Power Outage (or, Dell, not quite hell, but perhaps purgatory)

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So I’ve been sans laptop at school for the past few days; the reason being that the power adaptor for this laptop failed on Monday afternoon in spectacularly unimpressive fashion. In short, it simply stopped working while I was working off wall power. No bangs, or pops, or crackles, or snaps; no scorch marks or little puffs of smoke; it just stopped delivering power to my laptop.

This, of course, wasn’t the original power adaptor that came with the laptop; that poor piece of equipment had been returned to Dell near the end of the warranty period last August due to the cable fraying. No, this was a relatively new bit of kit, well less than a year old, that had shown no previous symptoms. It just dropped dead, as if struck down by God (hm, Passover is getting close…).

The past two-and-a-half days has been devoted to taking notes the old-fashioned way (with legal pad and pen, not with stylus and wet clay tablet, smart-asses) and not lugging my ridiculously heavy laptop around the city. And, I have to admit, ina way it’s been rather liberating, not haiving electronic access 24/7. Plus it’s been easier on my back, too.

Anyway, after a very confusing trip through Dell’s website, I finally ordered a new AC adaptor from Dell. I don’t think I want to go into the gory details, but suffice to say that I really don’t see why they need to stock 8 million different adaptors, with very confusing and very different model designations. In fact, if you try to search for an AC adaptor for my particular model of laptop, you get a result for an adaptor that doesn’t even mention this particular model in the item description (and, as it turns out, that’s not the one I ordered anyway).

Of course, maybe Dell really is trying to confuse their customers…

1 Comment

This could be my own story. The power cord stopped working while I was writing a grant on a very tight deadline. My laptop sat there, inert, while I tried frantically to find the correct AC adaptor. The Website was impossible to navigate, for the precise reasons you mentioned.

The grant was due. The master copy was held captive on my silent, mocking (or so it seemed) laptop ... and life was not good.

All turned out well, ultimately, but I'll have to think twice before buying another Dell laptop. The power cord does seem to present serious problems.

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on March 29, 2006 11:45 PM.

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