Three of the four laptops I’ve owned are Dell machines. I’m not sure how I feel about them anymore, though. I was just considered moving from 256 megs of memory to 512, now that Linux will prevent my current Latitude from becoming hopelessly outdated in another year or two, when I had a chilling reminder of a past problem with my other Dell. I’ve experienced:

1. Broken clamshell holder – old machine, gave it away

2. Broken Delete key – keyboard replaced under warranty

3. Broken PCMCIA socket – replaced under warranty

4. Broken USB socket – didn’t even know this was possible, still broken

5. I, K and , keys didn’t work this morning. A hard boot seems to have taken care of this, but I’m nervous. It’s hard to write without any letter in the alphabet, but partcularly hard wthout one of the fve vowels. Just kddng!

Still, these are not problems that I’d expect, considering that I seldom move my laptop and have never treated it roughly. And when I consider that Dell gives you your choice of which flavor of XP you want pre-installed, I’m not as sure as I once was that my next laptop will be a Dell.