recommendations for laptop and desktop

Ian Smith smithi at
Thu Jul 14 09:23:01 UTC 2011

On Wed, 13 Jul 2011, Rick Macklem wrote:
 > Kevin Oberman wrote:
 > > On Jul 13, 2011 7:31 AM, "Zoran Kolic" <zkolic at> wrote:
 > > >
 > > > > There is this list for laptops:
 > > > >
 > > >
 > > > Been there. Seen that. Obsolete.
 > > > My very idea would be to have recent models in some kind
 > > > of wiki. I believe that at least hundred guys on the list
 > > > could post quality articles on the subject regarding lap-
 > > > tops they regurarly use.
 > > >
 > > > > See the recent thread on the freebsd-mobile list with subject
 > > > > "Laptop recommendations?"
 > > >
 > > > Mostly older stuff recommended. Hard to find or I dislike
 > > > what I see on the review for particular model.
 > > > Thank you for answering my question.
 > > >
 > > >                              Zoran
 > > 
 > > I agree that a wiki would be ideal, but it would require active
 > > management.
 > > That's the real issue.
 > > 
 > > It's also the reason would not be practical. I might
 > > be
 > > able to admin such a wiki, but I have no place to put it. But I'm
 > > retired,
 > > so I should have time.
 > > 
 > I recently installed Fedora15 and I thought it had a fairly clever
 > idea in it. At the end of the install (so presumably it had worked for
 > the hardware), it asked you if you wanted to email your hardware config
 > to them.

I recall one Debian install doing something similar.  People seem to be 
forgetting about bsdstats (port sysutils/bsdstats, 
which attempts to do something similar though it focuses more on FreeBSD 
versions, hardware lists via pciconf and optionally ports lists, posting 
stats monthly and anonymously .. a plus for security but perhaps a minus 
for being able to seek information from people having certain hardware.

As seen at, the very much greater number of PC-BSD systems 
reporting reflects the fact that PC-BSD installs bsdstats as a matter of 
course; clearly the voluntary approach is far less effective, and people 
don't know that bsdstats reveals no personally identifying information 
until they've looked it over; many likely don't even know it exists.

Zoran's comments that is 'obsolete' 
are a bit misplaced regarding older kit that some of us use by choice or 
necessity (eg my 2.5 Thinkpad T23s :) but that site did get swamped with 
spam for ages, not all of which has been removed, and there's no way to 
group posts describing the same models in slightly different terms.

Hard to get past the notion that someone needs to actively work on it, 
yet it needs to be largely self-maintained by its users independent of 
anyone's ongoing enthusiasm; difficult, perhaps contradictory criteria?

 > Something that just captured such emails and put them in a list (especially
 > if could catch duplicates) for people to look at might be nice. The list
 > would get long (and not really indicate how well the hardware worked), but
 > at least it would be up-to-date and not require manual maintenance.

It could only be up to date initially, and just grow from there .. one 
advantage of the bsdstats approach is that only systems that continue 
reporting in monthly continue being reported.  One could argue about the 
various ways that database information is presented, but any skillful 
database programmer could do quite a lot with such anonymised data, 
particularly if there were some identification of hardware make/model, 
though that's not available in the environment of reporting programs.

 > I'm not volunteering to do this;-) although I'm retired too, but it might
 > be a useful thing to have? rick

Me neither, me too, and yes indeed.  Just a few pent-up thoughts ..

cheers, Ian

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