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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

A few weeks back, my old monitor began to tell me that it really was on its last legs. So I did my research and got myself an IPS monitor from Dell. It was a quarter of the price of the comparable Apple monitor and had great reviews from professionals using it for image processing etc.

Buying it led me to the discovery of the DVI connection. This replaces the old VGA connection and gives a sharper picture on more modern monitors.

As the monitor is connected to a new Mac laptop with only small format ports, I needed adaptors to make the connection. I duly went out and got myself a DVI adaptor. I didn't want to go into Town, so I found one at Maplin's in Tottenham Hale. When I got to the store it turned out that it was an own brand adaptor, not a Apple one. I had no issue with that as it was £15 instead of £25.

When I got home I found that connecting by DVI was having a strange effect on my wifi. It seemed that when my monitor was connected via DVI the wifi connection speed dropped from 30MB to 1 or 2. I assumed it was "bloody Virgin" again.

It turned out not be Virgin's fault this time and they were actually very helpful. I got hold of a great Scots guys who spent 45 minutes helping me out. At the end of the call once we'd worked out it was something to do with the monitor, he told me that Dell had a good helpline. 

I then spent three or four weeks talking to Apple (via a free but on the face of it "paid for" Applecare service) and Dell via their helpline. 

At first Apple seemed great and Dell seemed lousy. As things progressed, Apple seemed to get bored and basically told me I was on my own. Dell however have come up trumps. I've been speaking with Akshatha Moodithaya. She's helped track through the issue and isolate the problem. She's called me every week to see how things are progressing and on my last call yesterday promised to stay with me until the problem is fixed. As she quite rightly observed, "We might have other customers who have this problem. So we're as keen as you to resolve it". How refreshing. 

As a result of a kind loan through HoL, today I was able to isolate the problem to the Maplins adaptor. So that's gone back and I've swallowed the pill and paid £25 for a piece of Apple plastic - but at least everything works now.

So here's a shout out for Dell and Akshatha Moodithaya. Thanks also to Liz for lending me her Mac to check it wasn't something with just my machine and to Patrick for lending me his DVI adaptor.

Oh - and the screen by the way is a fine one. See it on Amazon here.

Tags for Forum Posts: apple, dell, dvi, mac, virgin broadband

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GLAD your own Dell experience was a good one on this occasion, Hugh. From what I've seen, your experience is atypical and unrepresentative. A Google search reveals all!

today I was able to isolate the problem to the Maplins adaptor. So that's gone back and I've paid £25 for a piece of Apple plastic

Good you sorted it out and finally bought the quality product in the end! (a friend of mine, not a Mac Man, says Buy Cheap Buy Twice). I bought a Maplins transformer for a DAB radio and touch wood, its working okay. All these items are likely to be made in China.

I know you're a Mac convert, Hugh, but if you wanted to run "Windows", there is no better machine on which to run it than ... hardware made by Apple. Here's the survey. If this is how it runs "Windows" how well must it run a genuine UNIX-class operating system?!

Clive - have you ever say even one positive word about "Windows" operating system? Never seen this here.

Only MAC, MAC, MAC

Hi Marek: yes, I can say something positive, but not quite what you want.

By creating a far larger market for personal computers in the 1990s than Apple ever would have, Microsoft benefited everybody, Apple users included, by causing the prices for all computing – hardware and software – to fall dramatically. The fall in price of computing equipment over the last 20 years was only possible through the creation of that mass market.

All credit to Microsoft and Bill Gates. The latter has gone up greatly in my estimation. I think he will be remembered as one of the world's greatest philanthropists more than as a big businessman. The company he founded also forced Apple to try harder and the result was, in March 2001, the first version of OSX was released.

This is something positive just about Microsoft and Bill Gates which is well-known to almost everybody. Maybe something more about the hardware or software???

Yes, Mac charges for their connectors and little parts are high and you know they over-priced. A piece of white plastic with Apple Logo

Maybe something more about the hardware or software???

Hardware:

Kinect - without qualification, genuinely innovative. Microsoft also make the XBox and keyboards and I am sure these work. Apart from the recent Surface, they don't assemble boxes. PC's are much better than they appear; they only seem to be unreliable because most come pre-installed with a certain operating system (plus a load of adware and crapware). The proof they are not as bad as the appear, is because when a UNIX-class OS (Linux) is installed, they tend to work more reliably.

Software:

Applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint – these are all good and popular Microsoft apps, but they all began on the Mac! (these are looking long in the tooth, being up to 25 years old, and there are more modern alternatives available). Other well-known non-Microsoft software that began on the Mac: Photoshop, Dreamweaver, PageMaker, Filemaker plus many others.

Operating System: in the late 1990s the otherwise ugly Windows interface stole a march on Mac in one respect: with scroll boxes in the scroll bars that were proportional. Although the interface was always clunky overall, also in this period (latter half of the 1990s) the underpinnings (esp. memory management) of Windows were better than Mac OS 8 and OS 9. This forced Apple back to the drawing board. The result in 2001 was the incomparable, UNIX-class OS X.

One PC magazine reviewer said that OS X would place Apple's OS as far ahead as it had ever been (I couldn't disagree). Having read up about OS X, I believed the company would never look back. OS X – based on UNIX – is also the basis for iOS, that powers iPads and iPhones.

My view is that, although Microsoft contributed little to computing in technical sense (having mainly copying from others, especially Apple Computer Inc.) they contributed massively to computing by cheapening production and enabling the enormous market, with gigantic economies of scale, that we see today. Left to its own devices, Apple would never have done this. Really, we should be grateful to both companies.

I think that Apple's customer service in first impression is really good but what is after is a different matter. From my experience I would prefer to be really careful with their helpful approach and double check their MAC geniuses as they make really silly and simple mistakes . It is a certain myth that we are in all big "APPLE family". 

In my example, for last year I was recommended to computer users LENOVO computers but my last week experience taught me to re-consider these recommendations. A few people had to return their computers to manufacturers and I had to swallow this bitter pill. 

Big companies customer service is an issue and you should feel lucky that this lady from DELL had her own approach so encouraging for others.

I'm afraid I have a different Dell customer service story. I ordered a new laptop for my son's birthday, but when the receipt came it showed the wrong operating system (their mistake). Trying to change it was horrendous, as once placed, orders cannot be modified or cancelled online. It took eight calls to various customer service departments (at a cost of several pounds to me) and three days for them to cancel the order and reinstate it correctly, by which time it was too late for delivery in time for his birthday. Everyone I spoke to was polite and helpful, but they seemed to have to liaise between several different departments in order to correct a simple mistake.

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