tengel at sonic.net
Tue Apr 10 16:34:09 PDT 2001
"Loraditch, Greg" wrote:
> I have been looking at HP and IBM Thinkpads.
I've done a number of laptops, and really it's all about A) hardware,
and B) taste. First, decide if you like the little eraser stick pointer
(ala Thinkpad, Toshiba) or the synaptics/glidepoint (ala Dell)
touchpad. I personally like the touchpad. Some laptops have both (ala
HP, some Dell).
Then, check your laptop out on http://www.linux-laptop.net;
additionally, check for the hardware compatibility of your preferred
PCMCIA, primarily ethernet card at http://pcmcia-cs.sourceforge.net.
Some laptops are now coming with built in ethernet which is nice, but
not all of them work. Be careful. If you laptop can support a TypeIII
card (the two-slot-high cards), the 3Com 3C3FEM556C is a nice buy and
fully supported. Do not get confused and buy the 3C3FEM656C Cardbus
card, it looks identical but isn't supported. Generally any 3Com *556*
or *575* cards are good to go. I personally use Xircom type III cards
and spend way too much time debugging them.
Next would come your distro; an aversion to Debian has been noted, so I
would say RedHat6.2 or 7.0, Madrake 7.2 or 8.0 (8.0 TBA real soon) or
the like. I'm personally downloading the new Progeny 1.0 to try out for
end-user friendliness. The important thing mainly is to get a newer
distro which has either XFreee86-3.3.6 and/or XFree86-4.0.2.
There are three primary popular video chips: ATI (Rage|Mobility|etc.),
S3 Savage, and NeoMagic. The ATI chips are XF-3.3.6 required, S3 are
XF-4.0.2 required. NeoMagic can generally just work, but be careful
with the laptops which share the video and sound ram with dual Neo
chipsets. I generally avoid Neo stuff like the plague nowadays. I have
yet to see one of these NVidia chipset laptops, so no ideas there.
Your laptop sound chips vary with the wind; the Maestro 2/2E and Maestro
3/3E chips are rather popular by many vendors, and are both supported by
the latest 2.2.x (2.2.18 and 2.2.19 for sure) kernels, and by 2.4.2+ as
well. Again, the Neomagic sound chipset is out there but I avoid it.
There are some Yamaha chipsets floating around, but they're not very
battery efficient so aren't widely dispersed.
The rest of the crap in your latop should "just work", the video and
sound are your primary concerns with the ethernet coming in right
behind. If you need a modem, you're on your own -- I use one as little
as possible these days. :-) (However, the 3C3FEM556C noted above has
everything you need, but is pricey at ~$210)
Another ramble from:
Troy Engel :: KeyID DF3D5207
Perl is just another tool in the Unix toolbox. Perl does one thing,
and it does it well: it gets out of your face. - Larry Wall
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