Wich laptop to get?
jesse at wingnet.net
Mon Jun 30 11:13:19 PDT 2003
Erik Paulsen Skaalerud wrote:
> I know, this probably has been asked a million times before, but I thought
> I should ask this because of the acpi, or, well, the troubles with laptops
> and FreeBSD 5.1..
> What is a great laptop to buy these days? I'm kind of poor, so I cant get
> a expensive one. I need a laptop with:
> - a good GFX card (yes, I do play games on windows, I'll dual-boot)
> - space for lots of memory (1GB)
> - hopefully something faster than a 4200rpm disk. I'm considering getting
> a laptop with USB2 interface and a external disk, and just use it via USB1
> in FreeBSD (since it doesnt like USB2 much, yet atleast.)
> Any recommendations would be truly helpful.
I'm particularly partial to my IBM A30p. Brand new it's NOT a budget machine,
but if bought used, like mine, it's a good deal:
IBM A30p - bought for roughly $1350 used on Ebay a few months ago
1.2Ghz P3-M (usually faster than a similar P4)
1600x1200 screen (beautiful)
excellent IBM keyboard
largish HD (mine is 40G. They vary.)
ATI 32Mb Radeon Mobility LY (working and fully supported 3D video card under X 4.3.0)
TV Out & TV In (Only TV Out works under FreeBSD, I think.)
Firewire (working under FreeBSD 4.x & 5.x. Haven't tested, but inits fine.)
Built-in 802.11b (Prism 2.5 chipset. Fully supported by FreeBSD 4.x and 5.x)
Some models have built-in Bluetooth. Mine doesn't.
APM & ACPI. (ACPI is broken. APM is hard to get working well under 5.x, but
I'd be happy to give you a howto list.)
Serial & Parallel ports.
Built-in software modem. (Doesn't work under FreeBSD)
Two removable drives. (Floppy & CD-ROM/DVD-ROM on mine)
Up to 1Gb of RAM. I currently run 384Mb (1 128Mb, 1 256Mb), which is fine for WXP and FreeBSD.
- Relatively large. I consider it a laptop, NOT a notebook.
- Poor battery life. I get about 1hr under normal load. Less if playing DVD.
However, you can buy a second battery for one of the removable drive bays.
- 32Mb of vid ram ain't all that much if you're trying to run 1600x1200.
- Modem doesn't work under FreeBSD.
- Some models don't have a floppy drive. But mine does. You NEED one to dual
boot with confidence. Buy one separately if yours doesn't come with one.
Basically it's great for what I do:
- Occassional gaming. (TV Out is very cool with Half-life)
- Heavy coding and sys admin stuff.
- Carry between home & work & anywhere else. (but I'm buff. :-> YMMV)
If you need fast external storage, the firewire port is a good option.
Not quite as fast as USB2.0, but pretty darn close...
Jesse Guardiani, Systems Administrator
WingNET Internet Services,
P.O. Box 2605 // Cleveland, TN 37320-2605
423-559-LINK (v) 423-559-5145 (f)
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