I write this blog on a two-year-old Dell Latitude D600 laptop, a laptop which, I am now informed “may”:http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/28/another-dell-laptop-ignites/ “vent”:http://community.tomshardware.com/dellpost.html?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=192887&ex=Dude-Dell-freaking-blew “with”:http://kd7lrj.blogspot.com/2006/07/dell-laptop-battery-trouble-at-novell.html “flames”:http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32550 — or, if you’re not a technology marketer, the battery can explode and catch on fire. Given my “previous level of satisfaction with Dell products”:http://juniorbird.com/archive/000646.php, you can believe that I’m super-excited and happy about this development.
Now, in all fairness, this is apparently not Dell’s fault — Sony made the faulty batteries (just like they made similar flaming batteries for “Apple’s PowerBook 5300″:http://www.tidbits.com/tb-issues/tidbits-295.html#lnk2). And Dell has put up “a Web site that helps you check if you need a new battery and ships you one”:https://www.dellbatteryprogram.com/Default.aspx. Much to my surprise, my two-year-old laptop — which has thus far been flames-free — qualified for a replacement. Since the D600 has been available for 30-some months, I wonder how unlikely a fire is, or, alternatively, how many battery fires there have been so far. I hope the answer is “not many”, because it’ll be 20 days before I get my new battery.
It could be worse, other models take up to 75 days to have batteries ship, and Dell recommends that you remove your battery until you get the new one. Not having a battery in the computer at all won’t make much of a difference in my battery life, anyway, since Windows usually fails to go to sleep, or wakes up for no reason, thus keeping me down to about 5 minutes of useful battery life for the last 9 months or so. However, I have become accustomed to the freedom of moving my laptop from my office to the living room, when I just want to hang out and relax in front of the TV, or to Starbuck’s or the juice place, when I want to do work away from my little office. But then I wrote half of a draft of this entry, decided to move from my living room to my office, unplugged my laptop, and there went 350 words. This will be a strange new lifestyle to get used to; or I may just brave the fire and leave the battery in. The world, after all, is a dangerous place anyway.