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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Paul vs. Dell, 2007 Edition

Nexus readers may recall my horrific experience trying to buy a Dell PC last year (here and here). Dell, at the time, tried to make things right, which I appreciate, but I ultimately went with an HP, which, incidentally, has been rock solid. Flash forward to this week: I've been shopping around for a low-end PC that I can use as a Windows Home Server. I've been testing the beta, and while I did requisition one of my old servers (and literally a server, albeit a Dell PC tower-based box) for the recent CTP release, it's getting old and buggy (it won't reboot without you going into the BIOS every time, for example) and I thought a modern, if low-end, PC would do the trick. Besides, with 750 GB drives available now, two internal drives would be enough, so I could go for something reasonably small. And there's always external storage, something WHS deals with quite well. I set an upper limit of $500 to see what was possible.

Ultimately, it came down to Dell and HP again. I won't bore you with the details this time, as it's just a server that's literally going to sit, headless, down in the unfinished part of my cellar next to my wife's stockpile of extra paper towels and bottled water. As with last year's competition, the Dell was cheaper than the HP. And while I wasn't too happy with my Dell experience last year, I am a long-time Dell fan and I've been watching them try to right the reeling ship down in Austin. What the heck, I gave it shot.

Yesterday, I ordered a Dimension E521 tower PC with an AMD Sempron 3400+ CPU, 1 GB of RAM, a 160 GB hard drive, and a combo drive. No biggie. Even with taxes and shipping, the whole thing came to well under $500.

Here's where things go better than they did last year. This morning, I woke up, and checked my email. The order has shipped. That puppy is already on its way to my house. So I guess we'll see if it's any good. (My guess is it will be just fine.) But already, I'm reminded of the Dell I was used to dealing with over the years. This is how ordering from Dell used to be, and should be. Maybe something positive is finally happening over there.

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