[nSLUG] Lapotops

Ian Bezanson irb at ianbezanson.ca
Wed Oct 3 09:08:13 ADT 2007

I'm not sure that I'd agree with the statement "...stay back from the latest 
models...".  I've got a brand new Dell Latitude D630 that has the newest of 
everything.  As long as you are patient with your google searches, you should 
be able to get everything working on your system with minimal effort.

The one thing that I will note is (specific to (K)Ubuntu) that you'll need to 
use the Alternate CDs when installing linux onto your new system.  I've got a 
SATA drive in my system, so the normal CDs caused issues, but installation 
w/the Alternate CDs went off fairly straightforward.

Find the model you want to buy, pick a distro and spend some time on google to 
see the ins and outs of that model.  Chances are that someone else has come 
across any issues with that setup, and found out how to make the hardware 

I think that staying away from the latest top-end hardware is simply going to 
leave you with a laptop that you'll want to replace sooner.

Just my two cents...

Ian Bezanson

On Tuesday 02 October 2007 21:13:27 D G Teed wrote:
> I have evaluated laptops for my work and a fussy bunch of users
> who expect every piece of hardware to work.  It is not a simple
> thing.  First off, stay back from the latest models carrying
> the very latest chipsets, as there is typically a lag between
> kernel support appearing and the newest video, SATA,
> ethernet and other hardware support.
> Typically modems and wireless, and sometimes video,
> require a proprietary driver to support them.  NDISwrapper
> sometimes works but it is very iffy.  One model I worked
> on would freeze constantly with NDISwrapper
> if the BIOS was powered on with battery power.
> Based on that, I would seek native drivers or drivers
> from the hardware vendor such as Intel's proprietary driver.
> Keep in mind that your kernel upgrades are going to have
> tight dependancies on the additional drivers you can get, and
> it may mean staying back to whatever Intel or nVidia or
> whoever can support.
> Certification means very little.  All models I evaluated were said
> to be Suse certified, but when I lookup the details on the report,
> they have several caveats, such as CD-RW failures, etc.
> I think the model gets a pass if you can complete the
> install, and get video and sound working.
> Power management is another area needing research, if it is
> important to you.  Typically getting suspend to ram to run
> well and not hang the machine on resume is something
> taking some efforts to perfect, if it is possible.
> Before and after buying, visiting the resource of
> Linux on Laptops:  http://www.linux-laptop.net/
> is useful to research what others got working and how.
> --Donald
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