D-Day For Dell?

Update: Following the action on Twitter and again via RTE, Dell are to cut 1900 employees from the Limerick plant with job losses phased between April 2009 and January 2010. That’s a serious casualty for jobs both in Limerick and technology in general in Ireland.

I was listening to Newstalk on the way into work earlier this morning, and have it on here in the office but it looks like it’s D-Day for Dell. Or, on the official line, workers in the Limerick plant have been called in to a meeting due to start a few minutes ago.

The possible closure and loss of jobs in four figures has long been whispered. I knew that Dell were manufacturing in Poland but didn’t realise that Irish orders through Dell.ie, which I thought were being manufactured in Limerick, were actually coming from Eastern Europe.

This goes back to one of the deliveries I was waiting on (which kept me in Kilkenny a few days longer than anticipated at Christmas) with my brother awaiting a delivery of a laptop from Dell, out for delivery on the morning of the 18th of December. Knowing Interlink carry the Dell deliveries coming this direction I had thought I’d be able to collect the laptop on the 19th (Friday) and get on the road. Nothing on the 19th, nothing the following Monday and you should have seen the look of surprise on my face when I rang Dell only to find out they were waiting on the delivery to come in from Poland before it hit the road in Ireland.

I still found it incredible that given it’s a manufacturing plant in Limerick, they’ve got to send all the way to Poland and back for an order that’s only going two hours up the road. Do laptops ordered for delivery in Limerick go to Poland as well?

RTE reports that the manufacturing staff are meeting first, with the IT, legal and marketing meeting at 10am.

Looks like today we’ll know the true reality of the situation in the Limerick plant.

New MacBook Pro Rolls In

MacBook Pro 15″ ModelThe Apple store is getting a bundle of new products and price cuts of late – the arrival of the 32gb iPod Touch, the price cuts to the iPod Shuffle (1 gig model now available for €45 online) and the arrival of the MacBook Air. Now it’s the turn of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

I’ve been a MacBook Pro user since December 2006 (seems like a lifetime ago now) and of all the laptops I’ve owned and used over the years I have to say it’s the best piece of computing kit I ever put money into. That said, if I was in the market for a new laptop, then the new MacBook (or Pro) models would be my first port of call.

In the Irish Apple Store you’ll find the MacBook starting from €999 while the MacBook Pro starts from €1799. Though if you want my advice, buy foreign… it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

The 15 inch MacBook Pro model (of which I’m using) now comes with 200gb HD space as standard, processor upped to 2.4GHz (I’m on 2.16) and NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 128MB SDRAM.

Move up to the next model (2.5GHz 15 inch) and you’ve got yourself an extra 50gb HD space and your graphics card gets bumped up to 256mb (extra 400 euro). The real sweetness is in the new 17 inch model, busting out a screen resolution of 1680 x 1050, 250gb HD, LED backlit screen option and graphics bumped up to 512mb on order.

The MacBooks too have some nice new additions, again with processor, HD and graphics all getting a boost.

Each model ships with 2GB RAM as standard and multi-touch (via MacBook Air) has also been added.

Check here for MacBooks
and here for MacBook Pros on the Irish Apple store.