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Which Will Last Longer? The Dell Laptop Or The Dell Payments?

Balance: $1,813.38 as of 12/28/2008


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Dell Inspiron 1720 in Pink, RATING: OK

I buy a new laptop every year. Not out of some overpowering need to have the latest and greatest technology, but because they don't last longer than a year. My tax guy hates this because in his horrid little world, laptops should be depreciated over 2 or 3 years and every year we have the same discussion about the lifespan of computers and just what am I supposed to do if the darn things don't last as long as the IRS says they should?

These are the laptops I have used over the past few years: Compaq, Toshiba, Toshiba, Compaq, HP and now Dell. I decided to get a Dell because my husband has a Dell which survived a fall from upstairs (carpet landing) pretty much unscathed - which I found to be very impressive. I chose Pink for obvious reasons and the Inspiron 1720 because my husband told me to. (I am not a technophobe but I derive no particular enjoyment from laptop shopping whereas my husband does - he thinks it is "fun" to spend an entire afternoon researching the benefits of one laptop over another. I get bored after five minutes and wind up on Nordstom.com in the shoe department which usually results in me buying shoes - not laptops - and therefore is not an effective way to come into the possession of a new and badly needed computer.)

Dell Inspiron Notebook Computer in Flamingo Pink

SUMMARY
More "Retro" Than I Bargained For

A laptop can be thought of as just another fashion accessory and the Inspiron 1720 is quite the attractive hunk of metal. It comes in several trendy colors and has its own accessories to match. The retro pink appealed to me. It came with a pink cover sleeve and I bought a black patent tote to schlep it around in. (I consider the pink cover sleeve to be more like socks and who runs around town in their stocking feet?)

I also got some sort of "free printer deal" which turned out to be not such a good deal after all because there is no network port built in. Being forced to sit in close physical proximity to one's printer is just so 1980s! If I ever actually print something on it, I shall write a review about my printer, too.

REVIEW

Return Of The Blue Screen Of Death

It has been quite some time since I have seen the "Blue Screen Of Death" (also referred to simply as a "blue screen" but that is too euphemistic for my taste)  and I have to say that revisiting the Blue Screen was not the retro element that I was hoping for. To be fair, I am not sure whether I can lay the blue screen blame at Dell's feet or whether Microsoft is the real culprit. On the other hand, I bought a pre-configured computer that is "designed for Windows Vista". How anybody designs something for a train wreck is another matter. Of the 6 laptops I listed above, the Blue Screen Of Death has only materialized on my Dell.

Please Connect a Dell Adaptor

Every time I boot up the computer I get an error message telling me that I am using an unrecognized power adaptor. This also occurs when I unplug the computer and plug it back in. I am using the power adaptor that came with the system so in my opinion, it should be familiar to the computer.

Ominous I/O Error Messages

This morning I opened up my laptop and pressed the on button and was presented with the disorderly shutdown message and the resulting choices of booting in "Safe Mode" blah blah - I just sat and stared at it until the seconds until it booted using the highlighted selection went to 0 and it booted up normally. What is normal? Today normal meant staring at the screen some more, watching my laptop freaking out about disk errors and its desire to fix them. Far be it from me to get in the way of my laptop's chosen activity for the morning, so I just sat there and watched the messages fly by. It found an index that was out of whack and was able to repair it - which seemed to make it happy because it finally booted and was gracious enough to allot me some computing time. So here I am, computing.

If I make it a year with this laptop, I will consider myself lucky. My next computer will be an HP. I hope they have pink.

Diary Of a Dying Pink Laptop

December 28, 2008 - Windows Vista Error Message: Host Services have stopped working

Follow these steps to troubleshoot problems with your computer's hard disk.

This problem was caused by Windows not being able to open a file on your computer's hard disk. This might be a temporary condition that could go away after restarting your computer, or it could be a more serious problem with your hard disk or its driver.

RETRO HOUSEWIFE, 2008-12-27


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