bad floppies and stuff: a rant

Discussion in 'Dell' started by John Larkin, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I recently bought two new, identical Dell Precision 370 workstations,
    loaded with goodies, big bucks. Both had intermittent floppies. Their
    customer service told me (as usual) to back up my registry or maybe
    reinstall Windows.

    The problem turned out to be hardware, specifically a rotten
    mechanical design that obliged the assemblers to install the
    ultra-cheap floppy drives wrong. It took me many hours to figure this

    I can't (after many attempts) get Dell to show any interest in the

    It looks like the electronics and cooling in my new Dells is fine, but
    the mechanical design is garbage. It's very hard to open up and work
    on, and the drive bay design and cabling is junk. Every time I try to
    insert a floppy (fish around a while, maybe you'll get lucky) or try
    to remove one (keep the needle-nose pliers handy) it reminds me how
    much I hate this trash.

    The black-on-black color scheme is stylish, except that you can't see
    anything. I had to paint the CD and floppy buttons white, and paint
    boxes around the USB ports. And why do they bother to use LEDS, when
    you have to get down on all fours and stick your eye against them to
    see if they're lit?

    And the USB memory stick pokes out the front panel such that it's
    guaranteed to get broken off pretty soon. Two so far.

    Dells used to be good, and now they're crap. And they used to have
    real support. I've bought maybe 15 or 20 Dells in the last few years,
    and won't buy any more. I've heard the same lately from other people.

    Dell, I know you're not listening.

    John Larkin, Aug 9, 2005
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  2. John Larkin

    Bubba Guest

    Many hours to diagnose a floppy drive problem? hmmm....
    I can't imagine why....
    Hard to open? Those two buttons are rough. I suppose if both hands are busy
    holding the flashlight and looking for your ass....
    Paint the buttons? :)) you mean once you know where they are you can't find
    them again.
    Clumsy too. So use the ones on the back. (that's convenient.) Maybe if they
    were on the side, or the top...
    Says the guy who needs many hours to diagnose a floppy drive problem, can't
    get a tooless case open, can't perform repetative manual tasks without paint
    and repeatedly breaks off USB drives because they protrude from (gasp) the
    *front* of the case.
    I've bought maybe 15 or 20 Dells in the last few years,
    A second valid point. Dell is not listening to your rant in a public
    newsgroup. If you bought two new computers that suck send them back and buy
    better ones.
    Bubba, Aug 9, 2005
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  3. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    The floppies are "bare", just the mechanism, and they depend on the
    case to guide the flop into the drive. They are deeply recessed and
    the guiding thing barely works... you have to insert the floppy
    dead-on straight or it jams going in. There are two green plastic
    guides that screw to the side of the floppy, that snap into the bay.
    There's allowance for alignment, namely oval slots for the screws. So
    if you set the drives back a bit, floppies are hard to load and don't
    eject enough to grab without tweezers. So the techs obviously set them
    max forward. Now the eject button is pressing on the drive's internal
    eject mechanism almost enough to trip it, but plenty enough to angle
    the floppy and make the heads walk up/down an incline. This makes the
    drives flakey/intermittent. Intermittents are always hard to diagnose.

    Hey, I'm an EE and I design electronics systems, and I know sloppy
    engineering when I see it. Are you paid to flack for Dell?

    I can. Because their support is now Asians reading from scripts, and
    there's no script for this.
    The clamshell *is* hard to open... the hinges are draggy.. and it only
    opens about 45 degrees max, so it's very hard to work on things. The
    drive bay wiring is a tangle, so to get a drive in or out, you have to
    disconnect the cables to other drives. Bad design. When you close it,
    you pretty much have to kick it to get the latches to re-engage.
    I work with lots of different computers. What's wrong with buttons and
    USB slots being visible?

    For USB memory sticks? I plug/unplug these every day. Well, I could
    have the carpenters cut and frame a nice hole in the back wall of my
    office. It's outside, so I'd need an awning, too. Thanks, great ideas.

    (that's convenient.) Maybe if they
    Says an engineer who won't let my company buy more Dells.

    Sensible people provide one recessed USB slot on the front.

    John Larkin, Aug 9, 2005
  4. John Larkin

    tlai909 Guest

    Floppies are made by a handful of companies in the developing world.

    People do not seem to understand that their $699 computers rely on a $2
    floppy and $5 PSU... I also feel that people don't realise that a $699
    PC or even a $2,000 PC is a collection of diverse parts with almost
    zero user interface testing for consumer usage.

    Unlike a DVD player or an XBOX where someone sat down and did user
    interface testing, no-one does this for PCs.

    If you're on usenet I would hope that that would be abundantly clear.

    I deal with servers every day and even at a fairly high level, people
    do not understand that their cheap little proxy server appliances rely
    on a $10 psu.

    It goes down, so does all net traffic.

    tlai909, Aug 10, 2005
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