[lug] new laptop

Kevin Fenzi kevin at scrye.com
Thu Mar 30 10:47:38 MST 2006

>>>>> "Nate" == Nate Duehr <nate at natetech.com> writes:

>> Around these parts, you'll find plenty of Thinkpad fans. They're
>> not cheap, but they're sturdy, reliable, and run Linux well. I got
>> an older T21 off eBay a year ago and have loved it ever since.

Nate> Agreed.  IBM, er.. um.. Lenovo makes nice gear.  With real metal
Nate> hinges that are large enough you can actually see they're
Nate> overbuilt.

Yep. Also their warentee service is great. 

Nate> ...snipp...

Nate> IBM is also kind enough to provide a number of extra goodies if
Nate> you happen to be stuck in Windows-land working from time to
Nate> time:

Many (if not all) of these work under linux too. ;) 

Nate> - nicely done automatic network roaming app that has all the
Nate> various wireless types I can think of, including odd-ball
Nate> authentication schemes like Cisco LEAP or EAP-FAST, that some
Nate> companies use -- never seen any other laptop vendor provide a
Nate> more comprensive wired/wireless auto-roaming tool

wifiroamd works great for me. (
ftp://ftp.tummy.com:/pub/tummy/wifiroamd/ ) 
I haven't ever needed to use those wacky auth types. :) 

Nate> - the "flylight" built-in LED above the LCD display that lights
Nate> up the keyboard in the dark (Mac's Powerbook backlit keyboard is
Nate> better, but IBM's works too)

I think they call it a 'thinklight'. It works fine under linux. :)

Nate> - fingerprint reader (kinda interesting)

Works fine under Linux. ;) 
In fact, someone on thinkwiki wrote a script that downloads, compiles
and installs all the right bits: 

(fc5 needs a small patch, which should be in the talk page there). 
Pretty slick. You can use fingerprint reader to login, or basically do
anything pam can work against. 

Nate> - better power management tools than Windows has built-in

I think the power management under linux is great now. 

Nate> - their "Active Protection System" -- the little acceleration
Nate> sensors that stop drive access if the laptop is seriously jarred
Nate> or dropped and accelerating toward the floor at a good clip

Works fine under linux. Someone figured out how to read it. 
You can even use it as a joystick device and play neverball with it. 

Nate> - Great app for switching screen res, dropping your desktop
Nate> background temporarily (presentations), setting up multiple
Nate> screens when docked, etc

xrandr can do the resolutions fine. The presentations stuff still has
a ways to go though. The linux X server apparently only detects
external monitors on startup. :(

Nate> - (my favorite) a very good drive binary imager that creates
Nate> boot CD's and image CD's to back up the entire hard disk
Nate> (haven't had a chance to see how well this works with grabbing
Nate> other partitions -- like your Linux partition -- or if it even
Nate> can, but it's flawless for a disaster-recovery plan for the
Nate> laptop drive under Windows

I don't think that it's linux aware. ;( 

Nate> - And my final one -- has both touchpad AND joystick nubby
Nate> thing.  I got used to the joystick nubby eraser thing way back
Nate> when Toshiba laptops all had them, and like not having to move
Nate> my fingers off the keyboard home row to do a little mouse
Nate> excursion around the screen!

Yeah, it's handy. :) 

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