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I love the smell of cat urine in the morning
October 30, 2013 2:54 PM   Subscribe

BBC: A number of Dell users have complained that their Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks "smell of cat urine" ... Another customer, Hoteca, said: "I thought for sure one of my cats sprayed it, but there was something faulty with it so I had it replaced. The next one had the same exact issue. It's embarrassing taking it to clients because it smells so bad." Other users said they had blamed their cats for the smell.

"The smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard," Dell support technician SteveB said. The problem was related to the manufacturing process, and had now been resolved, he said.

Consumerist: First, Dell told them to try cleaning it with a soft cloth. That didn’t work. Then they suggested compressed air, but as the complaints of laptops with keyboards and track pads that smelled exactly like cat urine piled up, Dell was forced to admit there was a problem.

PC World: Buyers of the Latitude E6430u started stinking up the Dell forums with complaints about the notebook's suspiciously feline-like stench all the way back in June. Dell support first suggested removing the Latitude's keyboard and cleaning underneath, as well as blowing both the keyboard and vents with compressed air.

Things other peoples laptops smell of include burning, burning hair, beer, melted chocolate, more beer, cherries, and from Ask MetaFilter, barbecue sauce.

n.b. Smartphone users can now choose to enjoy the smell of bacon.
posted by Wordshore (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
My laptop smells like the IT storeroom at work, so pretty much like despair.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:01 PM on October 30, 2013 [16 favorites]


I get the same nauseating sensation when I visit Dell's web site.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:03 PM on October 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


So began the Curse of Ben Curtis.
posted by kewb at 3:06 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought DELL laptops just smelled of quiet desperation.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:21 PM on October 30, 2013


"The smell is not related to cat urine or any other type of biological contaminant, nor is it a health hazard,"

If there's anyone you can trust with your health, it's Dell's tech support.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:21 PM on October 30, 2013 [20 favorites]


This is better than the vomit smell that comes from some plastics. I'm waiting for a vastly more informed MeFite to show up with words like "butyric" and "pfalates."
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:22 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I once had a Mac laptop that made moo-ing sounds, but at least it didn't smell like cow shit.
posted by w0mbat at 3:26 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yep, definitely butyrics and pfalates.
posted by orme at 3:27 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


that's phthalates!
posted by echo target at 3:27 PM on October 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Dude, it's a smell!
posted by jamaro at 3:32 PM on October 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


Here is the original thread
posted by bdz at 3:37 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Canadian $100 dollar bills smell like maple syrup. They deny it, but it's true.
posted by antiquated at 3:44 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I bet Mr. Muffinpants down in Quality Assurance is going to get the axe
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:51 PM on October 30, 2013 [18 favorites]


My old Star Wars VHS smelled like pickles.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:06 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


My keyboard smells like pizza because when I am alone I eat like an angry gorilla.
posted by elizardbits at 4:06 PM on October 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


That Dell thread bdz linked is pretty funny.
posted by christopherious at 4:12 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


A co-worker and I were speculating on how the tier 1 support calls must have gone for this issue.

"Hello sir, my name is Tommy, how may I help you today?"

"Well, uh, my new laptop... smells like cat pee."

*pause*

"Yes, sir, I understand you're having a problem with your new laptop. Are you certain the laptop is plugged in, sir?"

"Um..."

"All right, can I have you power off the laptop and restart, sir?"
posted by trunk muffins at 4:16 PM on October 30, 2013 [17 favorites]


Some iBook keyboards of a certain vintage--I speak from experience--stank of stale sweat after being used for some time. Certain types of plastic do this, apparently, as the rubber sealing the mailboxes in an apt. bldg. in which I'd previously lived emitted the same reek.

I wrote to Apple, and I (like a flock of other people from what I gathered) received a new, non-reeking keyboard. So, I might take cat urine over BO.
posted by the sobsister at 4:38 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


A previous ask whereupon I encountered another case of stinky Chinese plastic...
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:18 PM on October 30, 2013


My Microsoft Surface keyboard also smelled like cat pee when I first got it. It must be made of the same offensive plastic. Fortunately the smell dissipated after a couple months. I am glad it was a rarely-used development machine and not my daily driver.
posted by foobaz at 5:21 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


My parents have (or had for many years, not sure if they got rid of them) a garland of plastic beads for their christmas tree that smells like this. We even called them "The Cat Pee Beads". If I were a better writer, I'd have a good xmas story that incorporates decorating the tree, and the person that unknowingly got the box with the cat pee beads in them choking on the stench upon opening. You see, whoever got to them on teardown of the tree would toss the beads in a random box or tub, burying them in the contents, so as to prank whoever got it next year.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:17 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


As I mentioned in last week's Sonic Youth post, my "Daydream Nation" CD smelled like patchouli for years. No explanation.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:21 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Users should check to make sure that they are not sitting in a boxwood grove while using the machine.
posted by Morrigan at 7:02 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is more than likely explained by the well-known practice of lab techs spraying motherboards as a way of marking territory.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:32 PM on October 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


That smell-o-vision phone gadget is pretty spectacular. Enjoy the new sensation of playing with the aroma at any time anywhere!
posted by 23 at 7:36 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dude, you're gettin' a smell!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:02 PM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


I had a set of Craftsman clear-handled screwdrivers that smelled like vomit. Apparently this is common.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:14 PM on October 30, 2013


sobsister, you've just made my day. I thought the ideopathic BO funk coming from my Macbook keyboard was my fault.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:15 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


No amount of compressed air is going to help the awful stench coming from the keyboard

Feliway maybe?
posted by Pudhoho at 8:56 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


My mom's MacBook smelled like cat pee for a while, mostly because the cat peed in it. He was the most accomplished passive-aggressive pisser I've ever met. I'd pour one out for him, but he's probably peed in my booze from beyond the grave.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:47 AM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have they checked for feral toms in the factory?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:20 AM on October 31, 2013


i lurvs me some pfalatio.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:26 AM on October 31, 2013


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