lazy saturday notebook comparo (long)
I can't resist wading into this silly discussion. If you care about
MacOS or Windows, my opinions are worthless, just hit delete now.
The thing is, x86 laptop prices capabilities are far in excess of
apple's meager offerings. I just went to dell.com and configured an
inspiron 4000 with:
* 1GHz P3
* 512MB memory
* 59Whour battery
* 30GB hard drive
* 1400x1050 14.1" screen (sorry tibook)
* aty128 w/8MB memory (agp4x I think)
* combo dvd/cdrw drive
* modem and ethernet 10/100 built in
* free lexmark32 printer, or palm m100, or umax 3400 USB scanner
$2926.00USD, $2876.00 after $50 mail in rebate.
I went to store.apple.com and configured a tibook with the memory
and disk, and this is what I got:
* pretty much the same as above except a much slower processor,
* dell is 66% bigger display (exact same video cntr, btw)
* only one pcmcia/cardbus slot. bummer.
* built in firewire; not working yet under linux
* .47" thinner, but .75" wider!
* 8 ounces less weight
* a coupon to mail in after you get your tibook
to get a free external firewire cdrw drive
(allow 10 weeks for delivery)
$3999USD (that includes the $200 for memory upgrade savings, or, a
full $1100 more expensive)
That $1100 buys a lot of firewire cardbus cards, not that Linux can
Now, when it comes to the iBook2,
A Dell Inspriron 2100:
700MHz P3 (w/ SpeedStupid (tm))
external combo dvd/cdrw drive
1024x768 12.1" video
30GB hard drive
free palm m100 or lexmark32 printer or umax 3400 usb scanner
$2227 after $100 mail in rebate.
combo drive internal, I think
$2200 after $100 memory upgrade special
Sell the m100 on ebay to pay for shipping and price difference.
One thing to note is that the Dells come with 1 year warrantee that
costs $250 on the apples and is 3 years.
Now, onto which computer should you buy? ~:^)
I think people don't consider enough the coolness factor of the
iBook2. It is plenty fast enough, except for compiling +large+
chunks of software. If you are building a kernel once or twice a
week, no big deal at all. Take a deep breath, get some coffee,
write that long notebook comparo email, whatever, it's not bad. As
for regular apps, its more than adequate, in fact, I'd say it's even
snappy. Plenty fast enough for the normal work apps or playing
mp3s, surfing, etc. And the coolness factor can't be beat: you've
got a very small, cool looking notebook with XGA resolution (not
huge, but enough to keep you sane) that does everything, and doesn't
look like every freakin' notebook on the planet. This counts for
200-300 MHz at least, trust me. If you do happen to come across
someone else with one, chances are VERY slim they'll be running
Linux, and, if you did it right, ~:^), your desktop will look WAY
more beautiful than the MockOS one.
The last time I flew on business, my desktop alone kept the 50+ year
old executive sitting next to me with his double-the-price IBM
laptop bubbling for the whole 2 hour flight. That and the fact that
I didn't have to reboot even once, the entire time, and that when I
closed the lid it actually slept correctly without crashing, several
times. His failed to do it even once (it woke up, but then some of
the apps were misbehaving -- reboot!).
I'd get an ibook2 for work in a second, as long as I had a build
server to do the compiles on, mostly because it's a rare job indeed
that you compile things for the PPC target. Now, if I had a job
were I needed to compile things for PPC, that would be a REALLY cool
job. ~:^) For home, I use my laptop (750MHz speedstupid) for
EVERYTHING, including building kernels for three mipsel machines and
it fairly rips on kernel builds and whatnot. The 1400x1050 screen
is amazing. Dell sells a laptop with a 16x12 screen if you can
believe it. I was fairly underwhelmed by the tibook I looked at it
in the store. Strangely wide, and disappointing screen resolution.
The ibook2 is cool looking and not strangely shaped. The fastest
laptop I know of is the compaq 1ghz athlon. But I severely hate