The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

As I just blogged, my wife is pregnant with our second child. However, I’m also happily expecting a slightly less organic baby. I think I’ll call it “Adell”. Yup, you guessed it. I ordered a laptop. (Get it A-Dell, Adell Ha!)
One of the cool things about being in business is being able to take advantage of business lease programs. Last week I signed up for a lease on a new Dell Latitude D810 laptop. This thing is completely stuffed with everything except a second hard drive. I got the top of the line video card, maxed out the ram, got the upgraded display, and even got the fastest processor.
A few weeks ago I was bemoaning my crappy desktop. (It’s not that it lacks anything in power, but just that it’s been tweaked to crap and back again… and the hard drives are slowly dying. Not to mention that it freezes hard if I play audio or video on it.) So, I went to and did a little research.
One of the things that’s kept me from moving to a laptop in the past (besides the fact that they’re crazy expensive) is that I absolutely must have dual monitors if I’m going to be productive. I’ve seen a few PC slot video cards and some other extensions which looked really crappy. Also, most laptops let you use an external monitor as a second display, but you’re forced to use the laptop’s built in screen, which I think is clunky. I’d never seen a laptop which actually supported multiple displays.
However, it turns out that the Dell Latitude’s docking bay have two video outputs. One DVI and one VGA. What makes this awesome is that by using both you can have your multiple displays when you’re at your desk. Yea, one’s DVI and the other isn’t. I would have preferred that both be DVI, but you can’t have everything!
And, as we all know, if you have two video outputs, you’ve really got to buy a couple of 20″ flat screen displays! These beauties arrived today and man are they nice. I can’t wait to plug them into my laptop.
For the past two years I’ve had a raid setup in my desktop to protect my data (as best I can). Unfortunately you can’t exactly set these up in this laptop. So, I did a little googling and found the Netgear Storage Central. This little thing, which is significantly smaller than a bread box, holds two drives and attaches directly to your network.
You can install client software on multiple computers and these computers can use the drive over the network as if it were a local drive. Additionally, the drives in the device can be set configured as a Raid 1 mirror. There’s also some software which you can install which will automatically sync files changed on your computer to the drives. I’m not sure what I think of this yet.
All in all, this whole beast is setting me back less than 200 tax deductible dollars a month. In two years I get to trade the whole thing in for the latest and greatest thing.
So, bragging is done now. Back to our normally scheduled blogging. Man I can’t wait for this thing to show up!

Comments on: "A Slightly Less Important Addition To My Family" (6)

  1. Brendan Smith said:


    I hate to burst you bubble, but if the video ports are anything like my Dell 9300, you’ll only get to use one port at a time. It sucks, but that’s the deal. You can use your laptop screen at the same time however, so you’ll still have 2 monitors of sorts.


  2. Ryan Guill said:

    I have a dell inspiron 8600 that I got 2 years ago and at the time it was top of the line. I splurged on the nice video card and boy am I glad I did. my laptop monitor (which I dont mind at all) is 17 inches widescreen and is running at 1900 by 1200, and I can run another monitor at 2xxx by 1200 if I want to. I usually cant find a monitor that will do that though. But it really has been a "desktop replacement" for me, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Until today at least when I accidentily spilt a dr pepper on it and fried my keyboard. But other than that ;S


  3. Doug Hughes said:

    FYI, for those that care, when docked my laptop will run two flatscreens with no problems.


  4. Not a Dell customer any more! said:

    I have had a Home Office and Business relationship with Dell for about three years now. About two years ago, I bought a Dell 8600 and took what I considered to be great care of it: I utilized it only to play MP3s for my business. To this day, it has never been put online nor installed any other software other then PCDJ, which is what I use for my business. In total, I would guesstimate that I have only put about one hundred working hours on since purchasing it. Seven nights ago I inadvertently left it plugged in overnight for the 1st time. In the morning I found that the LCD was not working at all. I called Dell, and, after being put on hold for an exorbitant amount of time, I found myself being transferred from incorrect department to incorrect department to incorrect department until I finally reached someone in the Dell Support Dept who could help me. After working with the Dell Support team for a while, they concluded that the LCD was completely dead. This led me to another several hours of waiting to talk to another department and four more bad transfers. Then I was sent to their Out of Warranty Department who told me that the only solution was to replace the LCD for $584.00. Great solution to my purchase of a $1,500.00 computer, dont you think? On my way home, I stopped by a computer repair shop. They see a lot of Dells come in and they cannot say enough bad comments about Dell as a whole. I find it conveniently odd that just after my warranty ran out that my Dell started malfunctioning. This is not acceptable. There have not been any warning signs that the LCD was going out along the way; it just died. According to some research I have done on the Internet, I am not alone. There are tons of blogers out there who have had the same or similar issues with their Dell computer and your customer care lines. In conclusion DONT BUY A DELL.


  5. I’m looking for a slim and light laptop that can run dual monitors. Know of any?


  6. I’m looking for a slim and light laptop that can run dual monitors. Know of any?


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