[TAG] Issue #106
ben at callahans.org
Mon Sep 20 02:42:31 MSD 2004
On Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 10:51:20PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 27, 2004 at 05:47:53AM -0400, Ben Okopnik wrote:
> > Howdy, folks.
> Ben :)
Well, hey, Thomas. :) At this point, I actually _am_ back on - hurrah!
Got a hold of an Averatec 5400-series laptop from Walmart - $999, Athlon
XP-M 2800+, 15" TFT screen, 802.11g, VIA chipset, DVD+/- RW burner,
512MB/40GB, and a 15-day no-hassle/no-charge return policy [grin] -
popped my 60GB hard drive into it, and bingo! Everything worked right
off the bat, at least the parts that I'm using for the moment (haven't
tested the Ethernet or the WiFi interfaces yet.) Well, I _did_ have to
use a slightly different XF86Config-4 file - one I'd previously built
for another laptop - but that was just a matter of a quick "ln -s" in
/etc/X11/. In theory, I'll be getting my Acer laptop back on Tuesday,
but I needed contact with the world NOW. Particularly since we've got
some nasty weather that I need to monitor - not hurricanes, thank the
Great Ghu, Jeanne and Karl having sheered off (at least according to the
NOAA predictions), but remains of Ivan; they were calling for 35-40
knots by tonight through tomorrow afternoon, but have now changed that
to 20-25kt from tonight (and that is about what we've got at the moment)
through Monday night. I'd be the last one to complain about _that,_
although the smaller boats here are in for a rough ride...
> > So, I've had it driven home this month: we need a backup procedure in
> > case of editor failure. :( I am, essentially, netless at this point; the
> I gather Mike (heya, Mike!), is filling in for you this month.
And he did a yeoman job, for which he has my sincere thanks. A prince of
a fellow, although I wish he'd tell his cow orkers at NOAA to send _all_
those hurricanes elsewhere, like they did with J and K. Whoever was in
charge of Ivan should get a strict talking-to, and maybe a remedial
> > nVidia chipset in this HP laptop (this includes the modem, the Ethernet
> > interface, the USB subsystem, sound, video, PCI, and AGP) is
> > Linux-unfriendly in a high degree, resulting in an incredibly
> > frustrating situation: I can use some of the above some of the time -
> > for anywhere from seconds (USB interface) to minutes (Ethernet).
> Hmm, I've had that for winmodems. Not good.
The most annoying part of this laptop-buying game is that there's
usually no easy way to find out what the chipset is unless you buy the
thing (or take it for a test drive. Hmm, firing it up in the store with
a Knoppix CD might be an idea...) - and that's one of the critical
factors in ease, or sometimes even the possibility, of configuration;
listing the Ethernet/video/audio/WiFi chipsets on the box, or mentioning
that they're part of the board chipset (e.g., nVidia) would be a _very_
Linux-friendly thing to do, and I wish the OEMs would make that a
* Ben Okopnik * okopnik.freeshell.org * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette *
-*- See the Linux Gazette in its new home: <http://linuxgazette.net> -*-
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