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Hardware usability

The Dell Optiplex GX270s (tower case) we use have a cool, dark, high-tech looking  case and a thick round-edge front panel.

The opening of the floppy disk drive is of course on the front panel. The problem is the disk drive is buried deep inside the thick front panel. So sometimes even if the floppy is out, it is still trapped inside the thick front panel. I  have to dig it out by my finger. And I hate to do that.

Like many other PCs, there is a USB port on the front panel too. But the port is covered by a lid with a big Dell logo on it. It is obvious that Dell's designers put a lot of effort to hide the port and make it hard to use. The port is facing down and well-hidden so it's hard to locate and plug anything in. And it is well obstructed so most USB flash disks/MP3 players cannot fit in. The otherwise completely useless lid makes it even harder to use.

Sometimes I hate to see some flaws which are extreme obvious which are easy to fix. Especially from products produced by big brands. And I believe hardware usability is as important as software's.

S.C.
Thursday, February 26, 2004

For the floppy drive, if the floppy is ejected but still nearly in the drive, push it all the way back in, then smash the eject button, keeping your fingers out of the way of the diskette - it should come out far enough to grab.

But I agree that that floppy drive is the second worst floppy placement I've ever seen. (The first is my Inwin tower that places it next to the power switch so the eject button is about 1" from the switch)

Philo

Philo
Thursday, February 26, 2004

What's a floppy drive?

Almost Anonymous
Friday, February 27, 2004

Something middle aged men worry about in the middle of the night.

Simon Lucy
Friday, February 27, 2004

I wish hardware manufacturers and case vendors would realize that floppy drives are a thing of the past.  Now that USB-based floppy drives are readily available for users that cling to this unreliable media form, and USB-based flash drives are even more readily available, it would be nice if The Rest Of Us would be saved from horrible looking case designs with an unsightly slot that is rarely, if ever used.

Anonymous Coward
Friday, February 27, 2004

Where I work, we're still using Windows NT 4.0, which doesn't support USB, so I'll keep my floppy drive, thank you.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Friday, February 27, 2004

An while we're talking about design madness related to drives...

Why the heck are the CD drive buttons *under* the tray. Was the original designer on acid? A yoga master? Kept his computer on an overhead shelf?

Ron Porter
Friday, February 27, 2004

I think the Sony VAIO's take the cake.  They have the button for the CD-ROM on this spring-hinged door.  When you push it in, the door flaps down underneath the tray facing some sort of down direction.  It's now completely infeasible to find the button.  So you just push the tray to send it back into the machine.  Somehow I always felt like I would break something doing this.

Elephant
Friday, February 27, 2004

AC - remember that Steve Jobs tried to force the issue in '98 by shipping the iMac without a floppy drive and got soundly ridiculed by the press and public. I suspect less conventional PC manufacturers aren't willing to try again just yet.
BTW, in some emergencies (dying hard drive, virus, forgot your root password, etc) having a floppy drive is a real godsend - as a $20 insurance policy it's not *that* bad a thing to have around...

Philo

Philo
Friday, February 27, 2004

I haven't used a floppy drive in ages.  With CDRs pretty much standard these days, and computers able to boot from CD, I haven't even needed it for those "emergency" situations.

It doesn't really bug me if my computer has one, but I doubt I'll be spending $20 to buy one ever again

MikeMcNertney
Friday, February 27, 2004

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