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Re: advice on a portable

On Thu, 30 Jul 1998, Chris Evans wrote:

> Anyone spare a moment to recommend a good portable on which 
> to run Debian?
> I am changing jobs to a split job and can order a portable.  I do 
> research support as well as psychotherapy (weird huh?!) and am 
> transferring from windoze/M$ to Debian.  I will have to retain a dual 
> boot on the machine and it will need to run stats packages 
> (R/Xlispstat under Debian) as well as TeX etc, etc.  I am thinking in 
> terms of a fairly high spec. machine with a large disc, perhaps 
> ideally the option to put another disc in.  It'll need a CDROM and 
> ideally some SCSI connection for tape/zip/scanner.  It'll also need 
> to take a modem and ethernet connector (probably simple 10Mbit 
> UTP cabling onto a TCP/IP Windoze NT network in at least one 
> site).

I hesitate to answer as I do not yet have direct experience with a laptop
and Debian (or Linux) but I have just gone through the process of research
and am somewhat familiar with some of the resources available.  There is a
lot of information out on the Web about this.  

I'm buying 5 laptops for a networking lab I'm putting together at work.  I
will run Debian on them when I get them.  I selected a Hitachi VisionBook
Pro 7560.  I wanted a 13" XGA TFT display for the brightness and size and
wanted everything else to be as fast (CPU, modem) or big (RAM, hard disk)
as I could afford.  Unfortunately, my budget was small and I couldn't
afford much, so the Hitachi was a compromise.  I probably would have gone
with an IBM ThinkPad if money was no object, but all of this is VERY

The main issue seems to be the video hardware.  There weren't any X
servers written for some of the chips such as the NeoMagic, which are used
in a lot of laptops (although this may be inaccurate now, NeoMagic chips
might be starting to be supported). The Chips & Technologies video chips
are well supported and I constrained my search to those. 

Your best bet I think is to look around the Web a bit.  I would also try
to spend a little time with your candidate laptops (like in a store or
somewhere) if you can, I've found that the input devices on laptops seem
to be very different in feel and IMHO is a big delineator in the
usefulness of the machine.  Some of the button oriented pointing devices
are really lousy as are some keyboards, but this again is VERY subjective.
Some of the references I used were:


And there are a lot more.  Good hunting...

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