Not long ago, the battery in my Dell XPS M1330 decided it was time to die. Apparently, I had hit the wall: my battery which would run fine for an hour and 20 minutes, just died - one day to the next. No warning signs. Nothing. What's a geek to do? Look at Dells offers? With the cheapest, 4-cell battery coming in at 780 kr. (\$156) that didn't seem like an option. Instead, good old eBay seemed more interesting. With 800+ results for Dell M1330 batteries there was bound to be something good. Just one minor problem ... pretty much all of the results are fake batteries. Which leads to the dilemma: cheap, fake battery or expensive, original battery? Well, I decided to give the Chinese fakers a chance and sent for a battery from Hong Kong, figuring that paying the total amount of 400 kr (\$80) was the better option. Right I was! Haven't had a single problem with the battery (a 9-cell, compared to my previous 6-cell) and I'm now mobile once more. All I can say is, suck it, Dell! The expensive batteries and other accessories are a sham, on a par with the printer inks that cost more than perfume.

Going with this spirit, I decided to look into replacing my iPod battery. Of late, the charge on it had been reduced from 3-4 hours to 10 minutes, not really acceptable. Buying a new iPod when the old one works just fine is also not acceptable (I'm sorry but no, I simply do not buy into the ridiculous consumerism advanced by Apple, MicroSoft and others). Some googling on the net led to the following site: (strange title, as that's not the domain it's hosted on). The videos of switching out the battery made it seems so easy that I couldn't stop myself from purchasing a new battery from BatteriByen (at 100 kr - \$20). Before I knew it, I had a knife to my iPod, trying to pry it open. Took me about 30 mins, using improper tools, then the insides of it were showing and I was looking around for something looking like a battery. A bit more time, and the iPod closed up again with just a few marks of my barbaric butchering to show that I'd been messing with the stuff Apple never wanted to see the light of day. Then today the battery arrived, along with a set of proper tools, and I could switch out the battery in about 1 minute flat. One charge later and my iPod has now been playing for a couple of hours, non-stop.

The moral of the story, you ask? Screw the vendor lock-in, go for the competitors that make the accessory you need. Don't waste your money, support the businesses that actually give you what you want without ripping you off. Oh, and make sure you use proper tools when prying your precious hardware open.