Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A word of warning

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A word of warning

    Just thought I'd pass some observations along.

    I recently got a new Dell laptop with the built in Dell TrueMobile 1400 a/b/g card. Now, I knew that this card was going to be a no go for WarDriving for numerous reasons (no external antenna connector, no Netstumbler support among them), but I thought it would be nice to use around the house. It would be convenient not to have to put the PCMCIA card in everytime I booted the laptop.

    Anyway...the 1400 sucks donkey dick. I have installed both Win XP Pro and Win 2k Pro on the laptop and in both cases using 802.11b mode with my Linksys AP getting a connection is difficult...maintaining one nearly impossible. Furthermore, even when standing right next to the AP I experienced at least 25% packet loss...sometimes as much as 60%.

    Linux is not an option with this card as it is a rebadged Broadcom card and Broadcom won't release the specs so there is no linux driver.

    I have not tried the card in 802.11g or a modes (I am actually going to upgrade to the 802.11g AP this weekend and give it a try but am not expecting a lot).

    Has anyone else experienced similar results with this card? Has anyone experienced better results?

    From the Dell support forums this seems to be a pretty common problem with this card with no workarounds or fixes noted.

    In short...if you are thinking of getting a Dell laptop, I would advise not paying the extra 40 bucks (or whatever it is) for the built in 1400.
    perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chris
    Just thought I'd pass some observations along.

    I recently got a new Dell laptop with the built in Dell TrueMobile 1400 a/b/g card.

    Anyway...the 1400 sucks donkey dick.
    In my experience, which includes buying 286s when it was PCs Unlimited, is that Dells suck. They are, at best mediocre performers with agressive institutional pricing. I have been issued several Dell laptops and I have had driver and hard disk problems with each and everyone. The wife's new Inspiron overheats in the car while watching movies, and runs slower than my 600x Thinkpad. Being a cheap bastard and sucker, I recently bought a SC600 for $350, which is not a bad deal but the hardrive crapped out in a month and all the pci slots are 64bit.

    I've been generally happy with:

    Thinkpads for notebooks
    Proliants for intel servers
    whiteboxes for desktops

    Comment


    • #3
      My experience w/ Dells has been hit and miss. The first models out with the latest and greatest are usually very painful. New models using not-so latest and greatest are better and good in a business (non-geek) environment.

      I've had good experiences with thier servers and business workstations, provided you use them in the factory condition. Adding to or change the configuration and your asking for trouble.

      Personally, for laptops, I go Toshiba all the way.

      Thanks for the Heads up Chris, might want to X-post that to the NS forums.
      Never drink anything larger than your head!





      Comment


      • #4
        And I find this out 2 days after placing a $100,000 order.....

        Actually we have had a problem with the Dell Western Digital
        HDD's. Many of them dying, and the worst is tech support who speak horrible broken english. But, back to the HDD's. At one time I was under the impression that this could have perhaps been some type of virus. (Drawing this conclusion from 8 machines lossing the HDD within a couple weeks), but it turns out it was an issue with the HDD's physical components.

        In addition I have had massive amounts of trouble getting the truemobile AND linksys to connect reliably to a (COTS)Belkin AP.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pezz
          Actually we have had a problem with the Dell Western Digital
          HDD's. Many of them dying, and the worst is tech support who speak horrible broken english. But, back to the HDD's. At one time I was under the impression that this could have perhaps been some type of virus. (Drawing this conclusion from 8 machines lossing the HDD within a couple weeks), but it turns out it was an issue with the HDD's physical components.
          Does anyone manufacture a reliable IDE hard drive anymore? I used to buy WD, but then their reliability dropped. I moved to IBM's and they are turning out to be crap after a year. Maxtors have also been marginal in reliability and performance. I'm using Samsungs right now in a couple of development database machines(pushing gigs and gigs of data around), but its only been 2 months.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by murakami
            Does anyone manufacture a reliable IDE hard drive anymore? I used to buy WD, but then their reliability dropped. I moved to IBM's and they are turning out to be crap after a year. Maxtors have also been marginal in reliability and performance. I'm using Samsungs right now in a couple of development database machines(pushing gigs and gigs of data around), but its only been 2 months.

            I think anyone who dropped thier warranty from 3 to 1 year is suspect.

            Maxtor seems to be the only one who is holding thier own anymore, but I'm betting that's some of the tech they got from buying out quantum that's taking care of that (just my opinion, not flame bait!)

            I stopped looking at brands anymore, I just look at who will get me a replacement drive the quickest without any headaches when (not if) they fail.

            SCSI forever!
            Never drink anything larger than your head!





            Comment


            • #7
              Just as a point...the laptop in question is a work laptop and it had to be a Dell...thank God I say...we used to have Microns and they sucked on ice.

              The nice thing is, they give me the latitude (heh..no pun intended) to spec it out as long as it's a Dell.

              I actually like the laptop overall...it is a D800 with the wide aspect screen...getting Slack on it was a bitch and a half though so there are several cautions with this particular model (my first Dell, my personal laptop is a Toshiba). I am planning to write up the step by step Slack install guide and give it to BW for inclusion in his "Slack on laptops" guide that he is doing.
              perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pezz
                And I find this out 2 days after placing a $100,000 order.....

                Actually we have had a problem with the Dell Western Digital
                HDD's. Many of them dying, and the worst is tech support who speak horrible broken english. But, back to the HDD's. At one time I was under the impression that this could have perhaps been some type of virus. (Drawing this conclusion from 8 machines lossing the HDD within a couple weeks), but it turns out it was an issue with the HDD's physical components.

                In addition I have had massive amounts of trouble getting the truemobile AND linksys to connect reliably to a (COTS)Belkin AP.
                If you placed that large of an order, and are concerned about support on them I have this to say:

                /me Former Dell support rep for *Relationship* code REL customers (so sad, but gotta pay the bills)

                If you need anything replaced, the conversation with a rep (since you SHOULD be relationship) should go like this -

                "I am with IT, and my x laptop's HDD failed, please send replacement. I have already done all the trobleshooting steps, and it is dead."

                If they give you crap, ask for a supervisor.

                P.S. all non server tech support is outsouced
                "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hackajar
                  If you placed that large of an order, and are concerned about support on them I have this to say:

                  /me Former Dell support rep for *Relationship* code REL customers (so sad, but gotta pay the bills)

                  If you need anything replaced, the conversation with a rep (since you SHOULD be relationship) should go like this -

                  "I am with IT, and my x laptop's HDD failed, please send replacement. I have already done all the trobleshooting steps, and it is dead."

                  If they give you crap, ask for a supervisor.

                  P.S. all non server tech support is outsouced
                  Dell's support is pretty good, I've had a couple of hard drives overnighted with no hassle. Just doesn't speak well for the quality of the product.

                  What pisses me off about Dell (among other things) is that if you didn't pay for support, you don't have access to basic support like finding out what the chipset of the onboard ethernet so you can compile a driver. Everytime I tried searching the Dell site, they kept asking for a support/customer number. Fortunately, google can let you view things directly (retains the sesion id) or in its cache.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually I am *NOT* tech support. Thank god! however I normally have the need to light a fire under tech support because that daymn IT instructor keeps hauling her outside for smoke breaks...heh...

                    So our labs are commonly under what I call stress. We have 1 class every 3 weeks. We do multiple OS installs over and over on the HDD so the students are able to install, patch, troubleshoot, etc... Each semester we use ghostcasting to reimage. (never tell Dell tech support you use ghost)

                    Normally the conversation flows like this...

                    Me: I have another bad HDD
                    College tech: ok ill call it in

                    ---la la la la.... 2 days later

                    College tech: Dell says they need an error code
                    Me: ok ill call them
                    Me and College tech: hello we need a new HDD
                    Dell tech : wang thang sing long meeing king hard drive????
                    Me: ummm....what?
                    Dell tech: king wing ping ling ...boot....king sing ping ling ling...error code...ling loop poop keing......die-ag-nost-tiks
                    Me: Damn it! Can I talk to a supervisor?
                    Dell tech: you hold please!
                    Supervisor: hellrow
                    Me to Supervisor: Listen...:/me holds phone to grinding screeching HDD.. tell Dell its another HDD crash
                    Supervisor: You have error code?
                    Me: no I have a crashed HDD
                    Supervior: You run diagnostiks?
                    Me: ummm...No the HDD is silent now...totally dead and its smoking
                    Supervisor: We send you new one...
                    Me: hang up and go smoke

                    Why the hell did I just write this?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 0versight
                      Conclusion of the story is that Western Digital Sucks!

                      So what do you recommend? Seagate? Maxtor? Suggestions?

                      I use segate now, I have had IBM and WD hardrives fail on me.
                      ~:CK:~
                      I would like to meet a 1 to keep my 0 company.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pezz
                        So our labs are commonly under what I call stress. We have 1 class every 3 weeks. We do multiple OS installs over and over on the HDD so the students are able to install, patch, troubleshoot, etc... Each semester we use ghostcasting to reimage. (never tell Dell tech support you use ghost)
                        K, I was not proud of being Dell tech support, or am defendeing any postion, but would like to give pointers in talking to them, if it helps. Anyway...

                        do a search on dells support page (or google the dell domain) for zztop. It is a gost util, that works a little different. Before 2k and XP, they would zztop HDD images. This would put an exact copy of the os in the "back" of the HDD, if you defrag, the image is dead, if you use more then 80% of hdd, the image is dead. BUT, just the same, you can use this to put "live" image for storage on hdd, and recover from it ; or in "back" of HDD if need be. It's a pretty cool util.
                        "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chris
                          I actually like the laptop overall...it is a D800 with the wide aspect screen...getting Slack on it was a bitch and a half though so there are several cautions with this particular model (my first Dell, my personal laptop is a Toshiba). I am planning to write up the step by step Slack install guide and give it to BW for inclusion in his "Slack on laptops" guide that he is doing.
                          I finally got Slackware wrestled onto my new Inspiron 1100 with the 15" screen. I thought about posting the XF86Config, as it was a bit of a bitch. Other than that, I'm quite happy with it. I stick with Dell because their warranty is incredible.

                          "I seem to have dropped my laptop into the bathtub"
                          "No problem, we'll overnight you a new one!"
                          the fresh princess of 1338

                          What did I do to make you think I give a shit?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by octalpussy
                            I finally got Slackware wrestled onto my new Inspiron 1100 with the 15" screen. I thought about posting the XF86Config, as it was a bit of a bitch. Other than that, I'm quite happy with it. I stick with Dell because their warranty is incredible.

                            "I seem to have dropped my laptop into the bathtub"
                            "No problem, we'll overnight you a new one!"
                            That is what makes dell so nice, that damn warrenty.

                            Post your thing on linuxquestions.org, that is where i go in times of need, or when I have to RTFF (READ THE FUCKING FORUM)
                            ~:CK:~
                            I would like to meet a 1 to keep my 0 company.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              On the subject of Dell, and laptops. When will we see linux ready laptops come back into the main stream. I'm getting the same anti-trust infringing story all over again when I call around "We can't ship it without M$ OS, the contract says no"
                              "Never Underestimate the Power of Stupid People in Large Groups"

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X