[nSLUG] Lapotops

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 20:52:11 ADT 2007

The statement doesn't have to be true all of the time to have merits.
So you lucked out.  Good for you. It doesn't always happen with new

I saw D620's come out 2 years ago, for which only the latest
revs of 2 distros would support immediately, and they didn't support
everything perfectly.  The other distros didn't have a kernel to support the
mobo chipset, so the installer was unable to see disk.  I also saw
Intel drag their feet and take 2 years to support the Centrino
wireless.  Even at that, Intel would not provide technical specs
to the programmer they hired to write driver support (he wrote me about that).

Again, it can be useful to not be cutting edge to get the best of
hardware support.

On 10/3/07, Ian Bezanson <irb at ianbezanson.ca> wrote:
> 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
> function.
> 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
> irb[at]ianbezanson[dot]ca
> 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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