4400: Bittersweet Admiration
by Steve Theunissen
Watching the TV the other
night I came this close (I know you can’t see me, but believe
me, it was close) to putting my fist through that screen. It was
that darned ad for the Dell 4400. You know the one – Intel
Pentium 4 processor 520 with HT technology, Windows XP, 40 GB
hard drive, 48 (yes, 48) x DVD / CD – RW writer combo drive,
a huge 19 inch flat screen monitor, intel extreme graphics ..
I can’t go on – it’s making me sick!
heck can Dell put poor creatures like me through this torment?
The Dell 4400 is already starting to give me nightmares. I’m
waking at 3am in a cold sweat screaming “No, No, not the
Dell 4400!” Two weeks ago, I step into this air conditioned,
upmarket New York computer store desperate to replace the Compaq
Presario that finally went through it’s death throes after
four years of faithful service. The dude lays it on real thick,
building this Philips desk top up to the max. But what about the
DVD I naively ask? “Who wants to watch a DVD on a computer
screen”, comes the reply.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m not that computer
savvy, so I wasn’t exactly prepared for this clowns slick
as oil sales pitch. “Is this the best available,”
I asked. “Oh, sure,” retorted slick, “Well,
the Dell 4400 is getting a bit of attention, but hey, that’s
all hype. “
So, I end up virtually taking out a second mortgage to pay for
this Phillips clunker, only to get it home and have the monitor
freeze up on me. I’m sitting there screaming at this thing
for over 2 hours when I decide the best thing to do is to simply
switch the thing off and destress in from of some mindless TV.
So, I’m five minutes into the Simpsons and what comes across
the screen – yep, you guessed it. An ad for the Dell 4400.
Not only does the Dell 4400 have three times the features of the
piece of garbage I ended up with, it’s – oh I can
hardly say it – it’s less than half the price! Just
be glad I don’t have a shot gun in the house. The Dell 4400
would be directly responsible for my early exit from this worldly
So, my plea is to you heartless execs down at Dell. For the sake
of humanity, take that Dell 4400 ad off the air. There’s
more to life than making a profit you know. I’m sure the
Dell 4400 could send you all off to the Bahamas for a nice summer
vacation. But think of the wasted lives. Think of the widows left
behind. Is it worth it – really? Dell, I know you’re
not just some big ugly corporation – I know there’s
a heart beating in there somewhere. Use it and pull that ad for
the Dell 4400 off the air now – and let me sleep at night!