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Medium to High end notebook/laptop suitable for FBSD



On Sat, 3 Jan 2004 02:30, Jesse Guardiani wrote:
> Malcolm Kay wrote:
[snip]
> > What I want is a machine which can run FreeBSD without too many problems.
> >
> > The wish list includes:
> >   UXGA display (1600x1200) on a reasonably large display capable of
> >   resolving
> >       most of this.
> >   Minimum 256Mb memory -- 512 would be nice.
> >   FBSD supported LAN connection -- preferably via wireless.
> >   Plenty of disk space, but prepared to settle for 40Gb or so.
> >   Internal Dialup modem that can be utilised through FBSD.
> >   Some method of connecting an optical mouse.
> >   (A connection for a conventional keyboard might also be attractive.)
> >   CDROM/R/RW. (DVD play would be an attracive bonus.)
> >   USB
> >   Reasonably quick -- in the 2Ghz to 3 Ghz range
>
> Well, with the exception of the processor speed and the cd-rw, you've just
> described my IBM Thinkpad A30p:
>
> UXGA Display (1600x1200)
> 384M PC133 SDRAM (1 128M SODIMM, 1 256M SODIMM, 2 slots total, both used)
> Intel 10/100 built in LAN (fxp driver under FreeBSD, eth under Linux)
> 48G 5400RPM ATA 100 HDD
> miniPCI internal 802.11b wireless (wi0)
> 2 USB 1.1 ports (but no PS/2)
> 1 parallel port connector
> 1 VGA connector
> 1 RS232 serial connector
> 2 pccard slots
> S-VID IN and OUT, but AFAIK they don't work under FreeBSD.
> internal winmodem (does NOT work, but I added a $20 3Com X-Jack 56K pcmcia
> hardware modem to make up for it)
> 4 pin firewire port (working, as far as I can tell, but the 4 pin ports
> don't offer bus power and I don't have any non-bus-powered firewire devices
> to test with) 2 removable drive bays. Mine are stuffed with a floppy drive
> and a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM. Can be hot swapped if you suspend, swap the drive,
> then resume.
> 32M ATI Radeon Mobility LY graphics chipset. Full OpenGL 3D acceleration
> under X11 on FreeBSD using the DRI/DRM kernel module.
> IrDA (works, AFAIK, but nothing to test with)
> AC'97 Sound chipset (fully supported by Linux and FreeBSD)
> Reasonably quick -- 1.3 Ghz
>
> Works great with FreeBSD 5.1-RELEASE and modern Linux distributions
> (requires an X Server version of 4.3.0 or greater for video to work well).
> Works with FreeBSD 4.8-RELEASE (and therefore assumedly 4.9-RELEASE), but I
> couldn't get the APM suspend/resume working under 4.x, so I upgraded to
> 5.x. suspend/resume works well in 5.1-RELEASE (APM _and_ ACPI, with a few
> snags under ACPI), but due to the many changes introduced between 5.1 and
> 5.2 it is temporarily broken in 5.2-RC2, and probably will still be broken
> when 5.2-RELEASE becomes available. However, I DO have work-arounds, and
> the situation is likely to be temporary.
>
> Some models of the A30p come with internal Bluetooth too. Mine didn't.
>
> > The following aspects I don't see as being of much importance to me:
> > (But of course it is possible that I'm overlooking some important aspect)
> >   Long period of battery use; I imagine power will be mostly be
> > available.
>
> With a 1600x1200 screen you probably shouldn't expect much more than 1hr 30
> minutes with a P3, but you might get better life out of a P4...
>
> >   Fancy power management.
> >   Floppy drive.
>
> Well, this model has those anyway. Floppy drives are really handy. Saved me
> a number of times when I was configuring my dual boot for WinXP and
> FreeBSD.
>
> I think the two major cons to the A30p are the battery life and the size.
> This thing isn't quite the 4 inch brick of the early 90s, but it isn't
> skinny either. I personally couldn't care less, but some people do...
>
> > The Toshiba satellite P20 seems to mostly have the hardware features
> > I'd like to have (and is just about affordable); but I'm led to believe
> > that there are extreme difficulties in getting FreeBSD operational on any
> > late model Toshiba notebooks/laptops.
> >
> > Are there any suggestions as to where I might start looking?
>
> I highly recommend ebay.com. I bought my Thinkpad A30p on ebay this past
> summer for $1350. Great deal compared to the $3000+ asking price for a new
> model from IBM.
>
> A22p and A21p models are fairly nice too, but slightly slower.
>
> I like IBM laptops a lot. They're a good bit more expensive than the
> competition, but when you consider that a friend of mine just bought a
> brand new Dell Inspiron last week and is already experiencing stuck
> keyboard keys and other oddities under Windows XP (I can't imagine trying
> to install FreeBSD on that thing), you can appreciate the asking price.
>

I'm also getting strong recommendations for IBM from Michael McFarland 
although he is suggesting the T22 (or perhaps T40) model. The solidarity
of the Thinkpad series must weigh heavily in their favour.

But apparently not everyone is having problems with Dell -- I am also
receiving a strong recommendation for Dell D800, which I must say sounds
quite attractive. I've certainly not made a choice at this time.

Thanks very much for the careful attention to my request,
And thanks to Michael as well.

Malcolm Kay




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