[thechat] laptops for linux

John Handelaar john at userfrenzy.com
Mon Nov 7 21:55:37 CST 2005

Judah McAuley wrote:
> I'm planning on buying a laptop soon and am pondering what sort of setup 
> I want. I've gone round and about with the Powerbook/OSX vs PC/Linux 
> debate and while I generally like OS X and the Powerbook, I'm currently 
> pricing comparable Dell Inspirons and Powerbooks and the Powerbook is 
> coming out $700 more. I'd accept a little price difference, but that is 
> just too much.

I recently "acquired" a Dell Latitude D505 which came from Dell Outlet.
Super-cheap.  (Back when I had to buy PCs for a 150-person company we
opted never to go for a warranty longer than a year though - on the numbers
we found that if it doesn't die in 6 months it probably never will.  YMMV
of course.)

Ironically it crashed like a three-wheeled stock car every 10 minutes
or so under XP, Dell drivers, OEM OS version and all.

Ubuntu, on the other hand, picked up all the hardware, sound and all,
with no effort whatsoever (except the winmodem, which I don't care about
anyway).  Even goes into standby when I close the lid.

A person could use kubuntu on this if desired, but tbh if I wanted program
menus with thousands of entries on a butt-ugly silver theme, I'd have left
XP on it...

(Less snarkily, if I really did want KDE I'd install Ubuntu anyway and then
just fire 'apt-get install kubuntu-base' from the shell.)

New Ubuntu's nice, anyway.  I did install gcc-3.3 (it comes with 4.0)
and chuck a ntpdate restart into cron.hourly to stop the clock drifting,
though.  Let's not kid ourselves -  *all* Linuces suck arse at handling
sound, but it's no worse than anyone else [1] at that and better than most.


[1]  Except SuSe.  SuSe's got kernel work which makes it good at sound. *So*
      not worth giving up apt for, though.

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