[Scottish] Linux Laptop

Colin McKinnon colin.mckinnon at ntlworld.com
Sun Jun 15 22:35:32 BST 2008

On Sunday 15 June 2008 07:15:25 pm John¹ wrote:
> My Daughter has moved into a cottage of her own, tomorrow the phone will be
> connected, and as last Thursday was her birthday I have offered to buy her
> a laptop and router, (this latter dependent on broadband being available
> in her village outside Inverness.
> The minimum specs need to be minimum 14" screen, DVD drive, mains electric
> input via whatever thingy that needs, and a socket she can plug a mouse
> into as she doesn't like touchpads. 

It'd be pretty hard to find a laptop which did not meet those requirements. PC 
World are currently pushing a EiSystems laptop for under £300. I'd previously 
found them to be OK - using vanilla, off-the-shelf components in a reasonably 
solid package, while avoiding the more esoteric but super-cheap hardware that 
you often find in lowe end Compaq's and Dells. Certainly a better buy than 
Acers. If not that then HP, Toshiba and Sony all do good machines about £500

My daughter is currently using a 6 year old HP laptop (basic model - an XE3) 
which is still going strong - although the battery life is now terrible and 
it doesn't seem capable of running an external monitora any more (at least it 
wouldn't talk to the projector in the Livvy Tower when I last did a talk). 
But generally I wouldn't recommend buying a 2nd hand laptop as they usually 
have a hard life, but looking at EBay, they don't depreciate as much as they 

PCWorld, Carphone warehouse and others are currently doing free laptop with 
broadband packages - but it not that great a deal unless you want to spread 
the cost of buying the laptop.

> I need to be able to get Linux to run 
> on it, preferably Slackware 12.1, if the hard drive's big enough I'd like
> to get it to dual boot, (which seems from what I've heard to preclude
> Vista), 

If you must have MS, use XP - it'll go twice as fast on the same hardware 
unless you buy something very very high spec.

Regards the router - there are generic branded items becoming available, but 
IMHO its worth paying another £15 to get one which says Belkin / Linksys / 
D-Link on the box (Linksys for preference).



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