Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dell Misses Mark With New Tablet XT

One piece of advice I give clients and try to live by myself is: never buy a piece of technology that has an expected ROI of greater than 18 months. I also recommend my SMB clients buy/lease technology that has been on the market for at least six to eight months, so it is proven (SP1) and has had a chance to depreciate in cost.

Why would someone want to purchase a Dell XP, when they can get a proven Toshiba or HP unit for $800-$1,000 less? Most of my clients would be far better off spending that money on mobile productivity applications, two years of mobile broadband service, training, etc.

Most of the people who require longer battery life are also people who need/want a ruggedized form factor, like that found in the Panasonic CF-08. Interestingly enough, the CF-08 has a reported 14 hour battery life!

Dell's experience with the XPS 1710 gaming laptop may have clouded its judgment on this new offering. Unlike the gaming crowd, who are willing to pay a premium for the fastest and coolest rig available, most businesses that I work with, are looking for solutions that minimize their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and provide tangible value. The Dell Tablet XP misses this mark.

I've thinking about buying a tablet PC, to replace the Dell Latitude C640 with 1G of RAM and XP Pro, that I purchased off-lease and has served me well for the last two years. I've enjoyed my Dell and have been eagerly awaiting their entry into the Tablet PC market.

Now that I've seen Dell's Tablet XP, I think I'm going to give up on Dell for my next machine. Sorry Dell, but..

What I Really Want Is A Vostro 1500T with 2G (4GRAM for < $1,500

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Acedemics Just Don't Get Digital Rights

copyright symbolMuch of the furor sorounding "Digital Rights" has been emanating from College/University campuses, where huge amounts of illegal file sharing takes place, using the school's networks. The following article recently appeared on ZDNets Technology News Blog:

Politicians just don’t get it by ZDNet's Marc Wagner -- If we want to keep Washington lobbyists out of Education IT, we need to enforce our own codes of conduct with regards to copyright infringement. It is THEFT, plain and simple and if we don't pursue student misconduct ourselves, Congress will mandate solutions which will impede our educational mission for years to come.

Here was my response:

Disclaimer: I'm one of those "politicians" and have also spent the past 20+ years working in IT.

This issue is not complex. Current laws should be obeyed/enforced, until they are repealed/replaced.

It's illegal to copy and redistribute almost all commercially produced music, video or software. When you have a bunch of elitist academics tacitly supporting the theft of copyrighted materials and universities more interested in promoting their football teams than civics/ethics, you wind up with the situation you have now.

Che Guevara Copyright holders see as much chance of voluntary compliance or enforcement on college campuses, as they see for underage drinking, by the same irresponsible whelps who are all glad to break copyright law if they "feel" like it. If they saw mandatory ethics and civics classes being taught, as a apposed to diversity training and Marxism 101, perhaps they would be more willing to take a less aggressive approach to the problem.

It is my opinion that most of the knowledge worth knowing has little or nothing to do with popular culture. Saying that keeping the miscreants from Kazaa and other P-2-P tools will slow down or stifle true academic pursuits or learning is a disingenuous red herring.

If people want copyright laws changed, they should get involved in the political process. Students, try writing (not email, not text message) your elected representatives and in complete sentences, lay out a well reasoned position on why you think current copyright laws need to be changed and what you think they should be. "Teachers," get off your fat, tenured buts and teach these kids how to be productive, law-abiding citizens and how to work within the system to effect positive change!