"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dude, your Dell's on fire

I happen to use a Dell Inspiron laptop, and very often while composing these demented ramblings, I have noted that my lap gets very hot. (There's a joke there somewhere, but I'm going to pass on it.) I mean seriously hot, to the point where if the machine were sitting on my bare-skinned leg, unprotected by a layer of denim, we might be talking about some third-degree burns here. So I was somewhat concerned when I read this story today about a similar machine which literally caught on fire and exploded at a business conference in Japan (slightly more technical article here). According to an eyewitness, "The damn thing was on fire and produced several explosions for more than five minutes."

Dell technicians are looking into the matter, according to a statement by the company. "We have captured the notebook and have begun investigating the event," Dell spokeswoman Anne Camden said, confirming the computer was made by Dell but declining to specify the model.

Although no one was hurt in this incident, it is well-known that excessive heat has been a continuing problem with certain Dell machines and batteries. More than 22,000 batteries and over a million AC adapters have been recalled by the company due to concerns over just such an occurance.

It is extremely fortunate that this did not happen on an airplane, although one now must wonder if such an event is just a matter of time. I think I am going to keep a fire extinguisher next to the chair I usually sit in while using my computer, just in case.

Rumor has it that the next model of Dell laptop will be named "The Hindenbook".


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