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Re: Help selecting used laptop and peripherals to run debian woody

On Tue, Jun 17, 2003 at 01:17:06PM -0400, Pierre B wrote:
> I've been asked to help someone select and  buy a second hand
> laptop and install debian (woody) on it.
> I'm seeking advice concerning both trouble free installation,
> and, more importantly, trouble free use.
>   Laptops to favour.
>   Laptops to avoid.
>   Features to favour.
>   Features to avoid.
>   Peripherals to favour.
>   Peripherals to avoid.
>   Faults to be aware of.
>   Considerations that are not obvious to someone
>   who is experienced installing debian, redhat, mandrake and
>   windows, but only on desktops?
>   For context, the requirement is more for mobility and small
>   footprint inside the building rather than frequent travel.
>   Items of importance to user:
>     Gnome desktop, Mozilla browser, Mozilla mail.

I've had a few different laptops in the past and worked on a few more at
a previous job where I had to get Linux running on a wide variety of IBM
Thinkpads and Dell's.  The ThinkPads I favor are the T series including
the T20 and T21.  I know these are older but they have some of the
nicest video and sound and I think they are very well supported now.
For me, if I were to purchase a second laptop I would get a ThinkPad T21
with a PIII 700mhz, 40g hard disk drive, and 512mb of memory.  Its video
card is very capable of providing a good looking display using whatever
window manager/desktop environment suits your fancy.  The price point is
very good on these laptops now also.  The sound cards in the T21 seemed 
to be very good.  Some would say these are old and they are.  But they
run Linux very well and the display is crisp and clean and sound is

I am using a Dell Inspiron I4100 now with good luck.  It had issues 
with apm at first but I went through the bios upgrade thing and 
everything works on it now.  My take on the Dells is to look at the
components carefully. But that's true with any laptops you consider.
With that in mind, there are several issues to 
confront and to look at the laptop on:

1) sound - what sound card?  is it supported?  with what drivers?
2) video - what card?  under native X? CVS X? 
3) networking - what integrated PCI card?  what pcmcia controller?

There are probably others and one other that seems important with the
non-legacy laptops these days in ACPI/APM.

Someone else suggested the Linux on Laptops website.  I would
definitely check out possible laptops against that resource.

Michael Perry | Do or do not. There is no try. -Master Yoda
mperry@lnxpowered.org | http://www.lnxpowered.org

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