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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lappy on borrowed time

I have been using my Dell 700m laptop as my primary computer for the best part of a year now. And the machine is on borrowed time. I think.

Last year (2007, ack, that was two years ago.... anyways), I allowed the warranty to expire on the machine because I figured that since it had been so reliable in the past that I would probably be able to get away with it. Well, that streak is now wearing to its end.

And it's the little things that are starting to go. For instance, I am missing some of those little rubber feet on the bottom that prevent it from sliding around the desk. Also, the battery life is serious diminishing, and barely lasts 30 minutes at this point.

However, the most recent issue is that the speakers have cut out. Turns out the the speaker wire that runs up through the hinge area has slowly been rubbing away over the past 5 years and has now been severed due to general wear and tear. So no more speakers.

Dell doesn't sell the speaker individually either, they just come with an entire new lid (including monitor) for $550. So, I have removed the speakers and will attempt to repair them at some point in the future.

This is just indicative of what happens with laptops I suppose. They get exposed to all sorts of little bumps, wiggles and jiggles in their lifetimes, and eventually little things wear away.

As I mentioned before, Lappy is on borrowed time, and sooner or later something vital is going to break, and there is no warranty left to deal with it.

Anywho, the broken speakers thing got me interested in looking for a new machine, and the one I have come across seems to be fancy shmancy. The dell Latitude E4200 is what I would call an "ultra-mobile workstation". Functionally it is more or less the same at the 700m for day to day laptop use. The screen size is the same, graphics are still handled onboard, and the primary component manufacturer is still Intel (wooo, out of the box linux drivers). Unlike the 700m, the E4200 can be used with Dell's E-Series docking stations.

I have never used a laptop with a docking station, because, for the most part, I couldn't be bothered. Why not just use a desktop. But the new docks from dell support dual monitors, which is something that has really been missing for me. Actually to be honest, I have dual monitor set-up sitting in my workshop, but they aren't connected to a computer, they are just sitting there collecting dust.

So I am rather tempted to hand lappy off to a deserving person and move to a shiny new computer.

As I said, lappy is on borrowed time.

Now if I only had a spare $4k.


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