Remember when “design” meant “reliable”

Dennis Rockstroh of ActionLine in the Merc attempted to handle the frustration of a Sony Vaio user recently. Turns out the poor man continually had the power just blit out on him while working on his laptop. Back and forth to the factory it went, never seeming to get any better. Dennis helped the gentleman get a replacement laptop from the factory, but no one seemed to understand why such a problem was occurring and why it required a complete replacement to rectify. Sony didn’t wish to discuss it, and the frustrated user couldn’t figure it out other than noticing that wiggling the power connector sometimes worked.

How do I know this? Because I bought a Vaio PCG-FX-310 for my husband a few years back, and soon after acquiring it, the power connector began to fail. But since I’ve been putting together systems since the days of Symmetric Computer Systems, plus all that work on 386BSD and X86 systems from lunchboxes to desktops to laptops, we didn’t just sit around griping about the problem – we tried to figure out exactly why this happens – both as a good little example of the importance of design in a consumer product, and as an illustration of the difference between American and Japanese audiences.

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