As of an hour ago, our Dell Inspiron 4000 is now a Latitude C600. Magic. I followed these directions to flash the Inspiron with the Latitude ROM. So while it still says “Inspiron” on the case, it thinks it’s a Latitude. The Inspiron 4000 and Latitude C600 are exactly the same, except for the plastics, so this works.
I did this so that I could use the Latitude C/Port II that I picked up for $15 at WeirdStuff the other week. In their infinite wisdom, Dell has decided that Latitude docks can only be used with Latitudes, and Inspiron docks only with Inspirons. This in spite of the fact that most Inspiron and Latitude models differ only in color and configuration, and my Inspiron is physically and electrically compatible with the Latitude dock (except for a metal hook that needs to be removed from the dock because its mate is on the Latitude cases only.) Silly Dell. Of course, this is the same company that boldy innovated by designing printers to reject third-party ink cartridges, so I’m not too surprised.
I’m happy to get the laptop up and running with the dock, though. For $15, it seemed a good investment (Dell charges $249 for a new one), and gives the laptop a working power jack again. The laptop’s been running exclusively on battery power for the past five months (using an external battery charger), and the batteries are starting to die. Dell, of course, has raised battery prices to $155 each—I could swear they were half that when I bought the laptop three years ago, although I have no proof.