Friday, May 28, 2010

The Dell from Hell

Now that the semester is finally over, I thought that I would be able to get some quality development time in. My Dell XPS M1730, however, had other ideas. I've been having nothing but problems with it for the last, oh, four or five months. For a while, the Battlefield 2142 would come up with visual glitches, showing weird model textures:

And sometimes even getting the in-game text all jacked-up:

Most irritating! Especially since I was trying to gather gameplay images for my book project. And since I also wanted to sink my teeth into Blender and get more modeling done. So, after countless software re-installs, driver wipes and updates, memory stress tests, and graphics card stress tests, I finally turned the XPS over to campus tech support, who installed a new motherboard and, just yesterday, a new graphics card. 

The XPS worked well for about one day, whereupon it promptly crashed hard to a black screen and now stubbornly refuses even to boot. I'm now on a Dell Latitude D630 loaner and am watching Essential Blender Training videos to keep in the flow. Hopefully the XPS will be back soon in good working order (which I doubt), so that I can get back to game development and, most important, so that I can pose as a hard-core gamer at the upcoming Humanities Gaming Institute

Would I ever get (or request) a Dell product again? Given my experiences with the XPS, probably not. Maybe a comparable Apple product would be nicer.