Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Eddie,

Gamera has been “mind-wiped,” as it were, and is ready to be returned. Unless you indicate otherwise, I’m not going to remove the keyboard protector and Velcro that are affixed to it because there’s no point. The Velcro is cut specifically for that laptop, and Dell has changed their keyboard layouts so that protector and Velcro couldn’t be recycled anyway. Since I suspect your reclamation team is going to replace the palmrest and bottom plastic as part of refurbishing that sucker so scraping stuff off doesn’t seem worthwhile.

I will note with minor amusement that newer online services like Microsoft’s Onedrive greatly facilitated the transition between laptops. The M15 was actually operational just over 48 hours after its arrival, a new record. While one or two lesser programs still await installation, those are obtainable from the older M14R2, HotRoddy. Gamera is well and truly dead to me.

Now, I have a little announcement that will be absolutely meaningless to you guys; however, Dete has known me long enough to know the backstory, and what I’m going to say should make her smile. As we all have learned, I assign names to my laptops as mainly a practical measure (Who wants to go through life memorizing service tags, for instance?). The specific names aren’t just random, something about a particular laptop brings its name up in my mind. My so-called “active-duty” machines have tended to be named for my dogs because, in typical dog-like fashion, the things rarely leave my side. Yet, certain names carry extra significance, and one of those is Lilly.

Lilly was my first service dog, and she diligently looked after me even as cancer consumed her from the inside. She was sufficiently extraordinary to be posthumously inducted into an animal hall of fame here in Texas, and it’s a safe bet that damned few laptops have merited her name. My first M15 probably could’ve, since that laptop survived things none should. (Titanium cases may weigh a lot, but the survivability factor is incredible.) Although this M15 lacks the titanium protection, it does seem to share the same solid “feel” along with even better performance characteristics. So it gets the Lilly mnemonic, and let’s hope it proves well worthy.

The issue regarding adequate power should be resolved shortly. It’s true that 180 watts is a major draw on any battery-based system, but, as anticipated, demand very rarely reaches that level. Still, an occasionally major league appetite is another characteristic this “Lilly” shares with its namesake.

Scott

From: Eddie_Matos@Dell.com [mailto:Eddie_Matos@Dell.com]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 6:17 PM
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Cc: Erick_Villalta@Dell.com; Carlos_Castro1@Dell.com; Bernadete_Padua@Dell.com
Subject: RE: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Dell – Internal Use – Confidential

Scott, I was actually planning on a Post Facto review on your entire case once you are 100% solved to present to my peers.

Thanks for sticking in there and holding us accountable for our services and product.

Eddie

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 3:54 PM
To: Matos, Eddie
Cc: Villalta, Erick; Castro1, Carlos; Padua – Mateo, Bernadete
Subject: RE: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Ha. Mr. Farat Herman and the EE Team are due soon for a few Grade A Prime words from me about how I resolved the matter for them with the assistance of certain unnamed (unless you’re feeling brave) Dell minions. The key point is going to be that, while we essentially did what they were attempting, our process was customer-driven, with all the necessary data readily accessible.

Besides just doing a little crowing, I think this is a legitimate business learning opportunity. The reality is that Alienware is an “aspirational” product line, much like the Corvette. Aspirational products cannot be mass-produced because that would destroy the perceived value in the public mind. Corvettes aren’t actually wildly profitable for GM, but closing that line would be corporate suicide because it’s GM’s stake in the public’s hopes and dreams. Likewise, Alienware isn’t the most luxurious or the fastest, but it is—usually—fast enough, American-made (well, you know what I mean), and distinctive. You cannot maintain that public perception using a “cookie-cutter” methodology.

From: Eddie_Matos [mailto:Eddie_Matos]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 3:48 PM
To: royall
Cc: Erick_Villalta; Carlos_Castro1; Bernadete_Padua
Subject: RE: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Dell – Internal Use – Confidential

Scott, no problem at all, take your time getting the new 15 ready. Please be patient with us, once the bureaucracy starts, it is hard to stop and while I am fully empowered to make these exceptions, I can’t turn off the automated emails. (well I probably can but would not know where to start). What usually would happen is that your account would be put on hold if you don’t return the machine on time but we will make sure this does not happen.

Erick, please place an note in Mr. Royall’s account letting the return team know we have authorized a 3 month return window and send an email to the respective department. CC me please.

Thanks,

Eddie

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 2:38 PM
To: Matos, Eddie
Cc: Villalta, Erick; Castro1, Carlos; Padua – Mateo, Bernadete
Subject: FW: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Eddie,

Nice to see Dell bureaucracy still hasn’t discovered that patience is a virtue! They’ll get Gamera soon enough, but not before I’m darn ready, like you said.

The new M15 only arrived late Friday, and you can imagine what activity dominated my weekend. I’m rather pleased with how smoothly the conversion is going. The as-yet unnamed baby has already acquired all of the essential skills I require of my active-duty machines, and has actually been on the wheelchair for under an hour. Still, there’s much to do before I can release a mind-wiped Gamera back to the mothership. In truth, I can’t send Gamera back until a very important accessory arrives from Australia for the M15.

Dete knows exactly what I’m talking about because she’s the one who originally located this solution to a frustrating problem. You undoubtedly know what a keyboard protector is, a generic piece of clear plastic placed over a keyboard. The normal purpose is just to shield the keys from liquid and debris, but here’s yet another case where I’m unique. The mechanisms in Dell laptop keyboards have a quirk that makes them real vulnerable to the specific way in which I type. Simply put: I tend to catch the front edge of a keytop and pop it off. (Curiously, other laptops, such as the famous Thinkpads, are immune to this phenomena.) In any event, a couple of Asian companies make a line of protectors from a medical plastic called TPU that’s very resilient and retains high transparency. These protectors are molded to fit specific laptops, and the newness of the M15 means its protector is in short supply.

The Australian distributor has given me an ETA of the 7th so the Dell pencil-necks need to take a few Valiums! I already agreed to the exchange, just in my own best time. Obviously, you don’t want me solely dependent on a keyboard that might go sproing at any moment. J

Scott

From: Dell, Inc [mailto:noreply]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 11:14 AM
To: royall
Subject: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Dell

“Dell Exchange Request.”

Dear SCOTT ROYALL,

This email notification is to inform you that your replacement order number 789395791 was shipped to you on 3/17/2015. In order to assist with the return process, a letter that includes prepaid FedEx waybill and return instructions has been sent to you. Please follow those instructions and retain a copy of the waybill number for proof of return to Dell.

If you do not receive the waybill within the next two days please contact one of our Exchange Care Representatives at Exchange or via phone at 888-210-0062. To expedite your request please be sure to reference exchange order number 789395791.

Thank you for choosing Dell!

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180?

That’s unfortunate, since it means I can’t use the new adapter. Oh, I understand what you’re saying, but I understand the practical implications also. This isn’t the America of even the 1990s, and nobody does field work anymore. If a task requires doing more than removing screws and replacing circuit boards, the customer is expected to replace the entire whatever. God help folks who need customized electronics, because we aren’t supposed to exist unless we have pockets deeper than the Marianna Trench!

Please pardon my frustration; I’ve waited three weeks and counting for somebody to do a simple solder job for me on a separate matter. What you’re talking about would require replacing or rebuilding everything that makes this wheelchair useful to me, and that’s simply not going to happen now that I no longer work for a wealthy oil company! That whole Hoffman box has needed replacement for years, but Social Security Disability doesn’t go that far. Medicare? Ha! Hoffman boxes and Lind Electronics aren’t on their “approved” list of expenditures.

Good day.

From: Darrel Pinkston [mailto:dpinkston@lindelectronics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 3:33 PM
To: Scott Royall
Subject: Re: 180?

We won’t put a cig plug on it.

If you want to melt one down, that’s up to you, but we won’t do it.

I’d suggest a different plug at the Hoffman unit.

DE2090-3255

$219.95

Available by phone or e-mail.

Best Regards

Darrel Pinkston
Lind Electronics
952-927-6303
800-897-8996
dpinkston

On Mar 25, 2015, at 2:35 PM, Scott Royall <royall> wrote:

Darrel,

Since it’s been a while since we’ve discussed the side of my wheelchair’s electrical system that supplies power to a range of devices, including the mobile laptop, a quick review would be helpful.

Yes, your typical power wheelchair is strictly 24 volts; however, my wheelchairs are never typical. Tied into the mainline from the two Group 24 AGM deep-cycle batteries is a commercial 18-36 to 12-volt converter that’s mounted on the door of a Hoffman box behind the seat. The converter is rated for 80 amps peak. A line goes from that converter into the Hoffman to a pair of terminal strips, where power is then distributed mainly to a variety of small after-market and personal electronics of insignificant amperage. However, there are two notable exceptions, an audio amplifier that’s stopped down to about 40 watts (this is how I can talk, provide kick-ass audio to groups, have wonderful gaming audio, etcetera, etcetera), and a line fused for 20 amps that runs up to the front of the chair to a block of three “vehicle accessory connections” (formerly known as “cigarette lighter outlets”). This is where your adapters get their power.

So you can readily see why we need to stick with the vehicle accessory connectors. I don’t personally like them either, but that’s because they’re vulnerable to the weather. The automotive industry rates them as adequate for up to 20 amps, and they’re a de facto standard. Enough other small detritus like smartphones occasionally need to suckle juice to require that connection block be there for accessibility reasons so we might as well continue using it. Besides, to be honest, the terminal strips are full, and I no longer have ready access to people capable of running another dedicated line back there even if there was room.

The good news is that Dell has finally figured out how to get enough computational horsepower out of 180 watts so no further power increases should be necessary. Oh, and, if you were wondering, all Dell laptops use the same input connectors, only the amperages differ. That’s a big reason why I stick with Dell.

Scott

From: Darrel Pinkston [mailto:dpinkttston@lindelectronics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9:35 AM
To: Scott Royall
Subject: Re: 180?

We’ve done 180 before, but it must be direct wired or use connectors capable of 15 to 20 amps. At 24 volts which I think I remember that you use 10 to 15 amps.

So next we’d need to look into the plug for that new computer.

Best Regards

Darrel Pinkston
Lind Electronics
952-927-6303
800-897-8996
dpinkston

On Mar 24, 2015, at 9:13 PM, "Scott Royall" <royall> wrote:

Darrell,

Straightforward question: Can we manage 180 watts in my installation? I know, you’re rolling your eyes, but is it doable? I ask because I finally have a laptop that’s capable of doing everything I can ask of it. The only hitch is, it does occasionally need more than the 150 watts we presently offer. Its AC supply is rated for 180, and I think you once said we might be able to reach 200 on peaks.

Scott

180?

Darrel,

Since it’s been a while since we’ve discussed the side of my wheelchair’s electrical system that supplies power to a range of devices, including the mobile laptop, a quick review would be helpful.

Yes, your typical power wheelchair is strictly 24 volts; however, my wheelchairs are never typical. Tied into the mainline from the two Group 24 AGM deep-cycle batteries is a commercial 18-36 to 12-volt converter that’s mounted on the door of a Hoffman box behind the seat. The converter is rated for 80 amps peak. A line goes from that converter into the Hoffman to a pair of terminal strips, where power is then distributed mainly to a variety of small after-market and personal electronics of insignificant amperage. However, there are two notable exceptions, an audio amplifier that’s stopped down to about 40 watts (this is how I can talk, provide kick-ass audio to groups, have wonderful gaming audio, etcetera, etcetera), and a line fused for 20 amps that runs up to the front of the chair to a block of three “vehicle accessory connections” (formerly known as “cigarette lighter outlets”). This is where your adapters get their power.

So you can readily see why we need to stick with the vehicle accessory connectors. I don’t personally like them either, but that’s because they’re vulnerable to the weather. The automotive industry rates them as adequate for up to 20 amps, and they’re a de facto standard. Enough other small detritus like smartphones occasionally need to suckle juice to require that connection block be there for accessibility reasons so we might as well continue using it. Besides, to be honest, the terminal strips are full, and I no longer have ready access to people capable of running another dedicated line back there even if there was room.

The good news is that Dell has finally figured out how to get enough computational horsepower out of 180 watts so no further power increases should be necessary. Oh, and, if you were wondering, all Dell laptops use the same input connectors, only the amperages differ. That’s a big reason why I stick with Dell.

Scott

From: Darrel Pinkston [mailto:dpinkttston@lindelectronics.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 9:35 AM
To: Scott Royall
Subject: Re: 180?

We’ve done 180 before, but it must be direct wired or use connectors capable of 15 to 20 amps. At 24 volts which I think I remember that you use 10 to 15 amps.

So next we’d need to look into the plug for that new computer.

Best Regards

Darrel Pinkston
Lind Electronics
952-927-6303
800-897-8996
dpinkston

On Mar 24, 2015, at 9:13 PM, "Scott Royall" <royall> wrote:

Darrell,

Straightforward question: Can we manage 180 watts in my installation? I know, you’re rolling your eyes, but is it doable? I ask because I finally have a laptop that’s capable of doing everything I can ask of it. The only hitch is, it does occasionally need more than the 150 watts we presently offer. Its AC supply is rated for 180, and I think you once said we might be able to reach 200 on peaks.

Scott

Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 3:38 PM
To: Eddie_Matos@dell.com
Cc: Erick_Villalta@dell.com; Carlos_Castro1@dell.com; Bernadete_Padua@Dell.com
Subject: FW: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

Eddie,

Nice to see Dell bureaucracy still hasn’t discovered that patience is a virtue! They’ll get Gamera soon enough, but not before I’m darn ready, like you said.

The new M15 only arrived late Friday, and you can imagine what activity dominated my weekend. I’m rather pleased with how smoothly the conversion is going. The as-yet unnamed baby has already acquired all of the essential skills I require of my active-duty machines, and has actually been on the wheelchair for under an hour. Still, there’s much to do before I can release a mind-wiped Gamera back to the mothership. In truth, I can’t send Gamera back until a very important accessory arrives from Australia for the M15.

Dete knows exactly what I’m talking about because she’s the one who originally located this solution to a frustrating problem. You undoubtedly know what a keyboard protector is, a generic piece of clear plastic placed over a keyboard. The normal purpose is just to shield the keys from liquid and debris, but here’s yet another case where I’m unique. The mechanisms in Dell laptop keyboards have a quirk that makes them real vulnerable to the specific way in which I type. Simply put: I tend to catch the front edge of a keytop and pop it off. (Curiously, other laptops, such as the famous Thinkpads, are immune to this phenomena.) In any event, a couple of Asian companies make a line of protectors from a medical plastic called TPU that’s very resilient and retains high transparency. These protectors are molded to fit specific laptops, and the newness of the M15 means its protector is in short supply.

The Australian distributor has given me an ETA of the 7th so the Dell pencil-necks need to take a few Valiums! I already agreed to the exchange, just in my own best time. Obviously, you don’t want me solely dependent on a keyboard that might go sproing at any moment. J

Scott

From: Dell, Inc [mailto:noreply]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 11:14 AM
To: royall
Subject: Dell Exchange Request # 789395791

0

Dell

“Dell Exchange Request.”

Dear SCOTT ROYALL,

This email notification is to inform you that your replacement order number 789395791 was shipped to you on 3/17/2015. In order to assist with the return process, a letter that includes prepaid FedEx waybill and return instructions has been sent to you. Please follow those instructions and retain a copy of the waybill number for proof of return to Dell.

If you do not receive the waybill within the next two days please contact one of our Exchange Care Representatives at Exchange or via phone at 888-210-0062. To expedite your request please be sure to reference exchange order number 789395791.

Thank you for choosing Dell!