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*nix Thread, Laptop for Uni (Must support Linux ). in Technical; My Daughter is wanting a Laptop soon for uni . £££ I have never had any dealings with Laptops, so ...
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    tickmike's Avatar
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    Laptop for Uni (Must support Linux ).

    My Daughter is wanting a Laptop soon for uni . £££
    I have never had any dealings with Laptops, so I need some advice on a suitable type / make.
    It Must be able to use PCLinux on it , (Can you buy them without any software installed ? )
    Suggestions for ram / HDD Etc. Price, Size, Supplier.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    edited to add more info:

    You can pick up a laptop that will run vista these days for ~300. HP and Dell are the two Ive dealt with most.

    A laptop that will run vista will run any of the latest linux distros, however I dont think many will disagree that Ubuntu probably has the best laptop support around just now, with hardware 'just working'. Vista even comes with a utility to repartition the hard drive to make space for second OS, so installing ubuntu or the like is a doddle.
    Last edited by RabbieBurns; 29th October 2008 at 01:26 AM.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    whats she actually gonna use it for?

    If its just web/docs etc what about a small netbook. like an acer aspire1 or an EeePC?

    they'll come with a flavour of linux preinstalled

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    I am plotting to install coLinux on me new laptop when I can actually get around to provisioning it. TBH, I need Windows day-to-day (for testing, etc.) but I reckon coLinux will be a good alternative to dual boot, which is frankly a PITA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    A laptop that will run vista will run any of the latest linux distros,
    Untrue! I know of several laptops which will run Vista, but Linux won't support all of the hardware, especially the camera and wireless. Yes you can get the wireless working with ndiswrapper but this is not always guaranteed.

    Check Linux Online - Linux-Friendly Hardware and/or Linux-drivers.org - Linux Hardware Compatibility Lists & Linux Drivers to determine if your hardware is support and even then don't assume it is. The HP MiniNote comes with Linux pre-installed but the camera and mics don't work without a lot of messing around.

    My experience has shown that Asus L series just work and Toshiba Satellite Pro's are a reasonably safe bet, although you will need ndiswrapper for wireless support.

    As to distro, I would always recommend Fedora over Ubuntu; I've been running Redhat professionally since 1997 and Ubuntu for the last 4 years and there is no contest in ease of update - rpm wins hands down over .deb files.

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    tickmike's Avatar
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    Thanks.
    I was thinking laptop than a notebook.
    She will be doing coarse work on it and I was going to install PCLinux and XP Pro on VMware or VirtualBox .

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Oooh. Aldi tomorrow:



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    Digital Freeview™ TV with Record Function
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    All for £579

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Any particular reason she needs it to run Linux? (purely out of curiosity, although Debian's etchnhalf and lenny hardware support are pretty comprehensive - not that, as a package maintainer, I have a vested interest or anything )

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    somabc's Avatar
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    I would get a Lenovo Thinkpad or HP Business Laptop such as the 6720. They are around £500-700, Get a 3 year warranty and you are sorted, very reliable. I would avoid Acer and other consumer laptops as they will fall apart after heavy use (in my experience). I would also avoid Apple as they are now ridiculously overpriced and not exactly robust either.

    Lenovo Laptops From Laptops Direct
    HP 6720s Laptop - Laptops at Ebuyer
    Last edited by somabc; 29th October 2008 at 10:59 PM.

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    tickmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Any particular reason she needs it to run Linux?
    For many years I have used MS both at home and at the school I used to help with the IT, But with all the Anti Virus / Malware / Spyware Updates I was doing to keep it running I decided to try PCLinux2007 PCLinuxOS and never looked back.
    I have dual boot with XP .
    But I have NOT used XP for more than a year .

    My Daughter is used to using Linux and is happy to open a 'Virtual XP computer' if she needs to use say powerpoint etc.
    Also she will not have to worry about updates.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    you could get a mac book or mac book pro ( depending on hard ware requirements ) with apple care - best to be on the safe side as this will last for 3 years

    Then use vmware fusion which is about £50 but well worth it :

    How to install PCLinuxOS 2007 using VMWare Fusion in OSX - a complete walkthrough - Simple Help

    Then you can run windows and linux as virtual machines

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmike View Post
    My Daughter is used to using Linux and is happy to open a 'Virtual XP computer' if she needs to use say powerpoint etc.
    Also she will not have to worry about updates.
    I wondered if that was the case. She's going to have CS students falling at her feet!

    I'd second an HP business class, mine is a 6715b.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tickmike View Post
    Also she will not have to worry about updates.
    well, assuming she doesn't connect the virtual xp to the web.

    It's also worth noting, some campus have strict rules about what they'll let on their network. The NAC at my girlfirends uni meant she couldn't get on without running Sophos AV.

    She had to use her old XP laptop in halls, rather than her Eeepc

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    well, assuming she doesn't connect the virtual xp to the web.

    It's also worth noting, some campus have strict rules about what they'll let on their network. The NAC at my girlfirends uni meant she couldn't get on without running Sophos AV.

    She had to use her old XP laptop in halls, rather than her Eeepc
    Our school doesn't allow access onto the network without McAfee Spyware&AV + SiteAdvisor installed. NAC is the safest and easiest implementation of making sure the students are fully protected.

    AV/Spyware for all those baddies.
    Siteadvisor/Squid for all those web requests, theres nothing illicit or illegal they can do, and thats what we want for a boarding school.

    And the benefit of McAfee it runs on all OS, just different engines. We do have quite a few Mac users and quite a few Linux users
    Last edited by ahuxham; 30th October 2008 at 10:37 AM.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Get a mac. Unix\Linix such OS, with the abliliby to run MS Office, or OpenOffice, or StarOffice, or whatever!

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