[OT] Linux-worthy laptop recommendations

Matt Follett matt.follett at gmail.com
Wed May 3 21:15:18 BST 2006

If you are going to get a Mac then I would recommend getting a MB Pro  
over a PowerBook.  I have a PowerBook right now and I can't use the  
official Linux ATI drivers because they don't have a PPC build, nor  
can I find PPC builds of Sun's Java or Macromedia Flash.  Also, for  
some reason the function key on the lower left and the power button  
on the upper right do not seem to send an event when pressed (at  
least, according to xev), which is kind of annoying.  The Airport  
Extreme uses the broadcom chipset which, to use under linux requires  
using a firmware extraction tool and getting the firmware from an OS  
X driver or Windows driver.  Finally, the onboard sound on the  
aluminum 15" is all sorts of trouble to get working under FC5 (your  
results may vary on that one, and if you have gotten it configured,  
shoot me an email :) ).

If you know none of that stuff will ever be a concern then go for  
it.  Or, if you think I'm wrong send me an email as to where to find  
this stuff, that would be great :).

In an attempt to be somewhat balanced I will say a few nice things  
about it.  The screen brightness controls were recognized under FC5  
just fine and I could set Gnome up to brighten/darken the screen with  
the brightness buttons.  Gnome had no problem capturing an event from  
the eject key, so I could eject disks.  Also, the open source driver  
for the touchpad (called appletouch I think) has the ability to  
recognize one, two, and three fingers on the pad and uses that for  
left, middle, and right click if you don't mind configuring it to do  
so.  The internal bluetooth module is recognized off the bat with  
FC5.  Also, FC5 will scale the processor up and down between two  
settings (full speed, half speed) depending on load without any  
special configuration.


On May 3, 2006, at 1:48 PM, Jeff Anderson wrote:

> i recommend the new MacBookPro ....
> What? Why are you all looking at me like that? :/
> On 5/3/06, Joel Bernstein <joel at fysh.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, May 03, 2006 at 05:07:01PM +0100, Robert Rothenberg wrote:
>> > I'm looking for recommendations for a laptop make/model which  
>> Linux will run
>> > on as a desktop machine, minimum 1GB RAM, cost under £1000.
>> You could do worse than pick up a second-hand PowerBook, you could  
>> even
>> dual-boot Linux and Mac OS X! Seriously, PBs are *fine* bits of kit,
>> maybe the best-built laptops around, and *so* sexy looking.
>> Failing that, work have given me a Toshiba Satellite M70 which is  
>> pretty
>> decent. 512MB ram upgrade from crucial.com/uk/ is cheap, better than
>> buying the upgrade from Toshiba. I think the base system only has  
>> 512MB
>> ram. Decent enough 15" screen, standard Intel centrino-branded  
>> chipset,
>> intel 2200 wireless lan, etc. Not a bad machine, runs Debian  
>> beautifully
>> with zero hand configuration.
>> /joel
> --
> jeffa

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