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Probably need a new computer

It looks as if, even though I still have one more year of technical support left on this PC, I may be replacing my Dell Inspiron 8500. Less than a month since my last technical support call to get the blown motherboard replaced, the monitor has now given way. This is two days before my Note resubmit deadline, which means that there is no real way for me to submit my Note to the Law Review. In trying to contact technical support through expensive international calls and internet cafes, I've spent over $25 in the last two months. In short, I've had it up to here with Dell: in general I find their technical support services to be superb, especially the online technical assistance, but there is no reason I should have to rely upon it so much.

I hate this. I can't afford a new computer--though I was hoping to buy a new cheap desktop when I got back to the US--but I don't want to be without my own personal machine for a month. Dell is telling me that they don't think replacing the monitor again would help, so they're reluctant to do it. Which is fine, but until they come up with a solution, I've got a 6lb. paperweight with one year of warranty left, and no force on earth is going to get my Note nd research off my hard drive. [1]

I suppose I could pull a Bainbridge and ask my readers to donate enough money for a new computer. Even if it would work--and yes, I'm laughing as hard as you are at the thought that I blog in those leagues--I'd feel like a jerk: most of my readers are law students with no more money than I have. Besides, I don't blog to support my computing habit.

But if any of my readers have an idea of where I could get a cheap, quality notebook with good international support--especially if the UK supplier is having a sale--I'd greatly appreciate it.

Update: Great. The chat client that Dell uses for online support crashed just before the tech gave me a case number. I need that in order to talk to UK tech support. The web cafe I'm in is closing. What a comedy of errors, except it's not remotely funny. This, in the end, is the problem with Dell: good support, but it needs to be because the products break down.

[1]: Some Columbia readers will wonder how it is that I can save everyone else's paper from failed hardware, but not my own. If I were back home, I could, but I don't have the toolset that I'd normally use with me. It's probably ironic, in the Alanis Morrisette way.


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Can't you plug a regular monitor into the video out on the 8500 and work with it that way until it gets fixed?
I don't have an external monitor in England, and it's unclear if the problem is the monitor or the video card. Anyway, I'm tired of it breaking every month.

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