And oh, in case you’re wondering: why did I even initially have a personal ban on buying Sony products, even before buying the Vaio? Well, because they break, of course! The fact that they take awesome new technologies and completely flub them up by finding a way to make them crappy and proprietary and expensive did not play into that ban.
An example of Sony ruining and setting back a technology was with the MiniDisc. That was the first release of Magneto-Optical technology on the consumer level, something we know in today's much different incarnation as RW or ReWritable optical drives. They purposely made the MiniDisc to NOT be reverse-compatible with CD's, then made the disc so tiny that it only contained one or two hundred megabytes, with just a little rim of writable media surrounding the spindle hole. Think around the size of those 3" mini-CD's, but I think this was even smaller at only 2.5". They must have realized there wasn't enough data on there to usefully store music, so they invented a horrible proprietary compression technology called ATRAC, when superior codecs were available (and no codec was even needed--they could have matched CD format--but they had a fetish with 'small').
Actually, that is indirectly ON-topic because this is an optical drive forum. The whole Sony MiniDisc debacle set back ReWritable Audio CD's and decks LITERALLY by a decade. It finally happened, but was quickly overwhelmed by CD-RW drives (too little too late).
And MD's, purposely designed to have crappy sound (they never claimed "CD quality sound, nor could they) to somehow intentionally market to consumers, ironically ended up being used primarily by radio stations to replace "Cart" systems (like a mono 1-track form of 8-track cassettes) for commercials (where MD was nevertheless a huge step up in sound quality and convenience). I.e. MD was intentionally created as to have it NOT be appropriate for professional recorders--Sony didn't want to cut into the DAT market (another good technology destroyed by idiots--expensive/sensitive rotating head like VHS?!), which itself also unthinkable was originally designed to be a consumer-only solution, but was "too good", not to mention too expensive ($600-$1200 for a portable recorder?!).
[OT] The idiots at Sony oughta be slapped upside the head. They make beautiful LCD displays, but that doesn't satisfy my resentment for them over so many devices I've bought of theirs over the years, literally none of which are still in service. I have a fantasy of being able to salvage the 15" LCD from my Vaio laptop & convert it to an XGA monitor, but I have no idea how to do this. I can't even sell the proprietary DVD-ROM drive because it died before the thing even went out of warranty, and I didn't send it in because they would have reloaded that ridiculously-formatted OS image, erasing my data. They do that partially to discourage people like me--they won't even talk to you unless you erase your drive. I couldn't remove the incredibly awful, noisy fujitsu HDD because they used overtightened jewler's screws, not regular-sized screws, so tight I could not get them undone with my jewler's screwdrivers and even ended up stripping a few. A gunsmith friend finally liberated it, after the total death when there was nothing to lose, and I got my data. Obviously, I am not happy... [/OT]