Dear Dell (specifically Dell New Zealand),
The year was 2007. I was 16 years old and loved to write. The home computer (a Dell desktop) was great, but I wanted something that I could take to my room and write late into the evening. And so I got my first real part time, after school job, packing bulk food into smaller packages.
After a year of this, I finally saved enough money, and in July of 2008, my last year of high school, I was able to buy a magenta coloured, flower covered Dell Inspiron 1525. And that was the beginning of a wonderful, and sometimes scary and unbelievable, adventure.
I had only had it a couple of months when I managed to spill liquid perfume through the keyboard. Panicking, I mopped up as much as I could, and gently got under the keys with a small paint brush, as to soak up the majority of the spill. I thought “this is the end. I shouldn’t be trusted with technology”. But despite this accident, it was still running perfectly.
Every Wednesday I took my computer to school and then to the public library afterwards. I didn’t have a laptop bag, so had to borrow my dad’s.
In January of 2009 the hard drive failed me, but thankfully it was still until warranty and an extremely helpful man come out to our house and replaced it for me. Since then, it hasn’t had a single hard drive problem and has been running smoothly.
The University Years
In my first year of University I took it to class every single day. In my second year, I took it less frequently, but on one of the days that I did take it, my generous friend bought me a coffee, and then proceeded to spill it over the keyboard. Again, I thought “this is it. This is end. Goodbye, faithful laptop”. But it pulled through. For a while there the Enter key was very sticky, and it stayed down when you hit it. But after getting under it with a damp paintbrush, it sorted itself out and has worked fine ever since.
That was the day, however, that the Mouse Pad stopped working. I bought a little corded mouse and have used that to this day.
Another University incident in my second year was that my drink bottle fell over and water went all over the keys. I figured it must have cleaned up the perfume and coffee remains, because after drying it off, gently cleaning under the keys again, it continued on.
After I finished my degree at the end of 2011, having written all my essays, researched all my papers, listened to all the online material on my resilient laptop, I headed overseas to England. I had no laptop bag – my Dad having claimed his back years earlier – so made a makeshift ‘bag’ with clothes, wrapped around it and carefully placed in the top of my hand luggage.
The Overseas Years
In the years I spent in England, there were more moments of ‘this is the end’. But even after the hard drive got too full, the RAM wasn’t fast enough anymore, and it started overheating, still it went on.
After 2 years in England, at the beginning of 2014, I headed back to New Zealand, via 5 days in Hong Kong. Again, no laptop bag, but a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude, my faithful laptop and I finally arrived home.
That was 3 years ago. This year, in July of 2017, my laptop turned 9 years old. Everyone I tell about my wonderful laptop exclaim in surprise at a) the number of spillages it’s had, b) the number of un-bagged international travel it’s done and c) how long it’s lasted.
My faithful laptop has seen the worst – perfume, coffee, water – and has travelled the world, twice. It has marks where I haven’t had a desk for years on end and have used my mouse on the verge on the keyboard. It has cracks in the frame around the screen from opening and closing it too often. There are stickers that I added to it when I was a teenager, some just the outline of what they once were, some still clinging on. It has peeling keys from where I placed a rainbow keyboard sticker over it.
The CD/DVD drive no longer plays CDs and DVDs, and it pops open at random, like it has a mind of its own. There is cello tape holding it together in parts. It no longer sits on the desk, but on 2 large books so air can get under it and it doesn’t over heat (which it hasn’t done in years), and every year I think “this is the year it’s not going to make it”.
I have written the majority of my blog posts on this laptop, I’ve worked with Photoshop (slowly), and played hours of the Sims (each expansionist pack adding to the slow, but steady gaming experience). Even when I think it’ll take me forever to hit ‘publish’ or to edit an photo, or to get my Sim to order a pizza, I persevere, because my laptop perseveres. Despite me thinking that I could get so much more work done if I got a new one, I haven’t the heart to replace it.
My story may be unique – I’m not sure how many other people would have laptop stories like mine – but in any case, my reason for sharing this with you, Dell, is to say thank you. Thank you for making incredible laptops that last literally years and years.
It’s because of my magenta coloured, flower covered Dell Inspiron 1525 that you have a loyal customer for life.
When the day comes that I carefully open the cover, hit the ‘on’ button and nothing happens, I will mourn for a while, take a deep breath, and head to your website, knowing that whatever laptop I end up buying will not only last the distance, but will be up for whatever adventures I throw at it.
Yours sincerely, and with an abundance of thanks,
Anjali and her laptop