[Beowulf] Linux laptops, and M$ advertisement

Joe Landman landman at scalableinformatics.com
Mon Apr 16 15:50:21 PDT 2007

Robert G. Brown wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Apr 2007, Peter St. John wrote:


>> vendor to do the setup & support, and they don't say if that compares
>> economically to, say, paying Joe to do that, only that it saves them time
>> themselves. Sure, if I had that budget, I'd pay Joe and RGB to come 
>> and work
>> for me and I would have more time for other things.
> I sure hope that it is a really big budget then, right Joe?  ;-)

I could say we are cheap, but it could be misread ... :^


> The problem is that this is such a crazy rapidly changing field.  For
> example, I've been happy with two generations of Dell, but I know people
> who have bought Dells on all three sides of mine and been unhappy.  With
> one of my Dell laptops I started out unhappy and then rapidly became
> happy as a driver was added in real time (thanks to FC!)  We've also got
> a much newer Toshiba in the house.  The Toshiba, also, started out
> unhappy (with FC unable to install) and then became happy (with it
> installing perfectly and transparently) with the next FC that came
> along.

FC2 runs great on the laptop I bought 5 years ago.  Not a fast machine, 
not enough ram, but FC2 did a good job with it.

So far, FC and Ubuntu have been my favorites (in terms of features) on 
the laptops, and Ubuntu IMO edges (no pun) FC in 
usability/supportability.  SuSE has been slowly and surely become 
monotonically more maddening since 9.3.

Yeah, gonna have to get some more customers to be able to afford th

> Toshibas to my limited experience tend to work better with Linux than
> with Windows, partly because Toshiba installs its own layer of Toshiba
> specific crap underneath Windows to deal with various things Windows has
> sucked at, but MS doesn't willingly relinquish control of things like
> the wireless network, and then along comes your ISP with their own
> package (invented for the same reasons) and suddenly you have three
> different pieces of software trying to run the wireless network, each

[tangent /]
Sitting in Detroit Metro airport (a planes/trains/automobiles day, 
flying to Ithaca, wound up in Syracuse driving to Ithaca), I booted my 
laptop into windows, and found some nice open wireless sites.  Had to 
register, and they wanted to download an executable to my laptop to run 
in order to access the network.

Uh huh.

> thinking it is the only one, one of which is based on low level firmware
> drivers that is really difficult to turn off, one of which is built into
> the core OS and really difficult to turn off, and one of which should
> probably never have been installed but had to be in order to facilitate
> accessing your ISP and now are -- really difficult to turn off, at least
> without changing ISPs or learning how to connect without using their
> tools.

Long long ago, I made the mistake of attempting to use the Verizon 
wireless card for my laptop.  Installed the drivers.  To this day I 
cannot un-install them without wiping windows.


> The really important thing is to get that 3+ year onsite service
> contract, whoever you buy from.  Laptops are easy to break and break
> often, and one tends to rely on them even more than desktops.

Yeah.  The 3 year warranty (next day replacement) is one of the few 
warranties/support contracts that is actually worth the price.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://www.scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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