Friday, September 5, 2008

Dell's Inspiron Mini 9 - $99 w/ another laptop?

Dell announced their new small form factor laptop the Inspiron Mini 9 yesterday. According to their website, the small laptop is "your new best friend." A post on revealed a link to the Direct2Dell blog announcing a US only promotion to purchase a Mini for only $99 with the purchase of a Studio 15, XPS M1530 or XPS 1330 laptop through 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9th.

Perfect, I need a new laptop, and have been pricing out a Studio 15 for about three weeks now. A second laptop for $99 more...bring it on! Yesterday, I configured a great (for me and my wife) 15, hooked up with 2.0 Core Duo, 3GB of memory, 256MB ATI graphics card, and free 2 day shipping. Under the Add My Software and Accessories tab, I added the $99 Ubuntu laptop, saved my cart and emailed it to myself (had to wait for Friday's paycheck.)

Well, Friday morning is here and my cart with the Mini 9 is no longer available. After a 10 minute wait to chat with a Dell rep (and a switch to Internet Explorer since chat wouldn't work with Firefox), the rep told me they are, "...communicating with our marketing department about this promotion...," and promised to call me once they have the details sorted out.

I will keep you updated as information becomes available. We here at Den Spitzhacke take this very seriously.


After perusing the Direct2Dell blog, and reading the subsequent post on engadget, it looks like Dell has baited and switched us on this deal. They will only let you buy select laptops now. Funny, their posting on their blog didn't mention these specific laptops. The laptops had to be Studio 15s or select XPS's.

I don't want their overpriced, 3 year warranty, Studio 15 for $1048. I want my configured Studio 15 for $699. What gives Dell? How are you going to make this right?


Well, after configuring and reconfiguring, I have finally got my Studio 15 and Mini 9. Luckily, through my employment, we have an employee purchase program. I built my Studio 15 to my specs, and the Mini 9 came up as an accessory. I could even customize it (and did!)

After some intense waiting for the checkout process to finish, I got confirmation of my two new laptops!

Judging by the fact that last night I could configure my own Studio 15 and add the $99 Mini 9, it seems that Dell will honor all Studio 15 purchases, eventually. I think they don't have their sales and marketing teams together yet. Be patient. I think Dell wants to make this right!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Le Creuset knob replacement made easy

The lid to our lovely Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven recently crashed on our terrazzo floor. The black phenolic resin knob suffered catastrophic damage...a complete loss. A quick perusal of found a replacement knob: $10+$6 for shipping. Well, we ordered one.

Then the idea struck...maybe the manufacturer sells replacements. It can't be that expensive to ship a knob from France, right? Well, after checking their website, I found out they don't sell replacements. I contacted customer service and received a very prompt response: What size pot do you have? Plastic or metal knob? After I replied to the email, a response came: Your new knob is in the mail. I canceled the amazon order.

They charged me a total of $0 for a new knob! Free! What a classy company! That's what I expect from the finest manufacturer of iron cookware. Viva La France!

Jott: One (formerly) way cool service for organizationally challenged folks like me.

Jott was formerly my favorite thing since sliced bread. The amazing text to speech program, which is accessible via a toll free number, keeps track of my random thoughts, to do lists, and adds events to my Google Calendar. Unfortunately, as of this morning, Jott is out of beta, and they have switched to a subscription model.

According to their website, in order to Jott to my Google Calendar (or Remember the Milk, Yahoo Groups, and other “premium Jott links”) one must pay them no less than $3.95/month. Full functionality that formerly cost $0.00/mo. is now $12.95/mo. Way to go Jott! Thanks for the upgrade! Sucks!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Awesome Subway Diagram

Artist Massimo Vignelli recently printed a limited edition update to his famous 1972 New York Subway diagram. Unfortunately, all 500 prints are sold out (as of today May 1, 2008, eh). Check out a slideshow of his multicolored mapping delight. (source: Men's Vogue)

Reminds me of this diagram of the Eisenhower Interstate System. (via Strange Maps)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Batton down the hatches!

Miami-Dade County accepts the idea Florida may have new waterfront properties:

"The biggest worry for the area is sea level rise. The task force used the latest research to predict a three- to five-foot rise in sea level this century, which could inundate many low-lying developed areas and contaminate fresh water sources with saltwater."

Link to article.

Cool flood map simulator, can you say Hialeah Shores anyone? Link

Here is another one from the University of Arizona Link

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The Management