Re: What notebook did you buy?

Subject: Re: What notebook did you buy?
From: Lou Quillio <public -at- quillio -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 18:28:09 -0400

Bruce Byfield wrote:

I believe that motherboard and CPU upgrades are technically possible on some machines, but that you may have trouble getting what you need -- and finding someone to do the work if you can't do it yourself.

Right. The only safe course is to assume it won't be possible.

There isn't really a Microsoft Platform, nor a Linux Platform. "Platform" in this sense refers to hardware.

"Platform" is indeed a problematic term. There's no accurate shorthand for the combination of processor type, commonly-used disk partition types, and operating system(s) that we try to describe with "platform".

For PCs and especially laptops, consider these:

You: "I want to use Mac OS X primarily, but I'd like to maybe dual-boot desktop Linux one day. I can live with the fact that my laptop will probably never run Windows and Windows apps satisfactorily."

Me: Buy a Mac, preferably a G5. OS X is based on FreeBSD UNIX, so you'll already have a UNIX box and may never see a need for desktop Linux.

You: "I need to use Windows primarily, but might want to dual-boot desktop Linux. I don't need OS X applications no how."

Me: But an Intel Pentium- or Athlon64-based system, but look for a manufacturer that's Linux-friendly (avoid Compaq/HP and consumer-ish manufacturers). Consider immediately repartitioning the harddisk into several partitions. Only the partition intended to house Windows should be NTFS.

A 60GB disk might be partitioned so:

~15GB NTFS - (Re)install Windows here. [primary partition]
~35GB FAT32 - Use for data storage. Both Windows and Linux can
safely read and write to this partition. Windows'
pagefile.sys (swap file) can go here, too, to
improve performance. [extended partition]
~10GB FAT32 - Don't use this one; you could even leave it un-
partitioned for now. Linux will be installed here,
probably after changing this space to the ext3
partitions that Linux typically uses. Avoid
exotic partitions (ReiserFS). [ultimately a
primary partition with extended ones for Linux
swap, boot, etc.]

The watchword here is to anticipate dual boot. Resizing partitions on a critical disk is dangerous. Having a little slack space from Day One preserves many options. Buy an external harddrive. Do it.

You: "I use Windows; I don't care about this other crap; I rely heavily on manufacturer tech support."

Me: You have my permission to buy a Compaq.

*If* your Windows needs are **extremely** light and you just gotta have a Mac, you can away with it. But you won't like the way FrameMaker runs under VirtualPC.

That said, OS X is not a toy operating system. The disks on my daughters' eMac thirty miles away are mounted on both my iBook and Linux box right now, and I have open SSH sessions. There's a lotta UNIX-y power in modern Macs.

It's really all about accommodating Windows. Much Windows = no Mac. All other combinations are feasible -- which means a Pentium or equivalent system equipped with Windows, but customized early to keep options open.

[I'm not rebutting Monsignor Byfield here, rather amplifying.]



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RE: What notebook did you buy?: From: Amanda_Abelove
Re: What notebook did you buy?: From: Bruce Byfield

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