b0rken laptop

Well, anyone who knows me knows how much I hate the POS gateway laptop I've had for the past year and half. This is a laptop that managed to break down literally the day after the warranty expired. Now the screen has a huge crack in it. Anyone who was with me at Red Hat orientation last summer will know exactly what I mean. (Think of the Macbook)

In order to convince people they should never buy a gateway product if they can help it, let me air some of my grievances

  • The screen was never very bright, and hard to read in direct daylight.

  • Partially due to a bug in gnome-power-manager that was simply not aware of this 'feature', the backlight could be turned off completely when given the wrong brightness setting. Having the screen 'dim' would cause the monitor to flicker annoyingly.

  • The screen would react to pressure and ripple.

  • The power connector was fragile and towards the end of its life, (and by that i mean a whole third), the connection was incredibly shaky, proving to be a real PITA to stay connected. This would cause the screen to dim, and I refer you to my previous grievance, as the flickering would make it hard to do work.

  • The battery life, advertised as a 6 cell battery that would last me a good 3 hours doing casual work would last no more than 1 hour and 40 minutes on a light load. Doing coding related work brought power lifetime down to a measly 1 hour.

  • I'm not sure if 58C is a healthy temperature for a Core 2 Duo chip at moderate load.

  • Linux friendliness was non-existent. Certain things in the bios, like on screen displays for brightness, suspend, hardware reinitialization were a joke. At least the kernel was smart enough to work around and ignore these buggy features.

  • Because of the acid in my sweat, the case picked up some rather unattractive stains that would have made resale nearly impossible.

In Gateway's favour, I have a friend who bought the tablet, the C-140, and for her needs, the laptop works like a dream. Granted she isn't running Linux, but none of these hardware issues have cropped up for her. Furthermore, the big selling point is the quality of the sound system when it comes to spatialisation of sound. When the musical artist takes the time to post process their music, certain sounds can be processed to sound like they are coming from around you. To achieve this effect, it requires a certain level of fidelity from the speakers, which both Gateway laptops excelled at.

Bottom line is this. Between my router being crazy, and suffering the hiccups it has been for the past few months, and my laptop being super crazy and suffering the hiccups, belches, farts, and other expressions of sorrow, it's really discouraging to have to sit down at my computer and work. I want to point out that the same condition also applies to software in some degree. While many people reading this blog enjoy tinkering with hardware and solving problems, many people, especially non developers and engineers often times have a job to do. Creating a system that suffers such subtle problems only angers customers and users alike. It's bad for branding and quality, and it only serves to reinforce customers who hate all products with a certain name. I can safely say that both OpenWRT and Gateway, for what they may be worth are on my disencourage by all means list.

2 flames:

japc zei

How come you coding causes more than a light load? Do you type really fast? :)

58 C degrees are pretty decent for medium load.

All the rest sucks :|

Yankee zei

Actually, no, which is the part that I understood the least. :P

Although, truth be said, eclipse is written in java, which is resource pig.