[clug] Fwd: Ubuntu compatible laptop

Warren Gardner warrenjgardner at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 04:14:24 MDT 2010

Well I was on the phone to India to inquire about Dell Vostro.

This was the start of a very confusing hour long phone call.  I was having a
little difficulty understanding the lady.  She may have had trouble
understanding me though I think it was more 'I'll answer your question with
what I want to tell you' in hope of getting a sale.

They will give me a computer without an OS on it. A Lat E6510 or one other
she did not mention.
Or with Win. Or with Ubuntu.
They would not sell with dual boot.
If I put an operating system on myself they will void my warranty (though
were still going to sell extended warranty knowing I would void it).

That story changed a little over the length of the phone call. By the end of
the conversation: I would be able to dual boot but if any driver
configurations etc are changed, I void the warranty.

Now I wonder how anyone manages to buy a computer with peace of mind.


Forwarded conversation
Subject: Ubuntu compatible laptop

From: *Warren Gardner* <warrenjgardner at gmail.com>
Date: 24 September 2010 12:14
To: linux at lists.samba.org


I am having a lot of trouble choosing a laptop.

I want to run Ubuntu (poss. Medibuntu). I will probably have a partition for
the Windows that ship with the computer, at least until I am more
experienced with linux.

I intend to be using GIMP, video editing, and would like to try Blender.  So
something that can comfortably handle that kind of work would be good.

I took a liking to the TOSHIBA Satellite A500/031 in the Civic Lapyking
Priced at $1,200 down from $1,600, plus $165 for extended warranty (whatever
that covers me for). That is right on my limit.

Researching Toshiba-Ubuntu combinations turns up many complaints about
overheating, suspend problems, and f-key issues. It appears to be an on
going issue. Perhaps Toshiba are not interested in anything but Microsoft. I
cannot find much on this particular model (Satellite A500/031).

Lapyking are happy for me to boot a LiveCD in the store but can give me no
information about Linux on their computers. I am not confident of finding
potential problems during an in-store live boot.

If anyone has some information on this computer, or something else that will
meet my needs (and not die in 1yr and 1day) I would love to hear about it.

Thank you

PS. I was thinking of posting my question in the Ubuntu forums as well but I
expect I will probably hear about models unavailable in Australia.

From: *Mike Carden* <mike.carden at gmail.com>
Date: 24 September 2010 12:24
To: linux at lists.samba.org

And my response here won't be directly helpful in that regard so feel
free to ignore me, but I have two comments.

1. Extended warranty.

My experience in the electronics industry is that extended warranty is
the last remaining cash cow in an industry otherwise cut to the bone
on profit margins. It makes boatloads of money for the people who sell
it. Personally, I will never purchase one. Still, I'm sure there are
people out there who have been saved by their extended warranties when
something died a few years down the track, but they're massively
outnumbered by those who made the seller of the warranties rich.

2. It's entirely irrational I know, but I won't set foot in a place
that can't spell 'Lappy'.

linux mailing list
linux at lists.samba.org

From: *Ivan Lazar Miljenovic* <ivan.miljenovic at gmail.com>
Date: 24 September 2010 12:29
To: Warren Gardner <warrenjgardner at gmail.com>
Cc: linux at lists.samba.org

My 2c:

I don't  have a Toshiba, but both of my brothers do (one of whom uses
Fedora on a Satellite; the laptop my other brother had had the BIOS
configured to only allow Vista).  Both of them had several problems
with their graphics cards overheating, dying, etc. (NVidia mobile; not
sure if it's a Toshiba-specific problem though).  The one who uses
Fedora has had numerous Linux compatability problems with parts of it.

However, I've found that my Dell Vostro laptop (found under the small
business section) seems to work quite nicely: the only *nix problems
I've had with it are not realising bluetooth was a soft switch and
having disabled it in Windows before wiping it, and that despite being
a 64bit processor 64bit *nix kept dying.  I've had no problems finding
drivers, etc. for any part of the laptop.

Other people I've talked to in the past have also agreed that
business-oriented laptops typically have better *nix support than
consumer-oriented laptops.

Ivan Lazar Miljenovic
Ivan.Miljenovic at gmail.com

From: *Lana Brindley* <lanabrindley at gmail.com>
Date: 24 September 2010 12:43
To: Mike Carden <mike.carden at gmail.com>
Cc: linux at lists.samba.org


That was my immediate thought too.

Sorry, nothing else serious to add to the discussion.


Cheers! Lana

Critics search for ages for the wrong word, which, to give them credit, they
eventually find.
 - Peter Ustinov


Please avoid sending me Word, Powerpoint or Windows Media attachments.

See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html for more


From: *Warren Gardner* <warrenjgardner at gmail.com>
Date: 24 September 2010 13:27
To: linux at lists.samba.org

Ah a number of the Dell Vostro series are recommended for Ubuntu!!
I will look into that. Ta  I was a little worried about Dell because I heard
they are made of cheap parts. But I also heard their repair support was
outsourced, consequently if something goes wrong they will just come around
and fix it without all the usual hassles. I get a little confused looking at
all the warranty stuff on maunufactures sites as the small print does not
clearly state.... anything. After my horrible horrible experiences with a
number of Maclemons (and Applecare) I agree extended warranty is often
useless. But I am thinking the same about my Health Cover.

looks like Toshiba are out of the question then.

I too thought the same in regards to Lapyking's name.  But they had that
commercial with the guy siting out on the grass with a desktop computer in
front of him, and that still makes me laugh.

From: *Carlo Hamalainen* <carlo.hamalainen at gmail.com>
Date: 24 September 2010 15:07
To: Warren Gardner <warrenjgardner at gmail.com>
Cc: CLUG List <linux at lists.samba.org>

I got a Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpad R500 with 1680x1050 screen, 4Gb ram,
etc, for $900 a few weeks ago. Lenovo do sales every month or so and
do some good deals (new price was $1600). I took the hard drive with
Ubuntu 10.04 out of my EEE PC, put it into the Thinkpad, and it booted
and everything worked. I was surprised. The R500 is a rather chunky
and heavy laptop but the screen is good, it is VERY quiet (beware that
other Thinkpads have extremely annoying fans), runs very cool, and
Ubuntu is happy.

Carlo Hamalainen

From: *Alex Satrapa* <grail at goldweb.com.au>
Date: 24 September 2010 15:50
To: CLUG List <linux at lists.samba.org>

The "new" MacBook is $1249:

Though I haven't booted one into Linux, I generally run Linux through
VMWare, or use FOSS software as installed through MacPorts.



From: *Rodney Peters* <rodneyp at pcug.org.au>
Date: 25 September 2010 08:20
To: linux at lists.samba.org

Check that you can access BIOS settings via some keystoke combo.  I've come
across one Toshiba laptop where this could be done only via Windows.

There is also a trend in Windows laptops to have 4 primary partitions used
already.  Limits options for installing Linux unless you want to blow Wind


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