My last Dell–or HP

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I’ve had it. Sit­ting in the lounge wait­ing for my flight to Bangkok, I was casu­al­ly read­ing a Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald sto­ry about Kevin Rudd,  when this hap­pened.

Anoth­er BSOD! This is the first on this machine‑a Dell XPS15z–but it the third machine in a row in which I’ve had this expe­ri­ence.

The first was a Dell Stu­dio 17 which I pur­chased two years ago, and which had so many BSOD crash­es in so many inop­por­tune moments that I final­ly nick­named it Mephis­to and went in search of an alter­natve (see “My Dog of a Dell”).

I went with my uni­ver­si­ty’s pur­chas­ing office’s choice of HP–only to have that machine crash with a BSOD on its first over­seas trip two weeks lat­er! Hav­ing been through the expe­ri­ence of the Dell Stu­dio crash­ing, I would esti­mate, about 1,000 times in the year before I decid­ed to replace it, I was­n’t about the repeat the expe­ri­ence with HP, so I returned it and attempt­ed a repair of the Dell–a replace­ment of its moth­er­board and mem­o­ry after hav­ing pre­vi­ous­ly replaced mem­o­ry, hard disks and (for oth­er rea­sons) key­board before­hand.

With 4G of RAM installed, it began to behave itself–until two weeks before my trip to Eng­land in September/October to launch Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics. Then it crashed in the mid­dle of a lec­ture.

My stu­dents can put up with such an expe­ri­ence, but it means that I can’t record the lec­ture for the web–the pro­gram doing the record­ing (BB Flash­back) goes down with the oper­at­ing sys­tem. I could­n’t afford a repeat of the prob­lem while launch­ing the book, so I hasti­ly pur­chased a Dell XP 15z online, and it arrived a day before my depar­ture for Eng­land (I can’t fault Del­l’s online sales sys­tem).

To my great annoy­ance, I then found that the XPS 15z did­n’t have a VGA port, and Dell did­n’t sup­ply a mini-DVI to VGA con­vert­er. So how was I sup­posed to give a pre­sen­ta­tion then?

I reluc­tant­ly lugged TWO lap­tops with me: the refur­bished Stu­dio 17 that I hoped would not fall over as I gave my speech at the launch, and the XPS 15z for research (since it’s sig­nif­i­cant­ly faster).

I have since tried to find a workaround to the absence of a VGA out­put on it, to no avail–and I am not the only one, from what I have seen on online dis­cus­sions. Noth­ing has worked sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly: the Apple DVI to VGA con­vert­er worked when direct­ly linked to a desk­top data pro­jec­tor by one spe­cif­ic VGA cable, but it failed today at the Soci­ety for Het­ero­dox Eco­nom­ics con­fer­ence, so I was­n’t able to put my pre­sen­ta­tion up on my blog.

I was con­tem­plat­ing being forced to buy an ultra-portable with suf­fi­cient screen res­o­lu­tion to match a decent data pro­jec­tor (min­i­mum 1024x768, prefer­ably 1400x1050), when this BSOD hap­pened.

So I’ve had it–to repeat myself. I now need an ultra­portable that must have a VGA out­put port, min­i­mum screen res­o­lu­tion as above, plus suf­fi­cient grunt to run my software–minimum 4G RAM, prefer­ably +750Gig Hard Disk, and … reli­a­bil­i­ty. I will no longer con­sid­er either Dell or HP.

Sug­ges­tions please!

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.