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Got my new laptop -- its fantastic. I am very impressed with Dell's work on this D820. Some humor though -- I tried asking a question on their chat tool. Transcript here.

By Andrew Pollack on 07/06/2006 at 12:15 PM EDT

The new laptop I ordered finally arrived on Wednesday. I was actually not sure I'd like the screen -- At some point, resolution beyond a certain depth is too fine for me to use for long periods. In this case, the crispness of each character on the screen is amazing, and the aspect ratio being as wide as it is means I have some huge amount of screen real estate while opening easier on airplanes because it isn't as tall. The machine is fast, not too heavy, fast, elegant, and the magnesium case is rigid and strong. It took me more than 12 hours to load all my software onto it, methodically listing each tool and utility and checking them off as they were reinstalled. I'm using it on a battery today and it seems the extended life battery was worth it. This thing seems to last for hours and hours even though I'm hard on the drive with all the software configuration I'm doing.

Dell offers a second drive for this unit, and if its an internal drive that would really be a nice enhancement if I need more disk I/O performance. Since I could find nothing in the manuals about it, I tried the on-line chat for "hardware support". I think you'll be amused at the results.... Dell automatically mailed them to me. Aside from the amusing attempt to communicate, look at the time stamps and how long it takes to get each response.

This is an automated email sent from Dell Chat. The following information is a log of your session. Please save the log for your records.
Your session ID for this incident is 4722481.
Time Details
07/05/2006 02:15:09PMSession Started with Agent (RTS Tiffany Hickman)
07/05/2006 02:15:23PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Thank you for contacting Dell Hardware Warranty Chat Support. Please give me 1-2 minutes to retrieve your service tag information."
07/05/2006 02:15:25PMAndrew Pollack: "hello."
07/05/2006 02:15:32PMAndrew Pollack: "no problem."
07/05/2006 02:15:37PMAndrew Pollack: "My new Dell Latitude D820 offers the option of a second hard disk. I cannot find anywhere if this disk must use the media bay, or if there is an internal place to put it. Can you tell me, is there an internal slot, and is it SATA or ATA?"
07/05/2006 02:16:16PMAndrew Pollack: "I speak geek, so don't hold back. :-)"
07/05/2006 02:16:23PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Thank you. May I also have your phone number and e-mail address?"
07/05/2006 02:16:43PMAndrew Pollack: "-----------------------------------------------------"
07/05/2006 02:16:56PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Is this a new or existing case?"
07/05/2006 02:17:39PMAndrew Pollack: "This is a new question - I got the pc today."
07/05/2006 02:17:54PMAndrew Pollack: "I think its a straightforward question. No"
07/05/2006 02:17:57PMAndrew Pollack: "?"
07/05/2006 02:19:05PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "I will be happy to help you today. Can you provide any other information regarding what is happening with your system today?"
07/05/2006 02:20:10PMAndrew Pollack: "that's an odd question. I just want to know: If I were to order the available 2nd hard disk for this laptop, is there an internal slot, or does it use the media bay? In other words, must I remove the cd/dvd player to use the second hard disk?"
07/05/2006 02:21:06PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "If there isn't an available bay you can purchase and external bay or remove an optical drive."
07/05/2006 02:21:36PMAndrew Pollack: "that's what I'm asking you. IS there an internal bay for a second ata or sata hard disk?"
07/05/2006 02:24:34PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Yes it is."
07/05/2006 02:24:56PMAndrew Pollack: "ok. Where would I find it? It isn't in the online manual so far as I can tell."
07/05/2006 02:25:07PMAndrew Pollack: "is there an online technote which will point me to it?"
07/05/2006 02:29:00PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Before I send you this link, please go to Start - Control Panel - Internet Options and click on the Advanced Tab. In the Browsing section, please disable the option "Reuse windows for launching shortcuts" by unchecking it."
07/05/2006 02:29:30PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman) sends page: ""
07/05/2006 02:30:57PMAndrew Pollack: "ok, Tiffany. I have seen from that document before where the hard disk is. My question remains -- IS there room for a SECOND drive where the first one is?"
07/05/2006 02:31:40PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Before I send you this link, please go to Start - Control Panel - Internet Options and click on the Advanced Tab. In the Browsing section, please disable the option "Reuse windows for launching shortcuts" by unchecking it."
07/05/2006 02:32:16PMAndrew Pollack: "go ahead. I know how to handle links."
07/05/2006 02:34:03PMAgent (RTS Tiffany Hickman): "Everything is on that same link."
07/05/2006 02:34:31PMAndrew Pollack: "There is no information on that link about a SECOND hard disk from what I can read."
07/05/2006 02:35:48PMAndrew Pollack: "never mind. it will be faster to just open it up and look for myself."
07/05/2006 02:36:16PMAndrew Pollack: "good bye. maybe you will find someone with easier questions than "Is there a place inside for a second drive." It seems hard to believe, but perhaps."
If you require further assistance, please visit us at

There are  - loading -  comments....

Are you sure that was a real person?By Danny Lawrence on 07/07/2006 at 12:34 AM EDT
That almost reads like an automated reply bot. The slow responce time might be
an indicator of same as well.
funny you say that. I thought the same thing for a while.By Andrew Pollack on 07/07/2006 at 12:46 AM EDT

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