[TriLUG] New Vista laptop needs Linux - booting in store
mgkimsal at gmail.com
Thu Dec 18 08:25:25 EST 2008
"Oh, you can't just expect wireless to work because it says BigCo XPJ59
wireless inside! You've got XPJ59 rev E, which
was manufactured in Taiwan from Jun thru Aug - no drivers for
that work. The drivers only for for XPJ59 chipset revision A, B and D.
You have to check your hardware before you buy!"
(from someone on a linux irc room when I asked for wireless help)
"Just because the box and label say 'nvidia' chipset inside
doesn't mean it'll actually *come* with that inside. You'll still
get Windows drivers for whatever that particular machine is shipped
with, so no problems!"
(from best buy manager)
These have been just a few of my experiences when dealing with laptops.
Mislabeled parts and unknown wireless chipset revisions have bit me
more than twice. Building your own desktop is one thing, but laptops
are a different story. Even on the building desktop thing, though,
it's can be tough.
Additionally, going to a store and looking at the models, there's no
resource that'll tell you if the distro you want to use will work
with that laptop. *Usually* by the time something is published
saying "distro X works with laptop Y", laptop Y isn't for sale
in retail stores - the model is bumped up.
A friend of mine and I each had Compaq Presarios - I had a V5000
and I think his was a V5005 - vastly different insides, diff wireless
and graphics cards, specifically. Bought just a few months apart,
and look very similar, but totally different beasts under the hood as
far as Linux is concerned. And trying to get "specs" on that stuff
when it first comes out is tough beyond getting the screen size, drive
size, and RAM.
On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 8:11 AM, Brian Phelps <brphelps at ieee.org> wrote:
> Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but if you just check the specs 1st you don't
> have to attempt booting a live cd in store. If it has a supported wifi and
> graphics card you're good to go. Usually this means intel graphics and
> intel wireless cards.
> That said, I have yet to ask permission before doing so at a Best Buy.
> usually don't notice. Just don't act suspicious. If you get caught play
> stupid. Say "I wondered how you got the windows to look so weird"
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