I've not been without a computer since I was a child. I'm not an engineer or even a Dell employee but I own / operate a small Laptop & PC repair and service company in Washington.
I am the son of a card-carrying IEEE member that has earned 2 engineering and 2 masters degrees. All are technology related. My father sparked my interest in technology / computing at age 6 while working his way through an Electronics Engineering degree as a electronics technician at Tektronix. Currently, he's looking forward to retiring from the nation's largest defense aerospace contractor. Maybe it runs in the family. My Grandfather retired from Tektronix (his second career) after serving in the US Navy for 22 years. It would have been impossible NOT to pick up a thing or two along the way. I spent 4 years in the service of the United States Navy where I had the good fortune to serve from '93-'97 aboard a ship home ported at Pearl Harbor Naval Base Oahu, Hawaii and see the world.
My very first computer, not coincidentally, was a Tektronix 4051 Desktop Graphics System. There's a picture here in the original Tektronix marketing literature. circa 1976! It was built from distressed / mismanufactured components purchased at the company's on-site surplus and salvage warehouse store. The facility was affectionately referred to (by those with access to it) as "The Country Store" and I was always excited to go along since nobody minded if I picked things up and tried to figure out what they were and how they worked. Right up a Technician's alley! I was fluently programming in BASIC before I was 10. Although I am not a programmer by profession, that early exposure to computing ultimately became the segue to understanding fundamentally WHY computers "do this when this happens or don't."
The first laptop I ever owned was an AST Ascentia 910N 486DXII (dx2) but I really "cut my laptop teeth" on a Dell™ Inspiron® 1501, that I keep around sentimentally. I've owned at least one Dell computer consistently since 1998. I currently own 3 Dell laptops and 1 Dell Desktop PC.
Since the issuance of the MSDN beta version of Windows 2k. I have actively participated in the pre-release Windows® beta and preview programs for every consumer operating system released by Microsoft, recently including Windows 8 Enterprise Edition and Windows 8.1. I've successfully installed and currently operate Windows 8.1 on my desktop which is a Dell Dimension 3100. It has undergone only memory and HDD upgrades! Initially this was an experiment (that worked). I installed the first Beta release of Windows 8 on that PC the DAY it was issued and updated all the way through the program until finally, the operating system was released to the public. At that point I purchased my license and have successfully kept it current ever since.
l would best describe my posture in the PC community as biased , favoring Dell but not discluding an "affordable advantage" to the end user. Frequently, providing a member or customer with the solution to a technical problem can mean the difference between having a computer and a paper-weight. so this stance is demonstrated in my contributions to the Dell Community.
At the shop I provide troubleshooting, diagnostic, repair, maintenance, recovery and restoration / refurbish services and component upgrades. My client base is primarily local. I've long been point-of-contact to friends, family and acquaintances whose computers "suddenly start doing this or stop doing that." because technical aid is much more than a job to me. I'm a regular Dell Community participant and was recently selected to join the Dell Community Rockstar team. I'm stoked to be on board as we follow Dell through it's newly re-privatized business model and the changes it brings! I look forward to the year serving you as a Dell Community Rockstar!
See Ya Online!