Dell Computers – Cables sold separately

How a Dell support case can teach us about the frailty of the male mind and the solution to that biological bug.


There are certain things I thought I will never do. I thought I will never stoop to buying an Intel Celeron processor. I did just that . I thought I will never buy an Acer . I did just that.

But never did I think that buying a Dell will lead me to contemplate larger issues that affect the minds of males, but so it did.

There is a lesson here, so read ahead.

We all in a way are guilty of judging a book by its cover. Good looks are desirable, not so good looks shunned like the plague.

In the computer world, Acer is not a sexy brand. And just before the world entered into lockdown, I rushed on the eve of Chinese New Year to get s laptop as my old Dell Win7 had long since died. I did this after procrastinating for 6 months because I wanted to spend the holidays watching Coding With Mosh’s tutorial on AngularJS. For the record, it’s absolutely worth it and was the best introduction course for Angular on the market.

As part of my usual impulse buying , I bought a rather affordable laptop and the salesperson assured me that it would be sufficiently fast. It was an Acer and I decided to bite the bullet and get it.

My excitement soon turned to horror when I finally got home and decided to check the specs. It read Intel Celeron 1.1 GHz. No cache on board. This was a shocker.

But I resigned myself to my fate and powered up the machine. Destiny had brought me and my Acer together, and I had to make the best of it. I powered it up. Behold it worked. I installed Python 2.7. It worked. I installed AngularJS. It worked. I installed Python 3.8, it worked. I installed QlikView 11. It worked. I installed Microsoft VS Code. It all worked as well, even installing Microsoft Visual C++ runtime libraries. Acer earned my respect that day.

I spent many nights and days with my new Acer. Yes she was underpowered but also power efficient. I could do bus coding where I code while on a bus without having to worry about my thighs burning if I had gotten an i7 .

The foundation of the worlds most powerful financial analytics system (up coming Jan 21) was built on my little Acer while on a bus. This section was dealing with advanced AI techniques which is able to determine a particular financial subject of interest.

( I have an i7 for work and it gets hot really quick) . The initial framework for one of the most advanced financial analytics program in the world was built on my little Acer.

But then as all males are guilty of, I coveted more desirable features. Waiting for 1 min for my program to chomp thru 300 pages of financial information was too long. I began to find faults with my Acer. The keys did not feel nice, even though they worked and did not get permanently stuck down as was the case with my company issued Lenovo laptop. When I received the Lenovo machine, I was blown away with how smooth it was to type and started making unfavorable references to my little Acer. But then, the Up Arrow (↑) key got stuck down in one of my coding frenzies and refused to debounce. (It has remained in that position ever since ).  So even though my little Acer had shown herself more capable for a basic feature than a new head turner, I decided that she was simply not good enough.

In short, I was tempted and seduced and fell for it. After battling feelings of loyalty to my Acer, I finally gave in and ordered a 3.8 GHz Dell PC with a 20 inch screen.

Bye bye, first wife and I banished her to the plastic box of memories!

My new Dell arrived and I quickly counted off the days when I could be done with my little Acer and move from a 1.1 Ghz machine to a 3.8 Ghz machine. I even went out and bought a fancy desk, a fancy chair and got fancy cable ties so that the new Dell will look pretty and proper, both above and below the desk level. Even while coding certain core XML routines on my Acer, I was secretly despising her, and kept looking up Intel’s Ark listing which enthusiastically rated Intel Gold Pentium Processor in my Dell to the Intel Celeron in my little Acer.

Oh Tartar Sauce!

The day finally arrived on 20th June 2020. The home office was set up, the Dell machine given its place of prominence and the little Acer relegated to a side show. The Dell machine looked so sleek – even too sleek. As I thought I was finally done with my Acer, disaster struck.

The monitor model I ordered came with what is known as a display port, or DP. Prior to June 20th, 2020 or the day of this Dell Design Disaster, DP to me meant Dubai Port, maybe Digital Paper or Delivery versus Payment, DvP, misspelt without the ‘v’. But I was now confronted with the unthinkable – the issue which plagued VHS and Betacam, Laser Discs and CDs, PAL versus NTSC  : an incompatibility issue due to differing standards.

Dell designed a monitor to accept a Display Port and standard VGA, supplied a Display Port cable to the unsuspecting customer which could not connect to their CPU, which did not have a Display Port socket. In my moment of frustration, I accidentally knocked over the sleek looking mouse which promptly fell down and split into 2 parts, which incidentally revealed a slot for the other 2 AAA batteries.

This was stunning. This new machine which I had favored over my faithful Acer could not perform the most basic function, which is to be able to startup. By that I do not mean that the CPU was not working,  but the entire set of configuration options offered to me did not allow me to launch Windows as the Monitor supplied by Dell, with its standard accessories, could not connect with the CPU supplied by Dell with its standard accessories. At that point, the entire system was as useful to me as an ornament.



Turning back to a faithful friend

After trying various options, including a spare HDMI to VGA cable that I had at home, confronting unfriendly temp staffs to secure a mythical DP to HDMI cable, I came up short. Nothing worked. The machine was stuck in its Power Save Mode incantation. The engineer in me came unstuck. A career that began programming Brooktree Bt848 H.263 video codes, Analog Devices AD 21060 SHARC DSPs, MIPS R5000 and R10000 processors and Tundra system’s VME bus chipsets could not solve a basic issue. The subsequent stage of my life where I became a QlikView GrandMaster and proficient in Python offered no solution. Finally as time is money for me and the day was getting late without me making any progress on the development of Financial Analytics system, the banker in me decided to just cut the loss, writeoff this fancy new  headturner by Dell (for the day of 20th of June) and reinstate little Miss Acer back to the place of prominence.

Within 2 hours, further progress was made on a Financial Analytics system I am building that I believe to be unsurpassed in the world when it is due for unveiling in 2021.

My little Acer tirelessly working past midnight as it crunches thru bank annual reports. Sorry Acer for my dissing you earlier today…

Moral of the story

Today is Fathers day, and Fathers day can only be celebrated if one happens to be a Father and in a relationship unit called a Family.  Central to that relationship unit, is the relationship between the one who is the father in that unit, and the one who is the mother in that unit, called a husband to wife relationship. While there could be many father to son, or father to daughter relationship structures, I subscribe to the belief of there being only one husband to wife relationship. Part of keeping this relationship enduring is to be able to reject the thoughts a husband may have of seeking an upgrade of the wife.

One possible cause of a Fatal Exception error to this relationship happens when a husband decides that the wife is just not good enough compared to a headturner that comes across his path. This thought is like Cobra venom that enters the synapses of a man’s mind. Unless the receptors of a man’s mind is trained to be like that of a mongoose which is biologically evolved to reject the binding properties of this deceptive way of thinking, the man will entertain those thoughts. Once a thought is entertained, the outcome is almost certainly cast in stone. While my little Acer is an inanimate object which will do exactly what I want it to do within the parameters of its product functionality set, a rejected wife may not be so forgiving and there is no guarantee that a broken relationship can be mended.

I leave you with this thought for men, an examination of the biological wiring of the male mind and the propensity for this set of wiring to induce fatal exceptions to a relationship arising from acts of infidelity.

While the biological make up of man is naturally geared to entertain such thoughts, which taken to its conclusion offers nothing but sorrow, pain and death, there is One who offers a solution out of this predestined set of affairs. This is the One who commanded that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. One whose essence is deemed as Absolute Good, One whose Word sustains the universe and One whose being is so transformative that is able to transform what is naturally corrupt to be in His likeness. Stay tuned as we will explore Him in greater detail in subsequent posts.


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