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  1. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    There are a bunch of dual core laptops leading the 'holideal' list right now, but little is being said about Linux compatibility... what a missed opportunity!

    A quick glance at some distro forums shows the 'usual suspects' still struggling with wireless, printers, dialup modems, and DVDs.

    Anybody been there, done that- bought a current 'deal' laptop and loaded a distro that just ran right onto the internet?
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  2. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ahhaa


    A quick glance at some distro forums shows the 'usual suspects' still struggling with wireless, printers, dialup modems, and DVDs.
    Most of the latest "deal" laptops are using the same standard chipsets. The manufacturers have access to the same XP and Vista drivers and have tested and integrated them

    If you see problems with a Linux distro with one of them you are likely to have problems with ALL of them. This of course also means you need to factor out reports due to "****pit" error.

    Putting a Linux distro on a PC is the equivalent of being your own General Contractor, are you capable of serving this role?
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  3. Member mats.hogberg's Avatar
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    ...or buy an Asus Eee. Comes with Linux preinstalled, but can also run XP.
    Up there high on my wish list.

    /Mats
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  4. Member GMaq's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I dual boot XP and Linux on a 2.0ghz Core-Duo Dell INSPIRON 9400 laptop, I have evaluated several distros and it's hard to beat Ubuntu or it's derivatives like Mint etc. Everything including Wi-fi works out of the box with Ubuntu including the media buttons on the front of the lid. OpenSUSE 10.3 also had great hardware support but I had to use the onboard LAN to track down a Wifi driver. If you are new to Linux, Ubuntu 7.10 is a good place to start.

    I will forewarn you that there is a lot of old and erroneous Linux info in forums out there. Linux is developing so rapidly right now that even info that is 6 months old is probably outdated.

    Windows zealots (as opposed to Windows users) like to spout volumes of pure nonsense about hardware compatibility and God forbid "using the terminal". Just remember Linux Desktop OS's are a grassroots community driven effort for the most part, the better the community the better your experience will probably be.

    If you are looking at the latest in Laptop technologies it would probably be safe to say that WiFi would be the biggest challenge. I would really recommend Intel or Nvidia before ATI for a Video Adaptor. Nvidia released their source code a lot sooner than ATI did. ATI support has come leaps and bounds but Nvidia and Intel have almost Universal support in Linux.

    As far as DVD work goes, I can back-up even Arccos encrypted DVD's and encode them to whatever format I want just as easily on both platforms. There are many great Video tools in Linux with more being released every day, I still prefer Windows myself for restoration work and NLE Editing, but everything else is equal on both platforms.

    Best of luck with your laptop shopping, the best way to know if Linux will cut it is to try a few distros on a LiveCD, www.distrowatch.com is a goldmine of links to various distros and their LiveCD's
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  5. Banned
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    Here at work we use Ubuntu on a lot of desktops because it's ridiculously easy to install. We had some sound card issues under Red Hat and the same cards worked flawlessly under Ubuntu. There are things I don't like about Ubuntu (it isolates you from the root login), but it does seem to be an excellent choice if you want to get Linux working on a generic desktop.

    Wireless, printers, DVDs and dialup modems may or may not be issues on any Linux distro depending on a variety of factors.
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  6. Member mats.hogberg's Avatar
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    I'll second (third) Ubuntu 7.10
    By far the best Linux dist I've tried to date.
    When I must, I run a Tiny XP in VirtualBox - faster than I ran XP natively on the very same box (at least it seems to!).
    Still struggling to get my Hauppauge 250 card on line, but even my DVB-T USB stick works better than it ever did on XP with the bundeled software.
    WLAN, printer, disks (full NTFS r/w support) - it just works! I'm truly amazed.
    But I'd be interested in knowing what Arccos defeating Linux ripper GMaq has found - I'm still doing those with my VirtualBoxed XP.

    /Mats
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  7. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    There hasn't been a post by a windows zealot on this thread yet.

    There also doesn't seem to be a post from someone who has used Linux on a modern laptop.

    I would suspect that the OP knows more about what people has encountered running Linux on one of holiday deal machines than any other poster so far.

    I suggest that he generalize what he has read to determine which, if any, Linux distro might work.

    With respectably configured laptops having reached as low as $350 this season, with Vista, I also wonder why anyone who has not experienced problems with Windows software would go through the effort of changing the O/S on a new system.
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  8. Member GMaq's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    There hasn't been a post by a windows zealot on this thread yet.

    There also doesn't seem to be a post from someone who has used Linux on a modern laptop.
    OK,
    I'm thankful there are no zealots of any stripe on this thread (yet). To clarify it wasn't my intention to step on toes or start a flame war, I have seen too many threads with a Windows user casually curious about Linux degenerate into a mess of "OS Politics". My comments should be taken in the context of someone avoiding any kind of misinformation whether it be outdated forum threads, inaccurate hardware support (pro or con) and unfounded partisan opinions.

    As I'm sure you have seen having been around here for quite some time, usually the most vocal critics are the people with the least personal experience. I have been watching the recent Vista threads with interest as well as an observer, and the harshest comments are usually from those not familiar with it.

    As far as "modern laptops" go mine is only a year and a half old, many of the specs on the real bargain ones are similar to the hardware on mine, only running Vista. I personally don't know Vista from a hole in the ground so I certainly wouldn't advise someone to take it or to leave it. I would guess as you have already observed that the best bargains are older chipset technology that should be very compatible with the freshest versions of Linux.

    Another improvement in Linux as of late is much better and easier ways to install a dual boot without ruining your MBR, this has been an issue in the past, but the same cautionary measures should be taken whether you are dual booting Windows with Windows or Windows with Linux.
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  9. Always Watching guns1inger's Avatar
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    Dual booting Vista and Linux can be a pain with Vista already installed. Dual booting with XP and most major distros is a doddle.

    And I agree with GMaq on the specs. Most cheaper laptops have 12 month old hardware, so current releases (Ubuntu 7.10, for example) should have few, if any problems. If you have a second computer then finding solutions and drivers, if required, won't be a problem if the laptop decides not to boot first time out.

    You can also download "Live" versions of most major distros, so take a couple with you and see how the laptops handle them. Any really major problems will show up pretty much straight away. Anything smaller can most likely be fixed with a little googling and forum work.
    Read my blog here.
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  10. Member mats.hogberg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by guns1inger
    You can also download "Live" versions of most major distros
    That's how (my ver at least) Ubuntu 7.10 works. Boot from the CD, give it a spin, and once you've found you like it, click the Install icon on the desktop. Couldn't have been simpler.

    /Mats
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    Christmas is nice like that.
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  12. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Well, haven't found any clear sign of any real contender. I have to disagree a bit about the Live CD trials; they rarely allow a test of the most problematic issues without a full installation, which with Vista can be nervewracking. For example, Kubuntu 7.1 requires a file to be installed on the HD to initialize dialup; and the media player won't release the Live CD drawer so that's out... Ubuntu users are focussing on Dell/Compaq, which is good.

    Just fyi, I found this truly sad alert on the Ubuntu forum:

    ATTENTION ALL USERS: Malicious Commands
    I'd like to take a moment of your time to discuss a recent disturbing trend the staff has been noticing on the forums, and also take this as an opportunity to raise awareness of this situation through education.

    We've recently had an increase in the number of dangerous commands being posted on the forums. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean -- commands that cause massive damage or disruption to the user's computer.

    I'd just like to caution those thinking of doing this that UbuntuForums has a strict zero-tolerance policy when it comes to posting dangerous commands. If you post one of them, particularly in a support thread disguised as advice, expect to be instantly and permanently BANNED, at the account, e-mail, IP, or ISP level. I do not care about intent -- if you mean it as a joke, it is not funny. If you mean it as a lesson, go teach it somewhere else. This behavior is absolutely against the Forum Guidelines and Ubuntu Code of Conduct.

    I'd also like to remind users to be cautious when someone tells you to run some command or download some script as a solution to your problem. When in doubt as to the safety of the procedure, it's always a good idea to wait for more opinions, and/or have the command explained to you and verify if the explanation makes sense by consulting readily available documentation on Linux commands (such as manpages). No matter how hard we try to stay on top of all posts in realtime, we are not perfect.

    Regards, The UbuntuForums Staff.

    Again, these are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted on a computer that has any physical connection to valuable data -- many of them will even cause damage from a LiveCD environment.
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  13. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    almost forgot- there seems to be a sudden shutdown problem with the Walmart 'deal' Acer 5315; not related to Ubuntu, more here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=604158
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  14. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Acer Shutdown problem is related to not running Acer power management software.

    Since ubuntu can't run it, its part of the problem. The posts in the thread ahhaa linked to show some ubuntu version specific aspects of this as well.

    I guess Acer is not shipping commodity hardware. Not surprising, few major manufacturers do. But I guess controlling the fan makes a difference when you change the O/S. Its sort of like not having a fan driver.
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  15. XP has the same problem as well. You don't need to run the Acer software but some other software is necessary to start up the fan.

    "I agree with the quote. Why it happens? I found a reason. I installed Win XP SP2 and all drivers for hardware. But I did not install any acer's additional software. Than a put the laptop to standby mode, the fan shut off and never turned on again. But when I run CPUCooL program fan emediately started working. It means that the program was searching for CPU and for the fan status so the program turned on the fan. If I do not use CPUCool software computer shuts down after\ because of overheating. Conclusion: OS can not take care of fan. It should be run with some peace of additional software. May be I will find what peace of acer software will take care of it. And I will look for Linux solution because I like Ubuntu more than vista or XP"

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?s=d7126a1eb2fdf5718ee19485c9e1ed4b&t=604158&page=3

    Helps to read the thread.

    FYI I had problems installing win XP SP2 on my system. Install died when trying to configure the graphics driver. It tried to install an Nvidia driver. It would not install a generic VGA driver. So I had to find another system with an Nvidia graphics card running XP and then slipstreamed the XP install CD with the latest Nvidia driver and I was able to install XP.

    Suse 10.2 had no problem installing. Go figure.

    So yes Virgina you can have problems installing Windows too. :P
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  16. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    I read all of the posts.

    You can have problems installing any O/S if you don't have the right drivers.

    If you buy a manufactured system with an O/S installed, the probability of getting the right drivers for the hardware goes up enormously.

    If you build your own system, or change the O/S on a manufactured system you are the "general contractor" and you are responsible for getting all of the pieces it takes to work.

    Upgrading video or audio or any non-standardized system component -same issues.

    Some people have the skills to perform these actions, some do not. Some manufacturers provide tools to help you in some cases. Others do not. Vista upgrades were easier for owners of certain brands of system like Lenovo where the manufacturer provided all of the neccessary driver upgrades, and bios upgrades.

    For the most part, computer manufacturers do not provide support for Linux upgrades. The best you seem to get is one preconfigured distro per manufacturer. But I could be wrong - this is not an area which computer manufacturers promote their efforts.
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  17. Member GMaq's Avatar
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    @ahhaa

    Kubuntu is a KDE offshoot of Ubuntu, Although I don't use it myself I understand that it accesses Hard drives and CD/DVD devices using uuid's instead of the traditional addressing method, This can be a problem for some (NOT MOST)configurations.

    As far as the media player issue, there are dozens to choose from, some of which like (S)mplayer and VLC, are all available in Windows as well. Surely one player not executing a eject command when it's running from a LiveCD
    isn't grounds for writing off the OS?

    I would start with Ubuntu 7.10 I believe it's about as good as a LiveCD can get and will set a reasonable standard to judge other distros by. Linux Mint 4.0 "Daryna" is also a good starter because it's essentially Ubuntu 7.10 with lipstick and high-heels, in other words all the multimedia stuff already installed.
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  18. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    GMaq- whoa!
    I'm not writing off any distros, just stated that the LiveCDs I've tried do not allow for testing several things that a typical laptop user would want to know before getting into an actual install. Such as whether the machine can get onto the net without having a Cat5 cable handy...

    It wasn't any media player per se; the physical manual eject button is locked while the Live disc is in place.

    Great minds must think alike!:] just got back from downloading Mint!
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