[Techtalk] Laptop recommendations?

Lothan lothan at newsguy.com
Thu Jan 24 00:23:10 EST 2002

The company I work for just invested in a bunch of IBM Thinkpads and
they seem to be fairly decent. They've certainly been holding together
fairly well with rugged use. I especially like the 'button' mouse
sitting in the middle of the keyboard. They all run Windows 2000, but it
looks like it should be a piece of cake to install Linux. These don't
have modems, so I'm not sure if they come with yucky Winmodems or not.

I personally use a Dell Inspiron 8000 with a 15-inch display and love
it. The one drawback with my laptop is that it's not something you'd
want to lug around constantly -- it's fairly heavy and larger compared
to most laptops but it fits my needs perfectly. I decided to purchase
this particular model purely for performance reasons. I'm a programmer
and wanted something I could carry with me instead of being chained to a
desktop. My first 'upgrade' was to remove the floppy drive and install a
second battery and boost the memory to 256MB. (Dell wanted way too much
for additional memory so I picked up two 128MB notebook SIMMs for $30 at
Best Buy.) The batteries last about 6 hours. I have Windows XP, Project,
Visio, SQL Server and Visual Studio on one partition; the other is
Redhat Linux, MySQL and Apache. (I've yet to find anything that quite
comes close to Project and Visio for Linux, though I'm certainly open to
suggestions...) It has both the 'button' mouse in the keyboard and a
touchpad below the base and the keyboard is almost full-size.

A friend just purchased one of the new Dell notebooks that is absolutely
tiny. I instantly fell in love with it the first time I used it, but I
wouldn't want to use it everyday due to the small display.

One caveat here: I'm a complete fanatic of BIG displays... I want at
least 1024x768; preferably 1280x1024. I like having at least enough
space on the desktop to layout two or three applications simultaneously;
there's nothing quite like having database diagrams and component models
visible on the screen while whacking out code.

-----Original Message-----
From: techtalk-admin at linuxchix.org [mailto:techtalk-admin at linuxchix.org]
On Behalf Of Raven, corporate courtesan
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 9:18 AM
To: techtalk at linuxchix.org
Subject: [Techtalk] Laptop recommendations? (was: Random: MS problem,
Linux solution...)

Heya --

Quoth James (Tue, Jan 22, 2002 at 09:15:47PM -0500):
> It has one of those ridiculous touchpads (I use a USB mouse), which I
> hate, as my hands always accidentally touch it while typing and I
> delete half a page of work.

	I hate those too, for the exact same reason.  And it's getting
harder and harder to find laptops without them.  I greatly prefer a
trackball, but those are almost impossible to find nowadays.  Even the
little button-mice in the middle of the keyboard are better.

> sudo cat /dev/psaux > /dev/null &
> And it worked =)

	Neat; I wouldn't have thought of that.  Thanks, James.  I'm more
likely to get an external PS2 trackball, though, so I have to remember
not to shoot myself in the foot.

	In other news -- I will be getting a new laptop with my tax
return this year, and putting Debian on it.  Does anyone have
recommendations for laptops that they particularly like, or have worked
particularly well with Linux?  I'm trying to do some research in
advance.  I've had generally good luck in the past with Dells or with
IBM ThinkPads, but I've only helped friends with their installs.  I've
never gotten to keep the laptop, so I don't know what they're like to
actually run.

	A good network card is the most essential thing.  (90% of what
I'll be doing with it is remote administration, network pen testing, and
such.)  I don't much care about a nice graphics card (though it has to
be able to run 1024x768 X) or super-quality sound card.  Playing MP3s
would be good, but I can't even tell the difference between tape quality
and CD quality, so I'm not an audio snob.  Lots of hard drive space so I
can do forensics on the go would be nice, and lots of memory because I
generally have ten million xterms open at any one time.

	Any recommendations, horror stories, things to get, things to

Thanks in advance,
"Unrated beta feh. You are alpha bitch queen.  I am alpha bitch
 Mwa ha ha."
  -- Jalen, on pack dynamics
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