Earlier today I saw Russell Shaw's critique of the MacBook Air where he says he prefers the Dell XPS on a cost benefit basis. I don't plan on investing in an Air because it looks way too flimsy for a keyboard pounder like me. But I did think that the price premium which Russell hosed might be justified by the 'cool' factor that makes working with Mac kit so pleasurable. Yes, I actually like using Mac equipment, a relationship I never had with the many Toshiba, Dell and IBM laptops I used.
But then I saw this shocker (pun intended) from CNet:
We've discovered a worrying new feature in some Dell laptops: if you touch them, you may get an electric shock. This discharge can vary in strength from a gentle tingle to a sudden jolt. Disturbingly, you could also be shocked when connecting printers, PDAs and other peripherals to the offending laptops.
I'm equally aware that Macs are not immune from incendiary happenings. This from MacTalk last year:
3am last night. I woke up to my housemate screaming (yelling "Matty!") and the dog barking. She fell asleep on the couch in the back lounge of our house. I jumped out of bed and raced out thinking that maybe somebody had come through the back door or something.
As I was running I saw a fire. At first I thought that the lamp had fallen and set fire to the curtain. As I got closer I realised it was my mac book .... burning! I picked it up and blew on it and swung it around to put the flames out. The book shelf it was sitting on was burnt and there were a couple of magazines that were on fire too. I quickly put those out and calmed down.
1798 Diggs later and Steve Jobs is still coining it in with soaring notebook sales. I'm wondering whether anyone has done a distribution curve and standard deviation calculation for these kinds of incident. I wouldn't mind betting it doesn't figure in many procurement risk assessment analyses. I'll pass this baton onto Mike Krigsman for his eagle eye on such matters.