Feeds

Why I won't buy a Dell next time

Or, Reason #11 to buy a Mac

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Backward compatibility

I have three IDE hard disk drives that I once used with my most recent system, prior to the 9200. One has a Windows image, one a Linux image, and one is dual-boot Linux/Windows. Because I recently moved overseas, and because the system I'd been using was a couple of years old, I decided to ship only the HDDs. At $3 per lb for overseas shipping, one discards anything one can.

Well, the new system has two SATA drives, which is fine with me. What's not fine with me is the fact that the motherboard has no IDE socket, only a power lead, although it does have a floppy drive socket. Unfortunately, I have got a lot of important data on those disks, and I naturally want to transfer it to my new system. For me, the easiest way would be to plug in the disks one at a time and simply copy the data using a file browser like Konqueror or Windows Explorer. Only there's nothing to plug them into. So I imagine I will have to find some sort of USB adapter or PCI adapter, or worse, build a slightly out-of-date system for my IDE drives and use some kind of "software solution".

Now for a real frustration, to me anyway: this machine has no Firewire port. I never thought to check the detailed spec sheet for information on this, because I simply expected a high-end machine to have one. I mean, do you expect to have to ask for power windows on a BMW? This is an expensive, upper mid-range machine for which I paid €2,100, including optional hardware upgrades, monitor and VAT. It ought to come "loaded", as they say in the automobile trade.

Firewire is the only way I can download video from my palmcorder. I do some very amateur video work teaching cooking techniques, and I was planning to use this machine for editing. Obviously, this system doesn't suit my needs very well. And, after spending over €2k, I don't think that's something a person should have to say.

Dell suggests that this system is fairly typical of current PCs, and I don't doubt that. The company told us: "The Dimension 9200 is a high-performance entertainment device, and its port selection is in line with current requirements. Customers can buy Firewire as an upgrade, but at the time of your purchase, it wasn't available from Dell's online store."

So it's an option now, but it wasn't a month ago. Perhaps Dell miscalculated in withholding it from a "high performance entertainment device". But why not just make it standard? I seriously doubt that I'm the first person to be frustrated by the lack of IDE and Firewire support in a new PC. No person willing to spend two grand on a computer is going to balk at the few extra Euros needed to ensure that it's fully functional. I'm really appalled by the lack of backward compatibility and "xeno-compatibility" in today's PCs.

So maybe this is reason number 11 to buy a Mac. They certainly seem to have few problems with backward compatibility. And they all seem to have Firewire ports. Oh, and they seem to be quite heavily built, too.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Next page: Vista capable?

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.