My Dell Inspiron 8600 finally arrived, no thanks to Dell customer service. When it failed to show up on time and UPS couldn’t find any record of it, Dell concluded that it had been lost internally prior to the handoff to UPS. Customer service claimed they would have to cancel my order and create a replacement order. But a few days later the package showed up. It turned out UPS had it all along but, for some reason, it wasn’t showing up in their online tracking system. Despite promising to call me back several times, Dell customer service hasn’t called to let me know what’s up with the alleged replacement order. Will I end up with a second Inspiron? I doubt it. Dell’s online status doesn’t show any sign that customer service ever did anything.
I also picked up one of those really fast Hitachi/IBM Travelstar 7200RPM drives on eBay to replace the slow one in the Inspiron. I’ll keep Windows XP on the Dell drive and swap it back into the notebook if it needs to be serviced. But the real drive will have Linux on it. Anyway, the brilliant eBay seller put the fragile little notebook hardrive into a USPS priority envelope with no packing, no anti-static bag, nothing; just the bare drive in a paper envelope. Guess what? The drive was DOA. Hmmm… I wonder why that could be? The good news is that it was a new drive and still under a 3 year warranty. Hitachi agreed to replace it at no charge and I shipped it off to the factory (in an antistatic bag and several layers of bubble wrap).
It’ll be worth all the trouble to have a fast laptop running Linux. And the widescreen on the Inspiron looks great.