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Beware the Targus XL 617 Backpack – It’s not what it used to be

don't believe their lies... this post shows the old (awesome) backpack, but they ship you the new (lame) one instead
(See online!)

When I had some extra cash for the first time in basically ever, I splurged and bought myself a big, honking gaming laptop (whee!). The main problem with it was finding something to carry it in, but at the time there was a pretty rocking Targus backpack made for exactly this kind of problem. I think it's been almost 10 years now and it's stood up to quite a few trips across the states and out of country. It's sturdy, roomy, and boy does it last. There might be one or two tiny frays or broken bits, but that's pretty danged good for its age.

You go, you ancient, everlasting backpack!

Fast forward to today (last year actually, but close enough). I got a bonus and start eyeing the new laptops. At the same time, I figure my old one would be a great hand-me down for the kids, but they'd need a backpack too. I figure, why not get a brand new Targus XL 617 for me and give them the still-sturdy old one (since they don't travel near as much anyway). It was a perfect plan… until I got this garbage instead:

Who are you! What did you do with my REAL backpack!?

I'm exaggerating calling it "garbage" of course, but it was a nasty surprise. Not that I hadn't seen a few reviews warning that there's a new model and it's inferior to the old ones, but the pictures on the website still show the old model and not the new one.

Here's an updated post with the CORRECT new backpack clearly displayed
(See online!)

It's not that the new backpack is really all that bad, but it's going to be a huge disappointment when you compare it to the old design when they knew what quality looked like. That's why I tried two separate times to get the real backpack and was fairly irked when I ended up with bait-and-switch for the new, stinky one. Apparently Targus used the exact same model number, but completely changed the quality which might not be intentional tomfoolery, but it does create confusion and disappointment regardless. When you see this backpack around, don't just assume you're getting the right one:

Are they real? Are they the fakes? There's no way to know.

Just be sure if you order one, check for the nice, solid, tubular handle and not the hand-destroying flat one. If you've got it, you're good. If not, return it or do a credit card chargeback for goods not as described.

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My own thoughts on Microsoft and companies like Google, Facebook and others. Is that they assume that most people won’t mind data being collected about their devices, themselves, or how they use these devices and services. These companies conveniently leave a legal out by offering users a option to turn off much of this but its clearly not by default and not clearly expressed or provided to the end user. Microsoft in my opinion did just fine for decades not collecting data unless a specific fault was detected. Then it ask the user if that user wanted to send information to Microsoft about that fault. The gain a solution or to report it as a bug. This really should be all that Microsoft needs to make Windows function properly. Collecting daily data is of little use unless Microsoft has other uses for it? I do find it interesting that more people find what Microsoft is collecting more disturbing then what Google or Facebook collects? This is a much broader problem then just with Microsoft. The EU seems far more intent on limiting data collection on users then the US. Unfortunately the US users seem to be the least protected in terms of privacy. Right now much of your privacy has to be controlled by you the user, and taking matters about privacy on your own. If your uncomfortable with what these companies collect, and they offer little in solutions to increase privacy. Your only option would be to stop using these companies products. This is hardly a great solution or one many can accept and live with. But until government steps in to curb these privacy issues. You will have to take steps on your own.

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