I finally bought a new computer this October.
My old one will be in the trash as soon as we bother to film its farewell video. Don't buy Dell; it's cheap junk. The scroll bar stopped working, the touch-sensitive keys along the top stopped working, the left mouse clicker stopped working. The real mouse plug-in stopped reading. The monitor kept flickering, eventually degenerating into a black screen of nothingness. Due to the cheap build and my constant fiddling with the monitor to make it work, the hinges broke and exposed the wiring. The battery failed completely, so the power cord always had to be duct-taped in (It was about this point in time that I covered the Dell logo on the machine with duct tape and a drawing of a barfy-face). It was barely three years old.
Also, it ran with Vista, which I wasn't a fan of, but that's hardly Dell's fault. And it got several viruses, but that arguably wasn't Dell's fault, either. Probably my own.
Suffice to say, it was time to switch to something that didn't make me want to huck it out the top floor window every time I tried to use it. So I have a new one, an HP. So far, things are better. I mean, the DVD drive didn't work, so I had to have that replaced, but at least it was covered by warranty.
I spent over an hour on the phone telling the HP techie that there was a hardware problem with the disc drive. His thick Indian accent contributed to the length of the call, with one or the other of us asking "Pardon me?" after almost each sentence. And I don't know how long it can possibly take to write "CUSTOMER IS CALLING AND STATING ODD IS NOT READING DISC. CHECKED WITH DIFFERENT DISC STILL SAME ISSUE. RESEATED THE ODD STILL SAME ISSUE. HENCE SHIPPING THE ODD," but apparently it can take the better part of 15 minutes. Even the "hardware supervisor" seemed surprised by how long I'd been on the line by the time it was transferred to him. Oh, well. They did send me the replacement part in the end, which works just fine. And it shipped here in just over a day (almost less time than the call itself!)
Though I'm laughing that they STILL spelled my name wrong, despite my using the NATO alphabet multiple times to spell it for them over the phone. Yay Indian accents and computer help lines!
"It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times." Pearl S. Buck