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The Dell Experience

On my fourth desktop computer, which was a Dell Dimension 8400 running Windows XP that my family purchased in November 2004, there was a short video entitled Experience that was pre-included in the videos folder. When I first booted up that computer and opened the folder, I recall that the video was the sole file in it; the video was one among many of the pre-included files and pre-installed programs that Dell had shipped with the computer, the practice of which is and has been customary for PC manufacturers. There were also a handful of times during which this particular computer became so terribly infected with malware that I was forced by necessity to restore to a pre-installed factory image on my hard drive, and I remember that each time I opened that same videos folder after the restoration had been completed, I was greeted by the presence of this video, which was again the lone item in it.

The video itself is simply a piece of Dell marketing, showcasing, among other things, footage from one of their computer assembly plants, their various products, and people competently using those products. Dell was clearly trying to convey through the video an image of itself as an active, cutting-edge technology company that was driving the modern world, and, in my opinion, it succeeded in doing so. As a kid I found the video to be quite cool and impressive, and when I began in the late 2000s to regularly back up my files, I took care to include it in the backups; even today I still have a copy of the original preserved on my hard drive, from which, I can tell you, the video is an MPG file with a resolution of 720x480, a total bitrate of 7,128 kilobits per second, and was last modified on the morning of Friday, 22 August 2003. As I watch it today, I am simultaneously reminded of my old Dell Dimension 8400 desktop and of the dominance that Dell used to possess as a PC vendor: the video was made back in 2003, the year of that company's ascent to being the largest shipper of PCs in the world during the mid-2000s, and it offers a glimpse into the influence Dell used to have, back when the general sense was that it, along with Microsoft and Intel, was leading us into the future, because PCs—and not smartphones—were the future. Even now I reject the smartphone future, and still hold true to the one centered around desktop and laptop computers.

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This page last modified on 1 May 2021.