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Old 2006-10-24, 04:17   #1
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Default These dell guys can't possibly be serious...

...or are they.

According to their website, their computers can only operate under altitudes of 10,000 ft.

http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1052310

(scroll to the bottom)

WHY???? Everyone knows that temperature affects computer performance, but altitude?? Hmmm...

I guess desktops don't work to well in Tibet.
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Old 2006-10-24, 05:06   #2
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there is a reason for that
less air means the fans need to work harder to cool the componets because there is less air density to flow over heatsinks i guess. its hard to word... but mainly there woundlt be enough air to force over the componets to keep them cool... plus airpressure could cause things like caps and what not to burst...


your not planing on flying a plane to 35 thousand feet are you to opperate your computer

Last fiddled with by moo on 2006-10-24 at 05:07
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Old 2006-10-24, 05:55   #3
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The only time my Datsun 510 overheated was while traversing an 11,000-foot pass on the interstate highway west of Denver.
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Old 2006-10-24, 08:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
...or are they.

According to their website, their computers can only operate under altitudes of 10,000 ft.

http://support.dell.com/support/edoc....htm#wp1052310

(scroll to the bottom)

WHY???? Everyone knows that temperature affects computer performance, but altitude?? Hmmm...

I guess desktops don't work to well in Tibet.
In addition to the cooling effects already mentioned, modern hard drives rely heavily on aerodynamics to maintain precise spacing between the heads and platters. Those things spin so fast, the armature is so thin and lightweight in order to change directions so quickly, and the data is so dense, aerodynamics is an important factor in maintaining the spacing which is on the order of a micron or less.

A higher altitude may lower the Reynold's number and dynamic pressure enough to affect the hard drive's reliability.

Drew
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Old 2006-10-24, 08:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don't know who
According to their website, their computers can only operate under altitudes of 10,000 ft
Forget about all the posts above, they are all wrong, the real reason is that the coal burning furnace for the pressure boilers for the steam engine to run the generator for the power supply cannot get enough oxygen to keep the coal burning hot enough so that the boiler can keep enough pressure to push the triple expansion pistons to keep the generator turning fast enough to supply enough power for the hungry hungry CPU (phew, try saying that in one breath). Try running it in "low power" mode and see if that solves your problem. Alternatively, use a calculator.

Last fiddled with by retina on 2006-10-24 at 08:47 Reason: typos
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Old 2006-10-24, 13:34   #6
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NASA has gotten greater altitudes out of their equip.
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=213
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Old 2006-10-24, 14:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moo View Post
there is a reason for that
your not planing on flying a plane to 35 thousand feet are you to opperate your computer
No, but I'm driving to some high altitude areas for vacation (Flagstaff and Santa Fe, about 7500 ft) for 2 weeks, and I was considering bringing the computer along, because I don't really like the idea of letting it run that long unsupervised at home.
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Old 2006-10-25, 04:40   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I'm driving to some high altitude areas for vacation (Flagstaff and Santa Fe, about 7500 ft) for 2 weeks, and I was considering bringing the computer along
Just don't run it in your car while driving over high passes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
NASA has gotten greater altitudes out of their equip.
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=213
From that page:

"Computers using Mac OS and Linux have also flown as part of various payloads and are likely to continue to do so in the future. Meanwhile, the Russians will be using a Weiner Power laptop in their portion of the ISS."

Russkies adapted fuel cells from the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile hybrid (http://www.carlinmfg.com/oscarinfo.htm)?
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Old 2006-10-25, 05:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
NASA has gotten greater altitudes out of their equip.
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=213
thats kept in a pressureized envrioment...
dell is saying dont use it at air pressure at x feet
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Old 2006-10-25, 05:04   #10
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This is similar to iPods, I'm not sure what the altitude cap is for mine though (Fifth Generation 30G Video). I realized this while on an orchestra festival to Colorado Springs. Some of went to the top of Pike's Peak, which is just over 14,000 feet. If I had to guess, I would say somewhere around 8,000 to 12,000 is where the hard drive failed and I received and error message. The explanation of the aerodynamics of the hard drive make a lot of sense as being the most practical reason for my iPod at least (I don't think it is equipped with a fan :P). I apologize in advance for poor grammar...I'm writing this post on very, very little sleep...
good night

Kyle
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Old 2006-10-27, 19:10   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moo View Post
thats kept in a pressureized envrioment...
dell is saying dont use it at air pressure at x feet
Perhaps Uncwilly was referring to actual spacecraft altitude rather than equivalent altitude of the internal pressure, but ...

Again from the spaceref.com page:

"These cooling systems have to provide adequate cooling not only in the 14.7 PSIA standard environment but also within the 10.2 PSIA environment that the Shuttle has to provide when astronauts are preparing to do an EVA from the Shuttle."

10.2 psia corresponds to about 10,000 feet altitude, so maybe NASA accepts off-the-shelf capability in this particular regard.

BTW, the table titled "Variation with Altitude" at http://www.aeromech.usyd.edu.au/aero/atmos/atmtab.html shows that the atmospheric density ratio drops more slowly with altitude than the pressure ratio. The density ratio governs how much air you get in each volume (e.g., how much oxygen you get in each breath -- if breathing volume were the same, which it won't be if you're breathing more heavily at higher altitude). So, at 10,000 feet though the pressure is only 69% of sea-level pressure, the air density is 74% of sea-level density.

According to my physics understanding, in a closed vessel such as the shuttle, rather than in the open atmosphere, the density ratio would be the same as the pressure ratio, but I could be wrong.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2006-10-27 at 19:12
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