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Reader Feedback Friday: Dell, Vista, Fruitcake and 'Cheers'

With reader e-mails this good, why should we spend time coming up with a clever introduction to Reader Feedback Friday? Let's just jump right in.

On Dell sidling up to partners and trying to make things right again after all these years, we got a subtle, nuanced response from John, which we quote here directly and without editing:

"Dell can go to h!!!"

By the way, John sent that in about 20-point type, so it's pretty clear that he'll be resisting Dell's advances. Thomas, who writes from the U.K., old chap, is right there with John on this issue:

"In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was a Dell reseller -- until Dell took information and went behind my back. I was getting around a 4 percent discount as a vendor off their low prices. Their direct sales folks took my contact list and offered them 4.5 percent (meaning to compete, I'd have had to lose money).

"Then they just closed their reseller program -- I only found out when I went to order more hardware and was told I was not a reseller any longer. We never got kissed. Since then, I simply do not trust Dell as a channel player. Mileage probably varies."

Mileage doesn't vary too much, Thomas, based on the responses we've had so far. The channel doesn't forget -- and Dell's going to have a heck of a time trying to ingratiate itself to partners, from what we can tell.

On Vista still sitting on corporate shelves (an entry that ran just yesterday, but Vista is always good for quick comments), Bill offered an impassioned defense of...fruitcake:

"Knock it off; I like fruitcake. Buy it in early November and soak it in Myers' dark rum until Christmas...wonderful stuff. But I liked Windows Me, too. I was on the beta and installed it on a lot of computers, and not a one of them ever went down. So you need to be careful with the Vista and Me comparisons, as well."

Bill, we soak everything we consume in some form of alcohol, so thanks for the suggestion. If somebody goes old-school and drops a fruitcake on RCPU for Christmas this year (rather than the new fruitcake -- the gift card), we'll go the rum route and give it a try.

Less happy with Vista (no word on fruitcake) is Nat, who writes:

"I finally broke down and loaded Vista on one of my office computers a couple of days ago. Am I using it? No! I connected to my networked printer, an HP cp1160tn. I tried to print a few pages from a Web site and, to my surprise, there is no option to print on both sides of the paper, nor was there a way to print from the lower tray. I checked out HP's site, and they said to use the included Vista driver. I've now turned off the Vista computer and probably will not turn it back on until I decide to load Fedora Core 8."

So the compatibility issue remains a big one for Vista, as it probably will for a while yet. On the shelf Vista will continue to sit until Microsoft and third parties work that stuff out -- which, we think and hope, is in the process of happening.

Finally, Wil (with one "l" at the end) does what every good reader should do: correct RCPU on a grievous error from a previous entry. In this case, he correctly identifies the "Cheers" character RCPU shamefully misidentified in last week's Reader Feedback segment. (We're seriously embarrassed about having gotten this wrong, and we're now doubting our own expertise in '80s sitcoms):

"I really enjoy the reader feedback, and this is the first time I'm submitting one of my own. But it's only in response to Jon's funny Microsoft robot e-mail. You indicated that his e-mail had you shaking -- all four cheeks and a chin -- and attributed the pun to Cliff Claven on 'Cheers.' But if memory serves me, I believe that line was delivered by Norm Peterson when Norm enters the bar to the cries of 'NORM!' Coach asks Norm, 'What's shakin'?' Norm's response: 'All four cheeks and a chin.' That was funny stuff! Thanks for the laugh!"

And thanks for setting us straight, Wil. Thanks also to everybody who took the time to write this week.

Want to add to the pile of letters? Throw one on top at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on December 14, 2007 at 11:54 AM