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In this new age of ours, I think we all try to make things work...sometimes at our own expense.

Take my purchase of a Dell Inspiron 620, please. From the "Windows Internet Properties" failure to the collapse of the system for want of using a proven Iomega CD-DVD burner--standard operating equipment for the photography trade, the Inspiron has been anything but inspiring; unless, of course, you include the oh so patronizing offshore customer service arm of the company.

Despite all the trouble and emails and phones calls, can I take the unit back to Staples Office Supply--the selling dealer--or to Dell and get a refund? No. Barely four months old, I've actually only gotten about two weeks of real use from the machine. This is my fourth computer. But, my, have I heard all the reasons in great detail why the seller and the maker can't or won't honor their promises.

When the weather is cooler, I'm thinking about organizing an "Ocean Moment" for similar others; the idea to throw our computers in the Atlantic at sunrise, say near Daytona Beach, Florida, to commemorate that all too fleeting moment when we first bought our Dell computer; yet another moment quickly lost in the tide of corporate ambition.

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I have had my Dell Inspiron 530s going on year 6 and I cannot be more pleased with my computer and the company. I ordered it directly from Dell, of course, and it was delivered within 3 days with all the features properly loaded. All I had to do was plug it in and it was ready. I also purchased the extended two-year warranty for a total of three years. Just before the warranty was to expire I debated on whether or not I should renew. Since I have experienced 2 very expensive repair jobs on computers that were never truly repaired, I decided I should renew the warranty for another two years.

No sooner when I renewed the warranty, I woke up one morning about to get into the online classroom to take a final exam, I turned on the computer and nothing happened. I usually never shut my computer completely down but I did for some bizarre reason. It never booted up. I called Dell support and walked through there little test with the representative until it was decided that my computer was in a coma. He said I need this part and that part, that he would order the parts and have a technician scheduled to come to my apartment to install the parts.

The next morning (I wasn't expecting the technician until the next day) the technician arrives with a rather large box. FIrst he called to see if I was available. SO I cleared the table for him to work on. He came in, big man, but very nimble in my cluttered apartment. I had the computer all ready for him. He worked silently and diligently. He installed the parts, we turned Angel on and she was back in business and I didn't lose a single file, picture, music. It was all there. The technician told me that they basically built me a new computer because the mother board had fried, because the cooling system failed so he had to replace the mother board, and two cooling fans with another component. So the $250 two-year extended warranty paid off big time. Any other computer company and I would have been left high and dry. I would have probably lost all of my data if I took it to someplace like Best Buy or an independent computer repair shop. Been there done that, lost everything.

Basically, I am very pleased with and grateful to Dell and their support staff. They did everything picture perfect and left me with a very good impression of the company. So much so that I had them build my laptop as well.

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