In October 2002, I was joking at the fact that Dell sells the same computer hardware with a slightly different casing for a lot more dollars. Well, it turns out that this is even more true than I imagined.
I discovered this because I wanted to buy a docking station for my Inspiron 8200, but couldn't find one at an affordable price. While at the same time, many companies on the web sell refurbished Latitude hardware for totally ridiculous amounts (and as you might guess, the Inspiron refuses to work when mounted on a Latitude station).
And then, I found this page which explains how to flash my laptop's BIOS to make it believe it is a Latitude C840. Following the steps detailed here, I could dock my laptop into a C/Port II that I bought for the shocking sum of 17, shipping included (I'm not kidding) !!.
But this is not all. For some reason, the graphics card in my laptop had previously melted. Very fortunately, I could find someone to sell me a used graphics card for the laptop. It happens that this new card if a Quatro, instead of a GeForce. Because of this, and because I have more than 512 Mb of RAM, the new BIOS believes the machine is now a Precision M50, the "ultra-high-end" "version" of this computer when they were released.
Apparently, these things are known facts, but it's always pleasant to perform a little magic on this kind of hardware. This laptop is now used as a desktop computer, except that it's a lot more silent than the latest bunch of PCs :-)