Dell is a big fat liar

Recently, Dell has launched a new initiative of trying to bring out better “designed” products and diverse color offerings. I applaud them for making a change since they use to make me angry with their advertising campaign of “we put a lot of thought into the design of our products”. In reality, if anyone bothered to look at the products they produced at the time, this was clearly not the case…but I digress. The most pronounced of the new products is the M1330, a thin-and-light notebook that Dell proclaims is the world’s thinnest 13.3” notebook. HOWEVER, this is patently FALSE and MISLEADING.

According to Dell’s M1330 web page, the M1330 measures 31.8 x 23.8 x 2.31-3.38 cm (W x D x H). Yes, quite slim.

Sony has been selling their VAIO SZ series 13.3” notebook for over a couple years now worldwide. Although it comes in two configurations, the carbon fibre model measures 31.5 x 23.4 x 2.18-3.26 cm (W x D x H). Smack to the head! Dell gets beat down and doesn’t even win one category! Even if you compare the non-carbon fibre model, it’s more or less a wash with the M1330 being slightly less in height. Of course, in either case, the Sony SZ is lighter in weight and has a better screen.

Am I being harsh? Absolutely. One of the reasons why is that I think Dell is doing a good thing by trying to release “better quality” products that take design, usability, and aesthetics into account. Dell has always had good performance for the dollar but it was always at the expense of the amenities and the “feel” of the product.

So, Dell, please stop lying to consumers and trying to create your own Dell Reality Distortion Field via the spreading off false advertising. Sell the product on its actual merits and don’t resort to low class marketing tricks just to sell your product. Make the products compelling and people will buy them.


When good software goes bad…

For the past eight years, I’ve been a devoted user of Ahead’s Nero Burning ROM program. Back in 1999, the king of DVD burning software was Adaptec’s Easy CD Creator which I used. However, I didn’t like it because it was quickly becoming bloatware with Adaptec trying to tack on feature after feature and the program became less stable over time. Around that time I became award of Ahead Software’s Nero Burning ROM software which was a bare bones burning software that was rock solid. What ultimately sold me on it was that it was the first burning software that was compatible with my Firewire-based DVD burner and I have been using it ever since. I started with version 4.0 and have steadily upgraded to every version including the most recent version 7.x Ultra.

Over the years, Nero has added tons of features as “value adds” on top of their already solid burning software. Unfortunately, this has led to feature bloat with the latest incarnation of the software weighing just over 200MB. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind getting new features for “free” but I feel like the software has lost some of the charm that it used to have. Also, I’m not a fan of the install options where the program will try to install everything and change all your file associations without asking you.

Case in point. Tonight I decided to run Nero Update and was notified there were updates. Typically, I manually download the new install file because every time I’ve tried to upgrade my current install, Nero’s installer will hose my current installation leaving me with a non-working Nero install. This has happened ever since the new Nero ProductSetup was introduced. Tonight, I decided to give it another chance and let it attempt to upgrade my current setup. Amazingly, the updates installed without a hitch and the process actually finished. However, I was not pleased when I rebooted my system.

Read more.

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