Plea to computer manufacturers: Stick with standard components!!!!

Personal Computers are not that complicated. I mean, there’s a box with stuff inside: motherboard, memory, graphics card, sound card, networking, USB ports, some hard drives and optical drives, and …….. a power supply. Plug them all in the right way, press the “On” switch and you have a working computer.

PCs are made from standard, off-the-shelf parts. You can pick the ones you want. ASUS motherboard, nVidia-based graphics card, Western Digital hard disk, etc. And you could upgrade or replace a bad component at any time.

But then you’ve got companies who want to improve on that design concept. And by doing so, they ruin a good thing by designing non-standard parts that are only available through them.

In the last year, I’ve had several clients call me with dead power supplies for various reasons including the above. Each time, I confidently told them, “No problem. I’ll pick up your dead power supply, take it to the local computer parts store, get a replacement, put it in and we’re done!” But, at least twice, it wasn’t so easy. And now a third time.

I had two clients with Dell computers with dead power supplies. But, the power supplies were *not* standard dimensions. I took them to the store and said “Gimme one of each of these” but they just shook their head and said “Call Dell.” Famous last words. Without all the gory details, it took 4 months and two letters to the CEO (which were never answered!) for *any* kind of reasonable response. And, yes, this meant the client had no computer for four months!

Now I’ve got the same problem with an HP desktop computer. Luckily, I have a spare one so I was able to swap out the power supplies until the new one can be ordered, but that’s not gonna happen every time.

So this is why I ask manufacturers to please, stick with standard components. Failure to do so just makes people frustrated with you when something needs to be replaced.



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About zonkeringeneva

An American with a German son living in Geneva with a new Boxer-Labrador puppy name Xoë. I can be found on Facebook (kicking and screaming!), Google Plus (crickets), (I'm Zonker), and Ask me anything IT related. I'm sure I'll have something useful to say.

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