Posts tagged: mini 9

Mini 9 call to attention

The following is  letter I wrote this morning to Alex Gruzen, Senior VP, Dell Product Group. The Inspiron Mini 9 I ordered should not take a month to ship, or in one poor guy’s case 56 days and counting. I’m still waiting…


Hello,

I ordered a Dell Mini 9 in December of 2008, as did many people. As of this writing, the product is still sitting in “in production” limbo. My expected delivery date has developed a personality of its own and, unfortunately, I expect it to pull a “fast one” on me again (http://consumerist.com/5133860/dell-no-longer-believes-in-compensation-for-the-purpose-of-customer-satisfaction). What I mean is that my expected delivery date is approaching again (January 22) and that means when the date comes it will most likely be pushed back by yet another week.

I only ask for an explanation. I understand that you may be protecting your business partners’ interests and for that I applaud you and understand it may make the situation difficult. However, we customers, or at least myself particularly, grow weary of waiting. There is rumor going around that the Mini 9 production is running a low supply of chassis, as per this article (http://www.liliputing.com/2008/09/dell-inspiron-mini-9-facing-shipping-delays.html) from September 2008.

I do not want to have to wait much longer to receive my purchase. Sorry, purchase isn’t the word. I understand it is Dell’s practice, and a good one at that, to only charge when the product has shipped. What I mean to say is that I grow anxious waiting for the product to ship and for the moment when my credit card will be charged.

Thank you for your consideration.

-Kyle Newton
Customer Number: xxxx
Order Number: xxxx

Update

I’ve since canceled the order. I did not hear back, either in email form or web, that Dell was going to solve the problem of Inspiron Mini 9 shipping delays. Call me impatient… I’ll call myself the new owner of a 42″ LCD Television. I’d have loved the Mini 9 but my wife would love the TV more.

Update #2

Dell Corporate just phoned me back. It wasn’t Alex Gruzen who I had addressed the email to, but a representative. As I wasn’t expecting a phone call, I was quite surprised (and happy). It was explained to me that there is a shortage of components (the LCD screen and the CPU) needed to build the Mini 9. My order would not have moved into the delivery stage for another 3 weeks. I asked about preference and delivery and was told Dell does not show preference over business or home orders but deliver on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Unfortunately, I was not talked into re-ordering a Mini 9, though I told the representative, “I am sad that I canceled the order but I just couldn’t wait any longer”. I suppose at that point I was secretly hoping to be given “incentive” to purchase a Mini 9 to endure the long wait for delivery. Edit: I take that back. The whole point is for Dell to help everybody, mainly in the form of alerting customers about delays and potential shortages. Public awareness, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

When asked if Dell would be releasing any information to the general public regarding the manufacturing delay, I was pointed to the Dell Blog, Direct2Dell. I was told that information regarding the subject may be appearing there, and to make use of the search feature for the keyword “mini”.

I’ve left a comment on the Consumerist article with all that I’ve written here.

GMailFS and GSpace

As I’m waiting for the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 to arrive, the one that I ordered December 30 and has an expected delivery date of January 22, I’ve been looking into ways to get the most out of the machine. My first (and as yet, only) concern is the lifespan of the solid state drive. I know, putting the SSD through regular use should yield a few years of use out of the SSD but I don’t put my computer through regular use. Even running Linux on the Mini 9 has me concerned about the log files that Linux generates. So I’ve been looking to touch the SSD as little as possible.

Along the way, I’ve come across an interesting concept. It appears that using the GMail API, one can set up a GMailFS (GMail File System) to read/write files to. Now I won’t go into detail with setting up GMailFS in Ubuntu Linux as it is messy and a pain. Even when I thought I had GMailFS working properly, it wasn’t working properly. It appears that you need to be a Super in order to access the mounted GMailFS drive or you have to go through the steps to assign groups and that’s all a process I didn’t have the patience for.

The GMailFS project isn’t new, it has been around since at least 2005. It just appears that there is no simple .deb package for setting it up (which has the benefit of being stable and easily upgradable). I may have to go step-by-step compiling from source rather than trying the old apt-get approach. Oh, did I mention there was no .deb package? I suppose there is, it just doesn’t work.

And for all the trouble it might take to set up, I’m still not sure if you can save a document and stream it directly to the GMailFS (bypassing the SSD and thus saving it some wear-and-tear) or if the document still saves to the SSD somewhere and then copies over. It would seem that, in theory, one might be able to stream the document from memory and straight to the GMailFS or vice-versa.

GSpace

With that in mind, I came across GSpace. GSpace acts as a kind of FTP client plugin for FireFox that lets you transfer files from your PC and store them in a GMail account. It’s nifty cool and why not take advantage of the 7GB+ of storage that GMail offers.

The downside, it seems that if you transfer too much in a day that you risk the account being locked for 24 hours. Also, as with FTP, the transfer speed is limited by your bandwidth and the bandwidth of the GMail server. The files still must sit on your harddrive in order to transfer them over (no saving directly from a text document to GMail) so you’re still putting wear and tear on the Mini 9’s SSD.

For the time being, at least until I can confirm whether or not GMailFS streams from memory directly to GMail and vice-versa, I’ll be storing my documents in my newly-created GMail account via GSpace.

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