| > Actually, I'd be curious, too. It surprised me
| > that the defaults didn't work. And it was an
| > OEM PC (Dell), not home made. But I don't
| > remember the details now.
| How can this be...considering the computer guru that you are? Was this
before the IT expertise?
:) I seem to learn a new bit every day. Yesterday
I was trying to update DownloadHelper for Firefox.
It turned out I had to update Firefox itself. Now I
have to figure out how to get back my beloved
Cape Neddick lighthouse "throbber". (Apparently
the Mozilla people decided that page-load indicators
are no longer fashionable.) And it turns
out the new DownloadHelper is poorly designed,
anyway. I'm also finding weird odds and ends.
Geo.enabled in about:config. What the?!! It turns out
a function to tell websites my location is enabled by
default! Should I go back to the older, less annoying
FF 24 that I had? Whatever happens, it will have been
at least 2 or 3 hours wasted to deal with all of these
unnecessary changes to already overproduced software.
Computers and OSs are so complex. On top of that,
the tech industry depends on constant, often frivolous
obsolescence and manufactured abstruseness. It
never ends. (I read yesterday that Microsoft's phone
business is dangerously close to dying... which could
threaten their idea for Metro apps sold through their
own store to compete with Apple... which could be
ruinous for the few developers who were sucker enough
to put all of their eggs in the Metro basket: A few
years of re-education in a new technology that may
end up entirely useless before it gets going. So now
they'll need to retrain yet again to become expert in
the language du jour, which may or may not be
around next year. And actually, it's not even as
bad as it looks because there was never any money
in phone apps to begin with. Apps are the goldrush.
Google, Apple and Microsoft have figured out how to
cut their risks by selling shovels cheap and taking
a 30% cut of any gold found.)
The Dell belonged to my elderly father. He called
Dell and apparently got suckerpunched by the salesman.
A 90 year old man who does email ended up with an
expensive and powerful, dual-CPU computer. Something
like 6,600 GHz. He's since stopped having his own
computer, but at the time he was a daring explorer. I
don't know how he got into the BIOS, but he didn't
hesitate to fiddle around in there.
Personally I'm ambivalent about Dell. I have a couple
that were given to me. They seem OK, and the support
for drivers is good. But I would never buy one myself.
The drivers are all custom packaged. One has to get
them from Dell. And the hardware is often customized.
The first time I ran into a Dell was in salvaging from
a Win95 box that had an unusually good graphics card,
which I decided to save. But when I opened it up, it
turned out there wasn't a card. There was a sort of stick,
with a square plug that went into a motherboard socket
I'd never seen before. It was useless for reuse in any normal
Windows computer. Emachines was the same way. The
hardware was custom. The power supplies were too weak,
but they were so small there was no way to fit a normal
one in the case. Things like that can result in unexpected
costs. But with eMachines at least the product was dirt
So it wouldn't seem *really* odd to me that an OEM
box doesn't have default BIOS settings. But with Dell
nothing surprises me. They built their business by
catering to business needs, being very responsive with
support to people who were happy to pay through the
nose and almost certainly would never open the case.
Hardware lock-in is a good strategy for Dell. And once
the IT dept learns the Dell way of doing things they have
no reason to complain.