Technology, Films, Nonsense

It. Just. Worked.

Posted by kraftymiles on March 7, 2008

OK, so I must fess up here. The PC I have at home is now about 10 years old; possibly older as I got it second hand from a charity shop. I’ve upgraded it twice to faster processors and more memory and the 2GB disk became 2+8, which became 8+80 which became 80+240 as I managed to convert more and more music. The Floppy drive became floppy and CD, which turned into a CD + DVD, into a CDRW + DVD and finally a DVDRW. USB1 became USB2, the modem was ditched for a network card and then a wireless card and in all this time, the yellowing case stayed the same, except perhaps slightly more yellow.

So jump forward to the current day and iTunes takes an age to load, Firefox grinds along slowly and if you add Thunderbird to the mix and the thing could best be described as pedestrian. That is if the pedestrian in question had one leg. And didn’t know where he was going. And was dragging a tyre along on a rope tied round his waist. Enough! I cried and decided to get a new one. So after much debate over desktop vs. laptop, I decided on laptop. Then came the Mac vs. PC debate.

I’ve no particular axe to grind in this arena, so entered it fairly level headed I would say. My only real criteria were that whatever I bought had to have more memory than my iPod, and had to “just work”. I’d become fed up of using a PC that had to be coaxed into life every time I switched it on, and nearly every setting tweaked just so that I could open an email. A machine that I would hopefully never have to open a DOS prompt on. Now this is where a few friends of mine who own Macs came along and said “Hey, one of the great things about a Mac is that it just works.” And indeed this appears to be true, if you search on the web for reviews of Mac stuff, they will generally say “they just work”. Very appealing. However two things went against them for me, firstly the cost of one that was bigger than my iPod is pretty high. A Mac Mini comes with a 160Gb HDD as standard. No use to man nor beast these days I would think. The Basic Macbook at £700 ($1400USD) comes with a 120GB, to get one bigger than my iPod would cost £1000. The Macbook Air is tiny; 64GB solid state; and the Macbook Pro – £1300 with only 200Gb of HDD. £1600 for the 250Gb model. £1600! For a laptop! Mental. I guess that rules the Mac out as a purchase option then.

So I head over to Dell, they’re supposed to be the home of quality computing. And of course I find a beauty of a machine, at a great price. Here’s where Dell’s genius comes in – they allow you to configure things. So for “only” an extra 25 quid you can upgrade the memory, for “only” an extra 50 you can upgrade the processor and on, and on. And before you know it, the machine now costs a wedge more than you thought. Still a lot cheaper than a Mac though. So I decided to go for the “Project Red” version
I’f you’ve not heard about Red, “… if you buy a (RED) product or sign up for a (RED) service. At no cost to you. A (RED) Company will give some of its profits to buy and distribute anti-retroviral medicine to our brothers and sisters dying of AIDS in Africa”. Except that’s not the way it works out at DELL.

The Dell XPS M1530 is £569 base price or £649 if you go for the product (RED) version. Doesn’t sound to me like Dell are passing profit over to Project (RED) rather charging you the ethical consumer more for the same product and passing that chunk over. (SIDEBAR here just in case someone from Dell comes a calling. That’s the way it appears to the average consumer. There may be some small print on the site somewhere that details the reason why the product (RED) version is £80more)
So, no Product RED laptop for me, and that put me off Dell a bit to be honest so I went a looking again, but came back to them in the end. Then they hit me with a £60 delivery charge! So, sod that, I’ll go to a regular shop and buy one. Which I did. And thanks to Dell computers now being sold in Supermarkets over here in England, I could do it in my lunchtime too.

This is when it all gets odd. Last night I opened up the laptop and mentally prepared myself to have to fight with Vista to make things work, and to have to scratch my head for ages over the wireless networking in my house which is at best a disaster zone. But it just worked.
Connected to the internet easily, downloaded the updates to the OS and Virus software in the background and every thing just worked. Even the fingerprint recognition. It all just worked. There was me waiting to hate on this machine and it’s dubious parentage, and everyone ever involved with Microsoft, Dell and the rest of the world and It Just Worked.


One Response to “It. Just. Worked.”

  1. […] omer just wrote an article aboutHere’s a preview of it: […]

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