Tag Archives: Dell

Is your LCD making a buzzing or high pitch noise?

This seems to be a real problem with some LCD Monitors, especially the entry level TN panels like the popular Dell models (one of which I’m in front of right now).

In my case, the monitor was fine for the first two months. But then started making a buzzing noise… 1) when on, 2) worse when in power stand-by mode, and 3) even worse when turned off.

Thanks Dell!

It seems as if the cheap capacitors manufacturers’ use in these LCDs, after a while, start to resonate at a high pitch frequency that is very annoying in a quiet room. I’ve read that some people have fixed this by opening up the monitor and putting epoxy resin around parts … something I was not ready to do.

Adjusting the brightness setting of the LCD managed to fix this problem. Since this changes the power the monitor takes, this also changes the frequency these cheap capacitors resonate at… Sometimes for the better. You’ll have to play around and see what works for you best.

Next time I’m going for a nice non-TN Samsung.

Other reported fixes include changing the refresh rate (switching between 50Hz or 60Hz), and disabling the internal/integrated speakers or setting their volume to zero (they might be on without you knowing).

Ubuntu and Dell, a Mismatch Made in a Place Called Hell [IdeaStorm].

I’m going to keep this one short and simple, and to the point.

And I’m not even going to write anything.

Why the Dell/Ubuntu Deal Won’t Improve Linux’s Market Share

When you take a few steps back from the furor and zealotry and take a close look at whats happened here, you will quickly start to see the cracks. One problem is that Dell appears to be under the misguided impression that listening to the IdeaStorm community is the same as listening to customers. It’s not. Anyone can register and become an instant member of the IdeaStorm community. What Dell listened to wasn’t a cross-section of customers, but rather a pressure group.

There are a series of other pressure groups in operation on IdeaStorm right now, people who are putting their own agendas on the table and expecting Dell to carry them out

A wise and sound analysis that iterates everything mentioned here on the topic.

Ubuntu Kills Linux, Then Self, Dell Suspected of Foul Play.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for … DELL Ubuntu Linux?

*World* to Dell: We want desktop Linux!

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the news:

The world wants Linux. And as we all know, the news can’t be wrong. Especially if it’s regurgitated over and over again on every tech site on the net.

Just one problem though…

This is Linux-fever journalism at its worst, and an example of a simple lie being easier for people to swallow than the complex truth.

Now I want you to take a deep breath at this point, because you’re about the get a sick feeling in your stomach. That feeling of utter hopelessness. And it’s going to come in shock waves, one after the other, over and over.

[You might want to stop reading at this point.]

Tsunami Wave #1.

And on Dell’s Ideastorm Web site, a staggering 41,210 users agreed with the thread, “Sell Linux PCs Worldwide — not only the United States”.

On another thread, 6,410 users agreed with the statement, “Make Dell Ubuntu PCs available to businesses and non-profits”.

They can’t even get the basic facts right…

When you vote on Dell’s IdeaStorm, your vote increases the total count by 10 points.

The reported figures so eminently talked about since day 1 are off by a factor of 10. That’s for every reported 10,000 users, only 1,000 votes were cast.

But don’t just stop there… Take into consideration that you get to register with a made up user name and password immediately, with no email confirmation or validation. You don’t even leave the page (thanks to JavaScript).

Log out, re-register again under the same exact IP address, and you get to vote once more, over and over.

The reported 100,000 users that started this mess in the first place on IdeaStorm, are at best 10,000 strong — assuming no manipulation was involved.

Not that the people doing the actual voting have any intention of getting a Ubuntu DELL anyways…

[While this quote is a joke, it sums up things quite nicely.]

I voted multiple times for Ubuntu on Dell’s ideaStorm so that others can have the opportunity to purchase it. As an Ubuntu advocate, I’ve done my part. It’s time for the consumers to do their part. Don’t blame me if consumers are too stupid to know what is best for them.

Tsunami Wave #2.

Dell has no intention of delivering Linux to the home user.

OEMs like Dell have razor thin margins. They live and die by the volume discounts, co-marketing funds, “Desktop Real Estate”, and leads provided by Microsoft.

The Ubuntu systems that Dell sells are nothing more than a type of a loss-leader designed to show the consumer that they are getting a better deal when buying the Windows counter-part… More features to select from, better promotions/deals, better components/upgrades, and sometimes cheaper upgrades.

If you’re part of the vast digg.com crowd that believes the US government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, you’re probably also the type to believe that Dell will jeopardize its Microsoft relationship, and face the consequences, to sell an expected 20,000 Ubuntu systems [at a loss].

You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

What’s Dell’s incentive here?… To generate publicity to further sell Windows Licenses and provide Microsoft with facts and figures to use in future campaigns.

More OEMs are cashing in on this profitable tactic every day.

Tsunami Wave #3.

By *pushing* Linux upon users that have no need for it, you are setting yourself up for failure.

The Microsoft Windows installed base is soon to cross the 1 Billion mark.

That user-base is very diverse: with different cultures, languages, and processes. Take into account everything Microsoft has had to work through by catering to everyones needs. Major roadblocks have been overcome. And what has Linux been put through on the Desktop? Relatively speaking… absolutely nothing.

Linux does not have a secret formula that makes it immune to growing pains. Switch the market share between Windows and Linux, and Linux will be downright unusable. From viruses, to backward compatibility issues, to UI problems, to everything else.

Let me state it one more time since it’s a point never mentioned: With an increasing market share, Linux will have the same exact growing pains and problems as Microsoft did and currently has.

Not to even mention that you are now catering to a mass that thinks the CD tray is a cup holder and the mouse is a foot pedal.

Landslide #1.

Vista Aiding Linux Desktop, Strategist Says

“Windows Vista has probably created the single biggest opportunity for the Linux desktop to take market share…”

How ofter do I hear this delusional statement in all it’s variations.

Vista has problems. So did Windows XP. As did Windows 2000. And 98, 95, 3.1. There _is_ a pattern here. Its called SP1 [Service Pack 1]. After which every version mentioned took off.

The saying goes: if your first version is not horribly broken, you’ve waited too long to release it.

The current release of Vista has allowed Microsoft to get feedback from a very diverse user-base. Feedback that is priceless, that cannot be had any other way. How else is progress made?

You don’t raise your child in a plastic bubble.

History repeats itself, and just as Linux has not been able to make it to the Desktop since the promised year 2000, Windows users are also not migrating to Linux pastures in mythical herds. If anything, XP sales are up and Microsoft is readying to sell millions of Vista Licenses, of which an estimated 6 million are being sold each month.

Tell me I’m wrong.

The More Dell Lies, the More Ubuntu Community Embraces Dell

Having priced similar Dell Ubuntu and Vista systems in the past, at a real difference of 10 dollars, I was curious to check in again and see if Dell has implemented anything the users of IdeaStorm have asked for.

One particular thread caught my attention:
Ubuntu Dell is $50 Less Than Windows Dell — Implemented.

Lets take The Flavor Challenge and build two same-spec 1420 Notebooks:

Note “Jet Black [Included in Price]” on 1420 Ubuntu
Downgrade to “Jet Black [subtract $20]” on 1420 Vista

Note “FREE! 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz [Included in Price]” on 1420 Vista
Upgrade to “2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz [add $150]” on 1420 Ubuntu

Note “FREE! 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) [Included in Price]” on 1420 Vista
Upgrade to “Size: 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) [add $125]” on 1420 Ubuntu

Note “Intel 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card [Included in Price]” on 1420 Ubuntu
Upgrade to “Intel 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card [add $25]” on 1420 Vista

Total:

Inspiron 1420 [Vista] $824
Inspiron 1420N [Ubuntu] $1,049

The people asked, and Dell delivered! And only at $225 more for the Ubuntu laptop!

Say this with me: Dell has no intention of selling non-Windows consumer and commodity PCs/Notebooks. They simply can’t as the net profit on a Dell system is derived directly from the Windows OS via “Desktop Real Estate” and any Microsoft leads and co-marketing funds [kickbacks] provided — and not from the base hardware.

The Linux community is being used to generate free publicity and in turn sell Windows Licenses.

A bit ironic, don’t you think so?

Update 07/11/07:

The given components and prices on the 1420 Notebook have been updated. The price difference is now $25 [assuming no change in Wireless NIC], in favor of the Ubuntu system.

Among frequent price and component discrepancies, price fluctuations, and Windows favored promotions, I’m not sure if Dell is serious about selling “open-source” [as Dell calls them] systems, rather than generating publicity.

Considering that expected sales are at 1% of total systems shipped, and that Microsoft could break Dell in half by decreasing the received Windows License discounts and co-marketing funds, I have no choice but to assume the latter.

Update 04/30/10:

Seems like its back to $200 again.

Microsoft Thanks Ubuntu For Increasing XP and Vista Sales

It’s great that Linux is finally getting the exposure it deserves, thanks to Dell, but the question still remains: how is Dell profiting from its Ubuntu offering?

We know that the net margin for Dell, as a whole, is around 5% [the true profit made on revenue]. While we can compare this number to the industry standard, it does not tell us anything about the margins Dell pockets on its commodity PC and Notebook lines.

Per system, it is rumored to be around 2% or less and to be razor-thin and ever decreasing.

Considering that Dell pays $25-$45 per OEM volume XP/Vista license and profits $45+ from the “Desktop Real Estate” provided by Windows, where is the profit made when a Ubuntu system is priced less than it’s Windows counterpart?

Surely not with the upgrades that are either lacking or similarly priced [that sometimes cost more].

Publicity.

The profits made on selling Ubuntu systems at cost, or even at a loss, is with the free publicity Dell is generating for itself via major news and social network sites around the net regurgitating on this deal literally every few days. This in turn generates traffic and sales on profitable items, such as the Windows systems, for Dell.

Ubuntu’s Endgame, Adding Insult to Injury

It’s time for all the fans that rallied behind the idea of Dell providing Ubuntu, or any other Linux distribution, to follow through and purchase a system

Scratch that, they have all disappeared!

Some choice quotes from the same exact fanbase-type “users” that posted to Dell’s IdeaStorm:

“I don’t know how I feel about the “for advanced users and tech enthusiasts” bit. Seems like it undermines my stance on what Linux is about. Dell will not be getting my business until they change.”

“Ubuntu is great, but until it can play all Windows games at near the same performance, I don’t believe it will ever be “better” for my uses.”

“I would definitely pay $50 for a Windows license and a better video card in the Dimension, even more!”

“I’m disappointed that they only offer shitty models and options.”

“I’ve NEVER liked or bought any DELL products, and NEVER will. Why would I want to save 40 bucks on something I would never buy…”

“I love Linux, Ubuntu, and the open-source/GPL movement, but I like to put my systems together personally.”

“If Ubuntu was anything BUT a technical nightmare to configure, what would be the reason to buy one of these? Yes, it installs really easily. Getting it to WORK is next to impossible.”

“You get a computer with an OS you can ***download for free*** pre-installed. Wow!”

“I’m not really interested in buying a PC with an OS, as much as buying a PC with no OS installed.”

How the tides have turned! Not that I, or anyone else, should be surprised. This was to be expected. After all, our fanboys are our biggest hindrance… They talk the talk, but never walk the walk.

Something to consider: once you price the exact same XPS 410 [Vista Home Premium] and 410n [Ubuntu] system, take into account that Dell is offering free shipping on the Vista system, while the Ubuntu system will cost $30 to ship — you are saving only $10!

[I've taken the comments from digg and slashdot, and have slightly edited them for better readability]

Ubuntu’s Death Rattle

Having just posted my thoughts on the Dell/Linux sham, it hit me… This must be the sound of Ubuntu’s death rattle.

Having failed to turn a profit year after year, Canonical/Ubuntu has put all of its remaining energy into this deal: from the website re-design with the focus on Dell, to the recent video/talk marketing efforts made by Mr. Shuttleworth.

I _would_ say that all the eggs have been placed into the same basket, but if you look at the past, you quickly realize the rest of the eggs have already been broken and this is a last effort attempt to save a sinking ship.

Since the beginning, Canonical/Ubuntu has been burning millions per year, without seeing any returns — even with a userbase of 2-6 million, and a deployment on 4-16 million systems. And this Dell move is supposed to turn things around?…

Do the numbers:

Dell’s expected sales are at 20,000 systems per year. Who and how many are going to shell out $65 for 30-days worth of support? Zero. Maybe, at best, less than 1%. Same logic applies to the more expensive, yearly, support contracts.

This Dell deal is a joke that’s going sell a handful of systems and net Canonical a few more contracts, relatively worth pennies. Pushing Linux on the average Joe [who is just going to ship the system back] will also backfire. I mean, who else is going to buy these systems? The fanboys that started this mess in the first place? Don’t make me laugh!

And for Ubuntu, after Dell, where is there to go from here but down?

It almost sounds as if this deal was set up to fail from the beginning. If Microsoft is behind this move, they have done a good job of pulling the strings. It’s a sad day today.

Dell’s Linux Offer, still too early to tell

When Dell first announced that Linux was going to be offered as a choice on their home systems, many Linux fans rejoiced on the news. GNU/Linux was finally going to make headway in the desktop market, with Dell being the catalyst to displace the Microsoft Windows monopoly. And while everyone was quite happy about this event, I took an alternative view to the situation…

Some of you might have read my negative view-point on Dell’s Linux offer: that it will never work, or worse off, that it might be a set up move by Microsoft to further tarnish Linux. I made my statement, and have been patiently waiting to see the actual Dell offer before saying anything more.

Dell Offers Three Consumer Systems With Ubuntu 7.04

It’s finally here. Later today, Dell will offer U.S customers three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. These systems will be available at www.dell.com/open by 4pm CST today. Starting price for the E520n desktop and the E1505n notebook is $599; the XPS 410n starts at $849.

Hardware support will come from Dell. Beyond that, users can turn to the Linux section of the Dell Community Forum. Users also have fee-based options for operating system support through Canonical, including 30-day Get Started, One-year Basic and One-year Standard.

I’ve prices two same systems…
XPS 410: Windows Vista Home — $889
XPS 410 N: Ubuntu Linux, no support from Dell or Canonical — $849

The support for the Linux system only comes from Dell’s Community Forums and can be purchased from Canonical at…

  • 30 days Starter Support: $65
  • 1 year of Basic Support: $125
  • 1 year of Std Support: $275

This offer is targeted “for advanced users and tech enthusiasts” and “we expect these systems to be less than 1 percent of our OS mix for the entire year which is ~20,000 systems annually.”

All in all, I am still a bit disappointed. Yes, you do [at this time, with no offers] get a system for a few dollars less than one with Vista, but what’s going to happen when the average Joe gets in on this great deal and finds out he can’t install iTunes, MS Office, nor his games, and nothing works as it should? Answer: Curse Linux and send the system back! And when Dell figures out that this model is either not profitable, or too small volume, what’s going to happen then? Answer: Blame Linux!

“Is Linux on Dell a Pipe Dream?” Article

Is Linux on Dell a Pipe Dream?

I have put another article on the site that discusses the real cost of delivering Desktop Linux to the average Dell home-user.

All about crapware profits, the Microsoft Tax, Support Issues, and Dell’s IdeaStorm.

If you enjoyed the “Is Ubuntu Linux Slowly Dying?” article, you are really going to hate this one [of course that would depend on your definition of "enjoyed"].

Profit Margins on Commodity PCs

$60 to keep crapware off of a Windows PC?

The question is:

Why are “open source” [no pre-loaded OS] Dell PCs priced $50+ more than identical hardware with Vista pre-loaded?

As it turns out to be, the profit margins on the actual Dell box is close to zero after it reaches your door. Most of the profit comes from the spyware/adware/crippleware [crapware] that Dell ships with the box.

Another great business model has been created; bringing spamming directly to the desktop, included with the hardware for your convenience.