[H-GEN] Looking for a linux laptop

Russell Stuart russell-humbug at stuart.id.au
Mon May 25 21:44:36 EDT 2009

On Tue, 2009-05-26 at 10:57 +1000, David Seikel wrote:
> Can I get that HP without Windows, and without paying the Microsoft
> tax?  Even without an OS works for me, since I would wipe it anyway to
> install Ubuntu myself.

Not that I have seen.  However, more importantly, you have to struggle
to get a HP with installation media - ie a CD with the OS and drivers on
it.  Most machines just come with a "recovery partition".

Now if you are like me, you will just wipe the OS on the machine, and
install Linux.  However since you have paid for that MS OS, and since
there is software and drivers out there that will run on nothing else,
it is nice to have it lying around.  I install it on a separate
partition and run it from within a VM in Linux, mostly.

But without installation media what you have paid for is useless.  You
can't install it in a VM, or indeed anywhere because you don't have the
media.   And the pre-installed Windows is infested with crapware which
makes it run like a dog.  Merely uninstalling the crapware doesn't seem
to fix things.  The first is to re-format and re-install sans crapware,
which you can't do without installation media.  Not that you care,
because you are just going to wipe Windows out.  But it drives people
nuts who expect a manufacturer to ship a machine that works optimally
out of the box.

On Tue, 2009-05-26 at 10:44 +1000, David Seikel wrote: 
> Far to many people that I know and trust with such things have had bad
> experiences with Dells, so that's the only brand I would tend to shy
> away from.

I wasn't recommending Dell's.  Not because they are bad - they aren't.
These big companies - Dell, HP, IBM, Acer and so on, all make very
similar products, and I would not recommend one over the other.  And,
yes they all produce the occasional dog.

I was merely saying you should get a "reference price" to ensure you
aren't duded in a store, and Dell is the easiest way I know of for doing
that.  But Dell does have other subtle advantages.  Their spare parts
are _much_ cheaper than anybody elses, and Dell always supplies
installation media.

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