Call Carlos for Computer Help

I’ve been getting messages from Microsoft needling me to update my computer to Windows 11. I’m familiar with the tone and wording which is supposed to nudge me to do something which I might regret. I’m also familiar with the awful blue screen of death. Even though Microsoft assures me my computer is Windows 11 ready—I’m not.

And I’ve seen the article about the old computer wizard named Carlos who was able to update his 15-year-old Intel Pentium computer to Windows 11. That should have been impossible. It doesn’t make me more comfortable about updating my modern machine.

I’m also sort of in the market for a new computer. I was all set to order a Dell XPS 8940. Sena is a genius shopper and asked if I’d checked to see if there was a newer model on the launching pad. She reminded me that I had made a similar purchase several years ago and regretted just missing the new model that came out only days after I bought the machine which I thought was the newest model. I’m thinking of an old commercial from many moons ago, showing a happy guy driving down the road in his convertible, his arm draped lovingly around a big box containing what he obviously thought was the latest and greatest computer—which he had just bought. He looks up and sees a billboard showing a picture of a model that is obviously the next generation up from his.

So, I got on line and searched and could find nothing newer than the Dell XPS 8940. I searched the Dell web site and could not find anything on the XPS 8950. She got on line and triumphantly called out she had found a newer model in the wings, the Dell XPS 8950. I rephrased my search term to ask a question, “Is there a Dell XPS model newer than the 8940?”

Bang, there were several hits for the XPS 8950. They were mostly press releases from late October 2021, although one of them was a question from a guy who tapped the Dell Community users web page. He asked “Should I have waited for the 8950?!—I just bought a 8940—Need Advice.” It was dated October 28, 2021. One user suggested looking a web page which pointed to an XPS 8950 press release with 138 comments. Many of them were obviously from experienced computer experts who spoke tech lingo beyond my understanding, but mentioned things like the 3 fans and a liquid cooling system in the much larger tower, and the opportunity to easily overclock the CPU.

I remember reading about overclocking many years ago. It involved soldering, if you can believe that. I think I flunked soldering back in shop class. I guess overclocking is easier now—for guys like Carlos. Incidentally, why does overclocking sound like a perk? Why can’t Dell just make the CPU powerful enough to obviate the need for overclocking? I probably just don’t get the power gamer culture out there.

Anyway, the XPS 8950 is supposed to be out by next month. Needless to say, there are no Black Friday deals for it, especially if it’s not even advertised on the Dell website. Maybe Dell is just trying to sell down the XPS 8940 inventory.

There are more than 7,000 customer reviews out there about the XPS 8940, most of them positive. You can get it loaded with Windows 11, which has not been out there for very long. My impression of the negative reviews is that the machines take a long time to boot up. Could Windows 11 be influencing that?

Maybe Dell should hire Carlos.

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