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Re: Best "new" laptop

>>>>> "Heather" == Heather  <star@starshine.org> writes:

    Heather> Anyways I have to agree that if you're buying from IBM - at least
    Heather> at the moment - you're at least supporting a company that cares
    Heather> somewhat about linux users' opinions.

You'd think so, eh?  Remember, we're talking about IBM, where the left hand
doesn't know what the right hand is doing. ;-)  (Anyone remember OS/2, and the
"support" it got from IBM's PC division?)

    Heather> x 1280x1024 resolution ... I'll settle for 1024x768 if the screen is
    Heather> 11" or smaller.  Let's just say I use lots of screen space.

Don't forget to make it a TFT screen.

    Heather> video chipset that is -actually- supported by X 4.  I'm strongly
    Heather> interested in moving that direction, but since my current systems
    Heather> work, I'm not terribly interested in half measures or putting up
    Heather> with bleeding-edge vendor bull.  Wish me luck.  I think this is my
    Heather> pickiest feature request.

All features of the chipset should be supported by X 4.  If it's supported, but
doesn't accelerate, it may be

  x 2 or more USB ports (without being
    Heather> USB floppy) - external floppy is fine by me, but it needs to be
    Heather> light so I don't feel I should get a midsize instead, considering
    Heather> that I *do* carry my peripherals a fair amount.  - firewire
    Heather> onboard the actual system.  x Memory is more important than CPU,
    Heather> after all, I live on a 233 MMX for goodness' sake.  Skipping
    Heather> stright to Crusoe is tempting tho...  * It had better be tough
    Heather> enough to take what I've put the magio through so far.  If that
    Heather> costs a few ounces, that's the way it is.  btw, I can get a
    Heather> milspec toughened "ultralight" (about 5 lbs after armor) for just
    Heather> over 4 grand, shock absorbent and the works, probably would take
    Heather> bullets and still work.  But the internal specs would be the same
    Heather> as my Magio.  Do you get the feeling their certification process
    Heather> is a mite slow?

    Heather> 		For the curious, the model is called the SCOUT2.

    Heather> 		On this criteria I'm considering the new Apple laptop -
    Heather> display models are supposed to arrive at MicroCenter within the
    Heather> next week or two.

    Heather>      * it has to have decent onboard disk space.  Or tell me the
    Heather> mm height required and if the machine is openable enough, I can
    Heather> fix that little problem on my own.  I had originally not thought
    Heather> much of this as firewire/usb extra storage is now easy to get and
    Heather> anyways, I have a PCMCIA/IDE controller bay.  But the fact is I do
    Heather> not usually carry this sort of peripheral except by appointment.
    Heather> So I'd rather 10Gb than 6, and more would increase my ability to
    Heather> treat it as my primary system.  20 Gb would probably be plenty.
    Heather> btw: best 9 mm drives, anyone?  criteria - well behaved, then
    Heather> capacity, then price.  I might just buy one of these and not
    Heather> bother with a new laptop yet.  * I prefer arrow keys in a T
    Heather> configuration.the ctrl key wider enough than the Fn key that I can
    Heather> feel the difference before hitting it, backslash above the Enter
    Heather> key/below the backspace, and Esc at the furthest top left.  This
    Heather> is the current case on my desktop keyboard and the magio, and I'd
    Heather> rather not have to fight with my own fingers.

    Heather> Ignoring: - trackpoint/eraserhead vs glidepad.  All mice suck, but
    Heather> I only care that it is responsive enough I don't feel forced to
    Heather> get an external.  - dock.  I have too many possible 'home sites'
    Heather> to put up with dock shenanigans, the connectors get beat up, and
    Heather> features that only exist at home are not worth a whole lot to me.
    Heather> Gimme real video connectors on the machine, USB and cardbus and
    Heather> I'll never need docks.

    Heather> Any of the regulars can tell you I'm pretty fond of my present
    Heather> system but, I'm doing a bit more dev and web work, I could stand a
    Heather> newer CPU.

    Heather> Hopefully these considerations will lead me to more than 3 models,
    Heather> because my eyeballs have gotten picky, and I do have small hands,
    Heather> but there are limits.

    Heather> I picked up a copy of the latest LAPTOPS magazine, which also had
    Heather> some good articles.  (That's where I read about the Orinoco gadget
    Heather> for instance.  And some james bond/MI:2 style glasses-shaped
    Heather> monitor.  But I digress.)

    Heather> Of *course* right when I'd like to have it at hand it's gone
    Heather> missing.  But what I really bought the mag for is the chart in the
    Heather> back.  It's not much, but it is a better effort towards noting
    Heather> some chipset details than you'll get at your CompUSA or Fry's.
    Heather> What's important is that there is that, and there are two columns
    Heather> which will help you narrow down things a lot: its claimed weight,
    Heather> and the screen size.  If you select out everything that weighs
    Heather> less than 4.5 pounds (where 6 to 7 is average for your "brick"
    Heather> style powerhouse laptop, and 8 actually not uncommon), then start
    Heather> moving upwards from the smaller screen sizes eliminating them by
    Heather> any other misfeatures. (For ex, the Cassiopeia at 1.8 pounds, is a
    Heather> wince machine, the lince thing might be fun for some, but I'm not
    Heather> going there yet.)

    Heather> Anyways I actually did this sort of thing enough to have written
    Heather> little plus and minus signs at one edge, and I have a happy face
    Heather> mark on a few of them to tell me to check those out in more
    Heather> detail.  I really wish I could find it now.  I bet it's in the
    Heather> car.

    Heather> I am *deeply* considering just laying out a web page with a grid
    Heather> by features so I have someplace to put my notes as I discover
    Heather> chipset data.  These darn magazine charts don't cut it and vendor
    Heather> specsheets are worse.

    Heather> Comments other than "star, you type too much" welcome.

    Heather> * Heather Stern * star@ many places...

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