[ubuntu-uk] buying a laptop?

Tyler J. Wagner tyler at tolaris.com
Sun Jan 16 20:25:43 UTC 2011

On Sun, 2011-01-16 at 17:46 +0000, Barry Drake wrote:
> On Sun, 2011-01-16 at 17:39 +0000, George Tripp wrote:
> > Looked at a couple of companies which will sell machines without any op system. 
> > Pcspecialists: apparently there's a problem that the touchhpad doesn't work with 
> > ubuntu
> > Novatech: don't know if their hardware is compatible with ubuntu or not
> Glad you made it here.  Dell is now offering a laptop (one of the
> Inspiron range) pre-loaded with Ubuntu.

I've had very few problems with the entire Dell laptop line. My company
has bought ~30ish laptops from them in the last 5 years. Lessons

1. When reporting hardware needing replacing, just don't tell support
you installed Linux. "Uh, yeah, I click on properties and ran the
Windows test tool. Nope, it says nothing wrong." "Yes, I restarted
Windows. Nope, problem is still there." I've done this many times for
laptop screens with dark areas, and once with a fan that wasn't properly
balanced (made a lot of noise).

2. You may need to replace the PCI/PCI-X wifi card, especially if it's
f&%*ing Broadcom. A perfectly capable Intel wifi card can be had for £10
on eBay, and you'll be happier with it.

3. If you aren't planning to run super-serious video apps, get Intel
video. For compatibility, especially since the change to Kernel Mode
Setting, it is:

Intel > AMD > nVidia

4. It's hard to find no OS or Ubuntu pre-loaded. Yes, you may have to
take the copy of Windows that comes with it, but I doubt you'll find a
_laptop_ that's cheaper without Windows, whatever you think of the
retail price of the OS. You can always get the install disc and load it
as a VM in Virtualbox.


"[...] the effectiveness of pat-downs does not matter very much, because
the obvious goal of the TSA is to make the pat-down embarrassing enough
for the average passenger that the vast majority of people will choose
high-tech humiliation over the low-tech ball check."
   -- Jeffrey Goldberg, "For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance"
      The Atlantic, 2010-10-29

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