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Re: Best Laptop?

   > Hi,
   > I'm new to the list (a few days), and I'm sure you get this question 
   > often, but I figured I'd ask for some advice. I'm about to buy a new 
   > laptop, and would like to maximize the hardware that will work, and 
   > minimize the gotchas. I've been perusing linuxhardware.net a fair 
   > bit, and there is good info, but, of course it's a bit old - and I'm 
   > looking at mid-high range laptops - so they've got lots of newish 
   > hardware.
   > Right now, I'm thinking primarily of getting a Dell Lattitude CPx or 
   > Inspiron 8000, or a Sony Vaio PCG.

Our company has recently purchased 3 Dell Lattitude CPx's (and has 2 CPi's).
There have been two linux compatibility problems, and one hardware fault.
(Not a realistically good result, but we're happy with the machines,
and the on-site warranttee has paid for itself.)

We are using Debian as our linux distribution (2.2.17 kernel be default)

Compatibiity Problems:
Sound (unsolved): The CPx's use the Ensonic 3i, which is only just 
  seeing linux support.

Video (seem to be solved): The Video chip is the ATI Rage Mobility
  (mach32).  The new XFree86 4.? solved a problem that we had here with
  stippling on the right hand side of the screen.. this only occured with
  the accellerated server.

Hardware Fault:
  Something went wrong in the PCMCIA slot on one of the machines. 
  In the install, the only sign that there was something wrong was 
  that the Debian system wouldn't recognise the Xircom Realport card.
  We managed to get passed any 'we don't support Linux' response 
  from DELL, by being able to show that everything worked on the 
  other identical machine (including the PCMCIA card).

  They replaced the 'motherboard' and that fixed the problem.

Other Problems:
  BIOS entry from Linux.  This is related to the suspend query below.
  When entering any of the BIOS functions (via the Fn Key) the first 
  system had a tendency to hang.  This seems to be fixed somewhat with 
  later version of the BIOS.. but I couldnt say for sure.

Things yet to findout/do..
- How the irDA port works.  I would like to get it to talk to my
  Nokia phone.

- Suspend.  There is a suspend to 'ram' which works (apm -s), but 
  expect problems if you try it inside of X.  Also PCMCIA/Cardbus has
  problems when returning from a suspend mode.

Other than these issues.. we're quite happy.

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