More laptop fun

Update: every single piece of bundled software on this laptop is some kind of limited trial version. Wordperfect Office… 60 day trial version. The McAfee security software nags me about how insecure I am until I buy mors software from them. The CD burning software can’t even burn ISOs. When you select the ISO-burning option, it just shows an ad for the deluxe version. And the desktop is littered with ads.

I don’t really care, since I’m going to be installing GNU/Linux anyway; but I’m very disappointed with Dell. I don’t remember them being as cheap with the last PC I bought from them. Is this normal for a new PC these days? If so, I wish more power to Apple in their quest to replace PCs with Macs. Apple understands what should be obvious to any PC-maker: if you want people to be happy with their computer, it should actually do useful things right out of the box!.

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  1. I hope Apple does better also… I remember having one “trial period” software installed on the g4 powerbook I bought–it was for MS-Office–but since I am at a university with a bundle deal, I just bought the bundle for $75 and it wasn’t a big deal.. otherwise, it had a bunch of software installed on it–like Graphics Converter–which was just awesome…

    Maybe with the Mac Mini’s they will get a lot more of the pc-users who really just need a cool type-writer and way to look at porn easily… It’s not that expensive–it’s around the same price range as a pc, but without a monitor.. so it’s getting better…

    Will have to see…

  2. Sounds pretty standard, actually. Over the past few years, the Big Name manufacturers have been looking for every way to cheapen their product in order to drive the cost down. You could have gotten the full versions of the software when you bought your dell, but that would have bumped up the price a good bit, delayed the shipping of it, and lost you time on your warranty, since Dell’s warranty starts from the time they get your money, not from when you get your machine.

  3. Well, I think your PC will do something useful out of the box if you order it configured a specific way. You can order one with specific software installed (within limits, unless you go with a local supplier). It’s not fair to say it was useless when you weren’t picky about what went on it.

    Personally, I always flatten and rebuild the boxes I get; if for no other reason than to get rid of the OEM partition on the disk (which is there to protect non-tech customers from “choosing unwisely” in what they download). I usually get refurbished PCs from HP; they’ve been very reliable, altho I don’t go for a warranty unless it’s a laptop. HP’s warranty starts when you receive your product, not when you order it.

    Mac’s are pretty and have a nice GUI, but they have more problems imho than PCs in relation to flexibility. I have this weird concept that you should be able to run whatever you want on whatever hardware you get. Cell phones also bug me because they are homed to one service (altho that can be changed). But I’ll never buy a Mac because they can’t do what I want them to do: run Windows software. I mean, at least if I buy a PC I have a choice of OS. I may always choose the same one, but it’s MY choice.

    Other than the money factor, I think the biggest problem manufacturers face is that the average customer doesn’t know what they are doing. The manufacturers have a product a lot of people want, but very few people understand.

    1. This is just plain FUD. I’m not even a Mac user (can’t afford to be at the moment); but there have long been multiple choices of OS for Apple hardware (including Windows, if a little awkwardly, now that Apple has switched to Intel). And there have been ways to run Windows software on Macs for many years.

      I don’t think it’s unfair to expect my hardware to be bundled with the basic software to make it work. No, I don’t expect a free copy of MS Office or any other major application. I do expect a functional CD-writing package if my PC has a CD recorder. And that is one of the things that I believe OSX and LInux distros get right: there are certain basic pieces of commodity software that have no business being “extras” or free trials or limited “special editions” in this day and age. If my PC has a CD burner it should have fully functional CD burning software. It should be able to at least view files in all the most popular file formats. It should be able to zip and unzip files. It should have all necessary security software to keep it from being cracked or overrun by worms and virii built-in, without nags to upgrade if you really want to be secure. I don’t think these things are too much to expect.

      I am once again confirmed in my decision to advise my mom to get a Mac: I don’t like to think about all the explaining and support I would have to do if her computer popped up another EULA or “OMG YOUR NOT SECURE” or “your free trial has run out” or “you need to upgrade now!” or “you can’t do that – but try our deluxe version!” every five seconds.

      Thankfully, Kubuntu seems to be very comfortable on the new machine, so I now have a system which can fully exploit it’s own hardware without bitching at me.

  4. (H)ardOCP reviewed a Dell PC recently, and that was their biggest gripe –
    the stuff that came preloaded on it.

    We had numerous problems with stability due entirely to the preventable problems of pre-installed software. When we were able to fix one problem by uninstalling programs using the Add/Remove software wizard, we found another problem that we then had to fix. Had these problems come from poor quality components, viruses, or some fluke of Windows MCE, we would not look well on it but would consider a higher score.

    Every single one of these problems was caused by the choices made by Dell to put on programs that were either not compatible or caused problems, and it’s clear from the problems that we had that they did not test the final configuration extensively. We consider these problems completely unacceptable.

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