NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Dell gets sloppy, Lenovo gets floppy

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Dell gets sloppy, Lenovo gets floppy

I was wandering through the cube farm at work, whistling a happy tune, when my surly yet suspicious editor cornered me in the hallway. "You're smiling," he said. "What's up?" He was convinced I'd gotten a better offer from that feline fella on the other side of the tracks. He didn't buy my story about my rejuvenated love life, but he did offer me a raise on the spot. I'm now making nearly $7 an hour. It just doesn't get any better.

Spies like us: Rumours continue to swirl that Microsoft is about to snap up spyware - oops, I mean adware - vendor Gator - err, I mean, Claria. The latest evidence? Microsoft's AntiSpyware beta detects the Claria software but no longer recommends its removal. More alleged proof can be found by taking the advanced quiz on Microsoft's spyware site: "3. True or false: All spyware is 'bad'." According to the quiz, the correct answer is false. Some can be good. And if you are about to pay $US500 million for a spyware vendor, some must be very good.

Land of the Dell: If you think zombie movies are scary, you ought to read Andrew N's chilling blog about his attempts to replace a dead Dell CD drive ( After three weeks, 14 support technicians, 65 reboots, 320-plus minutes on the phone and six major new errors created by the techies, he was still waiting for Dell to replace his now-dead PC at press time. (Not only did Dell fail to respond to my requests for comment, it appears to have shut down its community forums.) Oh yeah: His Dell extended warranty cost $US280. Worth every penny, I'm sure.

When floppies ruled the Earth: Cringester Rick T recently bought a hard drive adapter for his new ThinkPad, which came with EZ-Gig backup software on a 3.5-inch floppy. New ThinkPads with floppy drives are as rare as Pintos with eight-track tape players, so he called Lenovo's support and asked if he could download a copy of the software. One hour - and six techies - later, he got his answer. No. I hear Lenovo may also reinstate IBM's old dress code: blue suits and white shirts for the men, parasols and hoop skirts for the women.

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