Laptop and sound card for ubuntu studio

Kiernan Holland rofthorax at
Tue Sep 1 07:07:04 BST 2009

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 12:35 PM, <aj at> wrote:

> Hi All,
> Thanks for all the tips I've picked up from this list over the last few
> months. Now I have the usual questions about good hardware to run Ubuntu
> Studio. Looks like I'll have to buy a new laptop in the next month so
> are there any makes/models/chipsets to avoid? I was thinking of an ASUS
> or a Lenovo but please let me know what you've had good experiences with.
You might want to get in the showroom and pop in a ubuntu cd. Then go to a
terminal and type "cat /proc/interrupts" to see if there is a unique IRQ for
each USB port.

My best experiences are with IBM (not lenovo, so old thinkpads may be
suitable for Ubuntu Studio stuff, most of my demos on youtube are done with
my 2Ghz P4 T30). I can't use the T30 with USB sound cards because it came
with only USB 1.0 connectors and the PCMCIA port only has one IRQ (for many
USB 2.0 devices I'm connecting to it).

I only have good experiences with Dell Desktops, I have heard good things
about their laptops.. Any manufacturer you go with will make proprietary
stuff for their laptops, but the only necessary upgrade is memory and pcmcia
card slots. If you get a laptop that doesn't have PCMCIA card slots, make
sure it has everything that you'd normally use a card for like SATA, USB 2.0
slots, Firewire, Ethernet, Wifi-G.. (netbooks are an exception).

Also get a laptop with a good fan, overheating will kill a laptop. It may be
called a laptop, but it's not safe for the laptop to be on your lap, get a
cooling fan for the bottom.  Also be sure that the laptop is easy to
control, put your hands on it, try to type something, move the mouse.. If
you plan to use it on an airplane, get a netbook or something that size. The
Acer Aspire One's will do okay with Rosegarden and Fluidsynth.. I've demo'd
to someone Rosegarden controlling Fluidsynth and playing through a reverb on
Jack Rack with a Acer Aspire One (though that is pushing it's capabilities a
bit). If you are going on camping trips, for instance, the AAO would be
perfect, cause it uses on average about 15 watts, it's power supply can
handle up to 30 watts, though I've read reviews that pushed it to 22 watts
with everything on and a heavy workload.
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