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GNU is Not Unix Linux Hardware

Ask Slashdot: GNU/Linux Laptops? 708

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the the-internet-tells-me-this-is-easier-today dept.
conner_bw writes "I'm an OS X user looking to switch to a Linux laptop. I like the Unix/BSD aspect of OS X. Simple things like when I close the lid the laptop goes to sleep, the sound card works out of the box, long battery life, minimum cooling fan noise, and a comprehensive but relatively straightforward backup system and 'AppleCare' package are important to me. What all-inclusive model of laptop and distro would you recommend?" He didn't mention it, but I am presuming that working Wifi should be on that list too.
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Ask Slashdot: GNU/Linux Laptops?

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  • by SultanCemil (722533) on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:09PM (#37825570)
    Honestly, wouldn't a MacBook of some description be the best choice? You "like the Unix/BSD aspect...", hardware working, good battery life, AppleCare-type support, etc. Why switch? Are you looking for cheaper hardware? Philosophical leaning towards Linux?
  • by SultanCemil (722533) on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:14PM (#37825636)
    Your username implies a bias :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:17PM (#37825670)

    You could also run Linux within a Virtual Machine on your Mac Laptop ... thereby you get the best of both worlds. If you want to run on bare metal, several Linux distributions are known to run on Mac hardware as well, so you could keep your laptop and just change the operating system.

    Now, having said that, generally speaking you can't go wrong with Dell or Lenovo. I've been to many Linux conferences put on by RedHat and Novell / SuSE/ Attachmate, and I've seem more of those laptops running Linux than anything else out there. Dell offers Linux on some of its laptops (either Ubuntu or RedHat, depending on the model), Not sure on Lenovo, and there are some HP laptops that are offered with SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

    Good luck...

  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:28PM (#37825824)

    It gets really annoying. 'I presume he wants working wifi, too'... ok, how about a working video chipset? If you're presuming, and you live in a 3rd world country, maybe you'd presume he wanted a modem.

    If this is dude's submission, don't mess with it, it just doesn't help the guy get the answers he needs. Besides, most wifi chipsets I've used recently have been pretty damn good.

    More-so I am aggravated at the editorial nature of these footer comments in general. Nerds don't like editorials, they like facts. Maybe that's my assumption, but I've been reading Slashdot for 11 years now. It. Gets. flippin'. Old.

    I probably should have ranted on some other, more deserving article footer comment...oh well. I love you guys

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:36PM (#37825926)

    So... nothing RMS codes either, right?

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Monday October 24, 2011 @07:58PM (#37826142) Homepage

    Applecare, as I understand it, is just an extended hardware warranty with limited software support ("How do I ____ with OSX?" type stuff).

    I didn't buy it for mine, because $379 seems a bit egregious. If a manufacturing defect doesn't manifest in the first year, I don't see the point in paying for 2 more years of coverage. I use my laptop every day on the go, if something's screwy on it, it's gonna die young.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@jwsm[ ]e.com ['yth' in gap]> on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:04PM (#37826622) Homepage Journal

        Actually, no... But not in any sort of good way. They are x86 based, but only a few parts (CPU, hard drive, DVD) are PC parts.

        My girlfriend has a Mac Pro, dual quad core 2.8Ghz... For Christmas, I upgraded the memory. Apple's site had it listed for something like $800. I got it from Crucial for $200. From what I read, Crucial makes it for Apple, so that's a clue about their mark up.

        In the last month, according to the sensors, the power supply is overheating. Everything on forums, and according to Apple, is the power sensors are defective. The recommendation is to ignore them. Great. But we didn't pay attention to it until it started crashing. The fans are spinning fine, so it's something else. She has to leave a big desk fan blowing on it while it's on, to keep it from crashing.

        The price for a power supply? About $300. No, it's not ATX. I can't find an ATX adapter, and I can't find a way to adapt it. So I can try for about $300.

        The price for a motherboard? About $800 or so.

        Since normal diagnostics haven't shown anything, and it's out of Apple's warranty, I have to figure it out on my own... If I want to pick up parts to experiment with, I'll be spending about $1,000. I'd probably buy a new PS first. Knowing how things turn out, that won't be the fault. Even if I buy both to test, there's still a good chance it's something else, like a flaky CPU.

        To get a used one like it will cost a small fortune. Even still, a used one may have the same problems.

        I never believe in the invincible Apple platform. I know that components fail. Anything with overpriced components isn't worth it, no matter how shiny the packaging is, nor how much fanboys proclaim they are the greatest.

        And any fanboy wanting to argue this, send me a motherboard and power supply, so I can make her machine stable again. I'll send you a PC motherboard and power supply in exchange. :)

  • by catmistake (814204) on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:46PM (#37826968) Journal

    even the entry-level MBP is what, 1200 or so ? It costs as much as two similar-spec PC laptops

    Here are the specs [apple.com] of that $1200 13" MBP.
    Take a look. Now... show us all this $600 laptop with similar specs.

    This notion that Apple's hardware is outrageously overpriced has been shown to be false time and again. Yes, there are $600 laptops, and they may match proc and RAM of Apple's hw, maybe even more RAM or more HD... but the specifications will not even be close. As with other hw manufacturers, so it is even with Apple: the margins are pretty thin. Once you actually match the specifications (and not just ignore the ones you don't like as though they were worthless), the difference in price will be less than $100.

    You also may want to factor in resell value, as Apple laptops are famous (notorious) for retaining obscene value many years later. You want to tell me why a 12" 1-1.5Ghz PowerPC Powerbook Apple stopped making in 2006 still sees average sales around $200? [ebay.com] In this case, you can match the specs and maybe get 3 or 4 used PC laptops from 2003-6 for $200. You can... but you know as well as I they're going to be junk (unless they're a tank of a Thinkpad).

  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Monday October 24, 2011 @10:15PM (#37827174)

    That's bullshit. You can compile almost anything yld on Linux, run any X11 WM you wish, etc etc.

    Good thing you posted AC because you are a laying sack of shit.

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