[Gllug] London laptop recommendations

Mike Brodbelt mike at coruscant.demon.co.uk
Wed Jun 6 21:34:10 UTC 2007

Jason Clifford wrote:

> It's not that simple though.

Indeed it isn't. Particularly with things like laptops, where you can't 
select components - you basically get a bundled set, and it's hard to 
get a feature set you want where all the hardware is fully supported.

> I bought a couple of PCI wireless cards last week and both are supported 
> by the bcm34xx driver in the kernel (once you obtain and install the 
> firmware) however the sad fact is that using that driver is not very 
> practicle as the driver falls over under the slightest load.
> In order to get a reliable connection I had to install ndiswrapper and use 
> the windows drivers.

I've had similar experiences with wireless. My X40 has an Atheros 
chipset, and my wireless setup at home consists of a couple of bridges 
in ad-hoc mode. The Madwifi drivers are of astonishingly poor quality 
when it comes to operating in ad-hoc mode - for literally years they've 
worked at a level that just isn't usable. Ndiswrapper, while still not 
perfect, is better, and in this case the Madwifi stuff isn't even free 
software anyway. I really wish that now ar5k has a clean bill of health 
they'd throw out their closed HAL, but the developers don't seem to see 
a problem with it. Given their attitude one wonders why they're not 
developing for Windows....

> Even though I chose hardware that works with Linux it doesn't work well 
> enough to be usable in real situations.
> My experience is that it is only wireless hardware that I experience this 
> with.

Video hardware is pretty bad if you want 3d support.... Yet again, Intel 
are the only ones actually doing things right. I'm amazed and surprised 
by how much of an Intel supporter I've become recently :-/ - but as long 
as they keep developing and supporting free drivers for their hardware, 
they'll get my cash for it.

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