Hell of a Guy
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Wonderful World of Dell…


Shortly before I retired in November of 2011, I purchased a then “state of the art” laptop. Of course I knew at the time all “state of the art” anything is already in the throes of being replaced by something better, more efficient and probably less expensive. It did not matter to me. I figured, with what I use a laptop for, the one I was purchasing at that time would last me many, many years, perhaps even to the end of my days. Not so fast, Gunga Din! It did not. In fact, the damn thing didn’t make it two and a half years before it started acting up.

These days it works at half speed and at its best only for about an hour. Then it really goes downhill. For instance, as a key watcher, typing primarily with my index fingers, aka the old “hunt and peck” system, I do not always watch the screen. The laptop sometimes does not register the key stokes I am making, and I have to go back and retype what I had written. Periodically, the laptop completely freezes and nothing moves, and then my only recourse is to shut it down using the power button and restart it. Occasionally when I boot it up, the screen goes gray with some lighter gray stripes down the center of it, making it unreadable.

What I am trying to say in less than a thousand words is, the laptop is a piece of crap, and knowing that, I bought another. This one is, of course, “state of the art.”

When I finally made the decision to bite the bullet and purchase a new one, I did consider Apple, but looking at the Apple website, and while having heard it over and over how much better MacBook is than all others, the price scared me. It was about 40% more than a new “state of the art” Dell.

After not much consideration, having spoken to a Dell customer care rep on the phone, one with a soft sexy, comforting voice, who I imagined was drop-dead, movie star gorgeous, I bought Dell on January 15th. It was delivered to me this past Tuesday and I fired it up.

My new Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series works differently than my old Inspiron piece of crap. The graphics are different. Accessing programs is done differently – this one has a touch screen, and it also comes with about 50 built in apps, most of which are completely useless to me, since, basically all I need is email, word, some simple games (I ain’t no genius) and a means to access Facebook and a couple of other programs.

Within 48 hours of turning this bad boy on, I was ready to return it. I was frustrated with hundreds of pop up ads every time I went to Internet Explorer, and I mean hundreds. Some were persistent and nearly impossible to “X” them out.  And then it happened, the screen went black.  I could not get the laptop to do anything, no matter what I did. I pushed about every button on the keyboard and got nothing.

Eventually a view appeared on the screen directly me to call an 800 number for assistance. I called and got some yo-yo telling me my issue was probably a virus and the problem was not covered under my Dell warranty, and also that I needed to purchase a good security software package.  After about a 35 minute conversation I told the young man this was bullshit and hung up.

I finally emailed the Dell rep I had spoken to and she directed me to a Dell employee who worked with me to fix my problem for free. The laptop is working much, much better, and I am even becoming more comfortable using it. The Dell tech told me I had all the security protection I need built into this machine. I am happy.

The bottom line is, all of this boils down to the irrefutable fact, this boy, Yours Truly, should not have one of these things under his fingers. I might do something really stupid and inadvertently blow up the world.

And that is all I have to say about that…