DELL Computers

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Shawn
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DELL Computers

Unread post by Shawn » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:40 am

DELL apparently sold nearly 12 million computers with faulty capacitors:
According to company memorandums and other documents recently unsealed in a civil case against Dell in Federal District Court in North Carolina, Dell appears to have suffered from the bad capacitors, made by a company called Nichicon, far more than its rivals. Internal documents show that Dell shipped at least 11.8 million computers from May 2003 to July 2005 that were at risk of failing because of the faulty components. These were Dell’s OptiPlex desktop computers — the company’s mainstream products sold to business and government customers.

A study by Dell found that OptiPlex computers affected by the bad capacitors were expected to cause problems up to 97 percent of the time over a three-year period, according to the lawsuit.
They tried to cover it up:
As complaints mounted, Dell hired a contractor to investigate the situation. According to a Dell filing in the lawsuit, which has not yet gone to trial, the contractor found that 10 times more computers were at risk of failing than Dell had estimated. Making problems worse, Dell replaced faulty motherboards with other faulty motherboards, according to the contractor’s findings.

But Dell employees went out of their way to conceal these problems. In one e-mail exchange between Dell customer support employees concerning computers at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, a Dell worker states, “We need to avoid all language indicating the boards were bad or had ‘issues’ per our discussion this morning.”

In other documents about how to handle questions around the faulty OptiPlex systems, Dell salespeople were told, “Don’t bring this to customer’s attention proactively” and “Emphasize uncertainty.”

“They were fixing bad computers with bad computers and were misleading customers at the same time,” said Ira Winkler, a former computer analyst for the National Security Agency and a technology consultant. “They knew millions of computers would be out there causing inevitable damage and were not giving people an opportunity to fix that damage.”
But got pwned themselves:
Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell show that the company’s employees were actually aware that the computers were likely to break. Still, the employees tried to play down the problem to customers and allowed customers to rely on trouble-prone machines, putting their businesses at risk. Even the firm defending Dell in the lawsuit was affected when Dell balked at fixing 1,000 suspect computers, according to e-mail messages revealed in the dispute.
LOL!

I have an old Dimension 8300 that is still chugging along. When I comes time to get another PC, I think I'll build my own.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:45 am

My Dell laptop is still firing on all cylinders. As is my desktop at work, although the desktop is getting a bit slow and bogged down in shit...
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by allblacks » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:41 am

I must admit that the Dell laptop I just bought is rather good. Of course I would say that though.
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:16 pm

I've never been impressed with Dell's quality. Cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap. If you must get a Windows computer, at least don't get a Dell.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by allblacks » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:40 pm

Thanks for that TTT! To be honest the only reason I bought this one was because it was 6 months old and cheap enough to warrant me blowing out my budget by 6000 yen. I had originally thought about spending 26000 or so. Sofmap in Tennoji had a squadron of thinkpads and I wasnt going to touch those after the stuff my mate told me.

Mrs Allblacks knows bugger all about computers and just wants to use the internet for browsing so no need to have anything better than what she got.
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by MacGyver » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:52 pm

Contrary to what TTT says, not all Dells are cheap, that is not necessarily in price but in parts. Part of the beauty of a Dell is they are customizable and they have a large range. Which gives you choice. Not something you could say about a Mac...
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by SamhainP8 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:59 am

I've had my Inspiron 6000 for ~5 years and it's been great (so far). :clap:
I'll buy another Dell before we head back to J-land next year.
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:20 am

MacGyver wrote:Contrary to what TTT says, not all Dells are cheap, that is not necessarily in price but in parts. Part of the beauty of a Dell is they are customizable and they have a large range. Which gives you choice. Not something you could say about a Mac...
You just had to have a go at Mac. :wink: Considering that Windows PCs are the used cars of the Internet, you don't buy a Lexus (Mac) so you can swap out parts and muck with the engine. :mrgreen:

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by allblacks » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:46 am

...and Lexus are supposed to be good cars? BAH! Shawn drives a K car! If you had said Mercedes Benz I wouldnt have a problem with the analogy!
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:01 am

Shawn wrote:You just had to have a go at Mac. :wink: Considering that Windows PCs are the used cars of the Internet, you don't buy a Lexus (Mac) so you can swap out parts and muck with the engine. :mrgreen:
Of course. The LJ king of Macs TTT was up to his old tricks so I couldn't remain silent. :wink: And that's a fair analogy. Get a Lexus and pay more for less! Which is why I would never buy a Lexus. Why buy a Lexus when I can get a Toyota (same parts) for less? Same reasoning holds true for a Mac. When I got my Dell laptop I looked around for ages comparing all laptops I could find, including Macs. Dismissed them first cause it cost more to get less...
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:21 am

MacGyver wrote:When I got my Dell laptop I looked around for ages comparing all laptops I could find, including Macs. Dismissed them first cause it cost more to get less...
Interesting. When I went shopping for my laptop, I wound up going for a Mac because of the design. The MacBook was the size and weight I was looking for. Other laptops were 1) ugly (speakers and whatnot coming out of them) 2) too damn big, and 3) full of crapware. The MacBook I bought came with iWork and a remote control, which made it awesome for the presentations I had to do for my university work.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by MacGyver » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:34 am

Shawn wrote:Interesting. When I went shopping for my laptop, I wound up going for a Mac because of the design. The MacBook was the size and weight I was looking for. Other laptops were 1) ugly (speakers and whatnot coming out of them) 2) too damn big, and 3) full of crapware. The MacBook I bought came with iWork and a remote control, which made it awesome for the presentations I had to do for my university work.
Maybe that's the big difference between Mac users and Windows users? Design was secondary for me. First and foremost it was what was under the hood at a price I could afford. Once I zoomed in on what I wanted and how much I was prepared to pay, I compared sizes, weights, and design. In the end it was a no-brainer to choose because the studio xps 16 I got was a good price for the specs, had an awesome (wide) screen, a good design and not too heavy (not the lightest one on the market but I don't travel with it much so that's not a big issue). It *should've* come with a remote but apparently I had to specify that on some page that doesn't exist....That was the only area Dell failed at. In the end I could've got one shipped over from the US for 20 bucks that slides into the side of my laptop but I ended up getting a standard one from Bic for the same price. Not ideal but it does the job. I got mine for 130K yen or so and the comparable Mac was about 200K but even then it was still lower specs. If I remember correctly to get anything as good in a Mac I would've had to have paid 300K or some such (granted that would've been higher spec than the Dell I got but I wasn't prepared to pay 300K for an essentially home PC that had enough grunt to let me do the odd piece of work).
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Shawn » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:11 pm

MacGyver wrote:Maybe that's the big difference between Mac users and Windows users? Design was secondary for me.
Maybe, but I use both. Let's not forget that MacBooks come loaded with good quality software. A low end DELL laptop may have a larger hard drive and more memory, but comes with nothing useful. With my Mac, right out of the box I've got software equivalent to MS Office plus the ability to create beautiful presentations, photo slideshows, and DVDs. That's a lot of value to me. DELL's cheapest laptop with Office will run you close to 100,000 yen, and at that point, there's not much difference between a Mac in terms of price. The creative aspect was an important factor for me since I had a lot of home videos I wanted to edit and burn.

//I'm starting to sound like a Mac fanboi. Somebody slap me. :eyes:

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by inflames » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:09 pm

Shawn wrote:
MacGyver wrote: DELL's cheapest laptop with Office will run you close to 100,000 yen, and at that point, there's not much difference between a Mac in terms of price.
I never, ever use MS Office anymore. When I had to, it was such a pos. I absolutely hated the autoformatting that it would have. I usually use OpenOffice and I find it a lot better, especially the fact that it's easy to make anything a pdf file. If I need to do simple calculations I can do it but for anything serious (and pretty much any sort of graph) I just use real math software (Matlab is what I got hooked on as it's programming language is really close to C++). Don't even get me started on powerpoint (although that's mostly how people use powerpoint, not the software itself).

I bought an off-lease Dell in like 2004 or 2005 (it was made in 2001) for like $100 including shipping. About a year later I built my own PC, which eventually got taken out as I had a cheap power supply in it (I built the entire thing for like 35,000 yen, including Windows Vista). I decided not to fuck around and got a Dell Laptop (not enough space for a desktop). My old Dell (I still have it) works beautifully and the new one works as well, although I reinstalled Windows when I first got it to get rid of all the crap software.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by exUsagiCoalMiner » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:02 pm

Even though they're now owned by Dell, and do - unfortunately - weigh a ton, and can cost and arm and a leg... Go with Alienware. Great design (beautiful looking rig) and power inside to beat anything else out there that's manufactured. Well worth the extra cost IMHO. (And just to throw out a different fanboy perspective... :P )

Speaking of fanboy items... I recently picked up a CyberSnipa "Stinger" mouse - the thing is friggin awesome! Affordably priced on Amazon.jp, too.
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Tall Tall Tree » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:51 pm

allblacks wrote:Sofmap in Tennoji had a squadron of thinkpads and I wasnt going to touch those after the stuff my mate told me.

Huh. Never used a ThinkPad myself, but I usually hear pretty positive things about them.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by MacGyver » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:14 pm

Tall Tall Tree wrote:Huh. Never used a ThinkPad myself, but I usually hear pretty positive things about them.
People telling you good things are probably talking IBM days. Thinkpads have gone downhill noticeably since sold to Lenovo. I used an X31 for a few years and it was great. Finally packed it in after 6 or more years total use (it was second-hand when I got it). The wife got a (new) Lenovo and a yr and a half later the screen has packed it in.... But she loves her Thinkpad so no doubt the next one will be a Thinkpad as well...
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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Shawn » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:04 pm

A follow-up to my original post. Dell is still in trouble:
Documents unsealed Thursday in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell have raised more questions about how the company handled an unprecedented number of faulty computers sold to governments, schools and corporations from 2003 to 2005.

A judge in the Federal District Court in North Carolina unsealed hundreds of documents linked to a lawsuit filed by Advanced Internet Technologies that had accused Dell of trying to hide defects in its desktop computers from customers.

For instance, the court documents show that the City of New York filed incident reports with Dell on 20.2 percent of a batch of 5,000 computers purchased during this period. A purchase of 2,800 computers by Microsoft resulted in issues with 11 percent of the machines; General Electric, William W. Backus Hospital, Denison University and the Montana Justice Department were among dozens of other organizations that experienced similar results.

The documents also show how Dell had resisted informing many of its customers about the extent of the problem. Despite widespread reports from the field, Dell salespeople and technicians were encouraged to keep customers in the dark about the known defects that left computers inoperable.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by stone » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:28 pm

Although I had a lot of help, building a home-brew PC isn't that difficult - and for the price of a DELL built with crappy lowest-bidder parts, you can build one with premium components and matching performance.

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Re: DELL Computers

Unread post by Wage Slave » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:47 pm

A bit more background to this. Dell were far from alone. It is known as capacitor plague. Apparently the result of some industrial espionage gone wrong and the search for cheaper and cheaper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

It is often the big caps that smooth the DC supply so when they fail then yes the unit is totally inoperable. No power. I wish I had known about this before I junked my Buffalo LCD monitor. Apparently, they were affected too.

You don't need a lot of skill to pull the old ones, clean up and replace them. Worth bearing in mind if anything from that period goes bad on you or you see something nice in the junk section of Hard Off.
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