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
  • 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash camera
  • Full 720p video recording capability
  • 1 gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor

The Venue Pro looks like the most enterprise-focused WP7 device yet. Early reviews have been very positive and even enthusiastic. While this phone will not be an “iPhone killer,” it sure seems as though it’s going to be the leading WP7 device on the market in a very short amount of time.

Dell Streak Tablet Computer Will Hit Stores This Summer

We first heard of the Dell Streak tablet computer in January during the Consumer Electronics Show. Today, Dell has officially announced that the device will be available this summer. Additionally, the company says that the tablet will get an upgrade to Android 2.2 with Flash later this year. The Streak will launch in the UK early in June and the U.S. later this summer. Dell didn’t provide specific launch dates for either country, nor pricing and carrier details.

The Streak will have a 5 inch WVGA touchscreen, a 1-GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm and 2GB of internal storage. There will be a maximum allowable 32 GB of external SD storage, a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and a front-facing camera for video recording. The Streak will come equipped with 3G capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options.

Dell is hoping to attract consumers who need a bigger screen than most phones carry – yet is smaller than a netbook. “There’s several places where a smartphone isn’t enough,” Neeraj Choubey, Dell’s general manager for tablet devices, said recently on the Direct2Dell Web site. “I think many users will see it as a useful media consumption device.” The Streak has been referred to as a tablet computer, but it’s much smaller than what you would think a tablet should be. However, Dell IS also reportedly working on larger versions which will boast seven to ten inch screens.

It’s possible that the Dell Streak may hit that sweet spot between phones and large-screen devices (such as the iPad). According to Ron Garriques, president of the Dell Communication Solutions Group, “Its unique size provides people new ways to enjoy, connect, and navigate their lives.”

Twitter Announces the @Anywhere Platform

Even though many people walked out during the SXSW keynote today, delivered by Evan Williams, there was a very interesting announcement made. The new platform will allow publishers to integrate Twitter deeper into their site and recreate the “open, engaging interactions” their readers expect from using Twitter “without sending them to the Twitter website itself.”

Using the new platform, users can identify and follow Twitter users on third-party sites without ever leaving that site. Some of the ones that will soon use this new service include Yahoo, Bing and Digg. This lets publishers make sure their audience is aware of their Twitter feed. The user can also elect to follow a site’s feed without ever leaving the actual site. This lets you get more followers, and allows Twitter to bring more users to their site, as well. According to Ev, Twitter is launching the service because it wants to make it easier on everyone to use Twitter. Given their growth has recently slowed, it makes sense to try to bring the service to the attention of more users.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe this new platform is a big step in the right direction for Twitter?

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Have You Met Your Online Friends in Person?

I meet up with many people on a regular basis, thanks to things like Tweetups and conferences. Not everyone is so lucky, though. Often, deep and lasting friendships are formed online, but the people involved never have a chance to meet face-to-face. Many people maintain that it’s easier to make a strong connection with someone online, since you don’t have the fears and anxieties associated with how you look, or how you come across in person. Also, people tend to be more open about themselves when they are behind a computer screen, instead of hiding who they really are – and what they really think.

Have you ever met any of your online friends? How did it go? Was the friendship and connection as strong in person as it was while you were on the Internet? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this. I know that we have community members who met online, and later ended up engaged or married. I’m interested in seeing how many real friendships have sprung up, as well!

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What’s Your Favorite Commercial?

With all the talk of the new Miscrosoft commercials in Europe and the Pre wanting to co-exist with the iPhone, I can’t help but thinking about commercials in general. What’s your favorite technology-related commercial on television? You do remember what TV is, right? Do you love that annoying (yet catchy) Comcast song? Or are you more inclined to watch the Dell laptop commercials over and over? Let’s hear your thoughts!

Top 5 Tips for Calling Computer Tech Support

Here are some excellent tips to help you the next time you need to call Technical Support for your computer, sent in by a community member who works for Dell XPS Premium Support.

  • Be Patient. As technical support agents, we have a wealth of information sitting at our fingertips. But before we can access the information, we have to pull up your account info, verify authorization to work on the computer, check the warranty status, document the case, and get a multitude of information from you before we can actually fix your problem. Be patient while the agent is trying to keep track of five different things while keeping you happy.
  • Be Cooperative. I wish the easy button was real, but it’s not. And while some problems can be fixed in three or less clicks of the mouse, you might have to get your hands dirty, and your fingers callused. If you are expecting someone else to do all the work for you, go to the Geek Squad. We do the best we can do over the phone, so work with us as we work with you.
  • Be Ready. If you call Technical Support, you likely have a problem. Saying “my computer doesn’t work” is not helping anybody. Be ready with the serial number on your machine (like Dell’s “Service Tag”), any error codes you might have, and as much information as you can gather regarding the problem, like what programs are running, under what circumstances the problem occurs, and what operating system you have. Being ready also involves being at your computer. Don’t call if you aren’t at your computer, ready to troubleshoot.
  • Be Time-Conscious. Your problem, no matter how small it seems to you, may take a long time to fix. So if you have to pick up the kids from school in 15 minutes, call after you get back. If you are expecting a phone call from your mother, call Technical Support after you have talked to your mother. And if you have a time frame, let us know so that we have our expectations set as well.
  • Be Patient. I can’t stress this enough. That’s why it’s the first and last. Alpha and omega.

LCD Monitor Reviews and Opinions

I have two monitors plugged into my system right now – a 1600×1200 SyncMaster 213T, and a 1680×1050 Gateway. I like the Gateway as a secondary monitor, “largely” because of its various input options – and the integrated USB hub is a wonderful bonus. However, there are a few windows I’d much rather rearrange on my primary screen – and so I’m thinking about one of the following, and am largely interested in everybody’s experiences with them (if you have one):

  • Dell’s 3007WFP-HC
  • HP’s LP3065
  • Samsung’s SyncMaster 305T
  • Apple’s 30″ Cinema HD

2560×1600 plus the 1680×1050 sounds nice, but (then again) I might wind up doing two Gateway FPD2485W’s (2x 1920×1200 for 3840×1200^2) for cheaper, and wind up getting more desktop real estate. It boils down to price and options, I think. I could get the HP LP3065 for ~$1,600, the Dell 3007WFP-HC for $1,699, the Samsung 305T for $1,999, or Apple’s Cinema HD for $1,999. Or, again, two Gateway monitors for $680 apiece.

I sit in front of the computer screen for a living. There’s nothing wrong with what’s here now, mind you – but I could certainly go for more vertical and horizontal playspace. The second monitor is great for IM conversations, extra windows I need open but can’t pay attention to, etc. Decisions, decisions!

I Met Michael Dell – In Person

I’m not sure if I can say exactly how it happened, but it did happen yesterday – a chance to speak with Michael Dell, face to face, for about fifteen minutes. No PR flacks, no marketing messages, no imposed limits. I made a bold move by bringing up the subject of “Dell Hell,” and he responded in a very kind manner with a satisfactory answer. I have a great deal of respect for this man (on countless levels, for countless reasons), and that feeling was only strengthened by conversing with him one-on-one. I probably sounded like a babbling idiot (what’s new?), but the entire experience was surreal. Dell is a big, big company – and you’d be crazy to belive that it had a monopoly on hiccups. Dunno if I’ll ever have the chance to shake his hand again, but at least I can say I did it once.

Larry O’Connor on Battery Recalls and Replacement

With the recent battery recall from both Dell and Apple a large percentage of laptop batteries may be at risk. While you certainly have the option of getting a replacement battery from the original manufacturer, it might also be worthwhile to consider some alternatives. One useful option is to find a compatible battery with a longer life than the original battery. Here Chris talks with battery expert Larry O’Connor of Newer Technology about the Apple recall, how to pick a battery and a number of tips for getting more life out of your battery while you travel.

Mark Vena of Alienware on the PC Landscape

Alienware is arguably the sexiest computer manufacturer in the greater OEM space. With their recent acquisition by Dell, it remains to be seen whether they retain their edge, but so far the new machines continue to instill excitement. Mark Vena, VP of Marketing for Alienware, talks with Chris about the computer industry, the Dell acquisition, how Windows Vista is or isn’t changing the PC landscape and what (if anything) mergers like the recently annouced AMD/ATI combination mean for consumers.

The PC De-Crapifier

Long overdue: an OEM’s worst nightmare. Jeff Jarvis oughta love it, but I doubt Dell will. Nothing illegal here:

The PC De-Crapifier is designed to remove a specific list unwanted software in an unattended fashion. Before running, the user may select exactly what software should be removed. Currently, it is targeted for use on most Dell machines; however it will theoretically run on anything that has the software listed below…

Hey Dell – if you really *ARE* listening, and you really *DO* believe in your own marketing hype, why don’t you put some truth behind the new “Designed For You” campaign? Ya know, offer a HUGE CHECKBOX next to the “Install software that doesn’t ship natively with Microsoft Windows” option and have it unchecked by default. First, you have to make that option available. Second, you could call it… “Really, Truly Designed For You.” Welcome to the blogosphere!

Dell Lies

I typically don’t pay attention to emails from Dell, but a friend just so happened to email me about getting a new computer system right around the same time the Dell message popped into my inbox (with permission, of course). The email has a link that reads: “22% off ANY Dell Dimension Desktop.” Fair enough. I click the link, only to see a Web page that reads: “It’s Dell’s 22nd Anniversary! To celebrate, we’re giving you special anniversary savings: 22% off Select Dell Dimension Desktops! Simply ‘customize & price’ and purchase a new Dimension Desktop to receive INSTANT savings!”

In Dell’s messed up world, “select” is the same as “any.” Give me a break. Lies!