Tag Archives: laptop

Returning the Latitude E6400

This will probably be the last post I write with the Dell Latitude E6400 I purchased recently.

Next week I’m going to call Dell and arrange to return the laptop for a refund.

This is the first Dell computer that I’m really dissatisfied with and, frankly, I’m surprised that Dell dropped the ball so badly.   The E6400 is (at least in my opinion) a major step backwards from the D630.

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I was just looking at my laptop (Dell Latitude D620) and wondered about a few things …

  • Why do they bother putting RS-232 ports on laptops anymore?   I haven’t seen a device that connects via RS-232 in years.   The only devices I can actually think of that used a RS-232 port was an external modem … and most laptops have modems built in (not that they’re used much anyways).
  • Ditto with a parallel printer port.   Most printers that I’ve seen in the last few years have been connected by USB (‘course my laptop doesn’t have a parallel port, but Ginny’s does).
  • Why bother with a DB15 video connector?   Wouldn’t it be better to just go with DVI?   If you need a DB15 video connector, you can use an adapter.
  • The hard drive on my laptop uses SATA … I really wish there was an eSATA connector.   I tried putting an eSATA card in the PCI slot of the D/DOCK port replicator, but the BIOS wouldn’t recognize it (which is fairly logical, considering there’s no guarantee that the card would be there all the time).

On a somewhat different, although related, topic … I really wish someone would make an inexpensive tablet computer.   I have an idea for a nice little appliance application that would be perfectly suited to a tablet computer.   All it would need is a 12″ display, 512mb of ram, 4gb to 8gb of flash disk, wifi, and Linux.

Is that my laptop?

Picture this … you’re going through the security checkpoint at an airport … you’ve taken your laptop out of your bag and sent it through the x-ray machine.

You get through the metal detector … and find TWO laptops, identical in appearance, at the end of the x-ray machine.

Which one is yours?

Something like this happened a number of years ago … I was traveling for business, went through security, and there were two Dell Inspiron 8100’s at the end of the x-ray machine. Another guy and I were looking at both laptops trying to figure out which one was ours. The other guy noticed that one of the laptops didn’t have a floppy drive … and he knew that his did have a floppy (mine had a spare 2nd battery). Just to be on the safe side, he booted his up and determined that the one he had was indeed his own. We laughed about it briefly and went to our respective flights.

An acquaintance of mine wasn’t so lucky once … he was on a business trip to Europe … he went through security, grabbed the first laptop that looked like his, and headed over to his flight … but it turns out the laptop he grabbed wasn’t his. When he was on the plane, already over open ocean, he booted his laptop up and tried to login … but couldn’t. Then he noticed it wasn’t his name on the Windows XP login box. Talk about a panic. He ended up having to buy a new laptop at his destination, and getting his reference material sent to him via overnight shipment.

Want a proof positive way to avoid this kind of problem? Take your business card and tape it to the inside of your removable battery (or the bottom of a removable CD/DVD drive).

It’s important that the business card be taped … so it doesn’t fall off and it’s clear that it couldn’t have just been slipped there.

It’s also not a bad idea to put something identifiable on the outside of the case, so you know you’re grabbing the right laptop. This could be something as simple as a piece of colored tape.

Now, if there is ever confusion about who owns a laptop, you just pop out the battery and you can quickly determine which laptop is yours.