"After the math department at the University of Texas noticed
some of its Dell computers failing, Dell examined the machines. The
company came up with an unusual reason for the computers' demise:
the school had overtaxed the machines by making them perform
difficult math calculations.
"Dell, however, had actually sent the university, in Austin,
desktop PCs riddled with faulty electrical components that were
leaking chemicals and causing the malfunctions. Dell sold millions
of these computers from 2003 to 2005 to major companies like
Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo, institutions like the Mayo Clinic and
""The funny thing was that every one of them went bad at the
same time," said Greg Barry, the president of PointSolve, a
technology services company near Philadelphia that had bought
dozens. "It's unheard-of, but Dell didn't seem to recognize this as
a problem at the time.""
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