Thursday, June 17, 2004

The modern world, and bad things about Dell

Yesterday evening, I was lying in bed. My laptop was plugged into a power outlet, but there were no other wires connecting it to the outside world. (I could have course have been running it off batteries). I had a hands free headset plugged into the laptop, and I was having a conversation with somebody in Adelaide. I was simultaneously operating my brother's computer (in Cessnock north of Sydney) remotely, to remove some of the foibles of Outlook Express Service pack 1 which were annoying him. At the same time the person in Adelaide who I was having the voice conversation was having an instant messaging session with somebody in South Carolina (or was it North Carolina?) who was giving him some cooking instructions for the dinner he was simultaneously making.

As a down point for Dell, their present model desktops have front headphone sockets and front USB ports, but no front microphone sockets. Given that more and more people are using things like Skype for over the internet audio communications, this is becoming more of a design issue. It's not so bad if you connect a microphone permanently to your computer, but if you use a wired hands free headset then you have to reach around the back to plug it in. This is a nuisance. (Of course the other option is to install Bluetooth and to get a wireless hands free headset).

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