[SWLUG] Advice please: broadband + laptop

Kris Zani kriszani at iscavision.com
Mon May 15 20:53:28 UTC 2006

NTL works great - just use the ethernet cable and your laughing.  some 
problems with DHCP at first as the cable modem takes ages to
transmit the initial IP address but after that it doesn't change if you 
leave your pc on.  But this can cause problems with some software, i
use firestarter to config my linux gateway and if its been off for ages 
and needs a new ip then the dhcp request timesout before the address
is recieved and the firewall doesn't start correctly forcing a manual 
/sbin/ifconfig eth0 up before it works. but this is a very minor thing since
i don't turn it off very often. - and i think you will need a windows 
box to bind the cable modem's mac address to ntl or ring them and have
them talk you through the manual undocumented method.

as for laptops i run about 10 different ones (training company) and they 
all dual boot.  very little problems with modern kit.

latest one is an acer travelmate 2350 (manual ram upgrade) runs gentoo 
and uses dlink G650 PCMCIA wireless card.

If you want really easy then http://www.emperorlinux.com/ do 
preconfigured laptops with the distro of your choice.  not so cheap
but pretty easy.

word of advice, with laptops general all purpose distros can be pretty 
slow, so you will find mandriva, suse, ubuntu and fedora to be
much much slower than windows xp.  a custom minimal kernel and so on can 
help but my gentoo laptop rocks.  takes ages to setup
initially as compiling things like gnome take an age but i think its 
worth it.

Good luck


Mark Summerfield wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm planning to get broadband. At the moment I'm with BT but want to 
> switch.
> Pipex seem to offer phone + broadband; does anyone have
> recommendations? (I think NTL are in my area--Pontardawe). I only want
> to use it with Linux (Debian, or Kubutu).
> Also I need to buy a laptop; I'll need to dual boot XP & Linux
> (defaulting to Linux).
> The Linux on Laptops site lists masses, but does anyone have 
> recommendations?
> (I'm looking for 500 quid ~1200x800 screen 40GB+ disk 512MB RAM; need
> to be able to read/write CD/DVD, but don't care about multimedia--but
> do want big screen.)
> Thanks.

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