That blue thing that I am running PowerPoint on during my talks is an Alienware Area51-m laptop. Heavy like a block of lead, battery life of about 2 hrs (which makes me carry two), but very fast and "feel good". Except for some minor annoyances, I am happy with it for about a year now. And I don't think I have every had a machine that was still faster than most of the other machines out there 12 months after I got it. One big problem I had with it until today, though, was that the machine got increasingly louder - more precisely, the fan noise was just unbearable. Since the machine is essentially a high-end desktop in a notebook shell, the box needs a lot of cooling. It turns out that the elaborate cooling mechanism that Alienware puts in those machines clogs up easily with dust, but hides the dust quite well. So while the machine looked "clean", it really, really, really wasn't. Wow. Yucky! Now it's all clean again and the fan is back to a bearable noise level. It's happy to be breathing again.
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