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So, I am looking at the chip news and side-eyeing current news out of  and eyeing getting a replacement laptop now while supplies are still relatively available.  (Nothing too fancy, the use case here is mostly word processing + light gaming + web browsing – admittedly that last tends to involve *lots* of Firefox tabs.  Longevity is also preferred for the same reason I’m looking at getting a new laptop in the first place, which IIRC points more towards laptops intended for enterprise use.)  Which I have not done in some time.

Unfortunately, I’m a bit out of date on tech stuff and also short on more RL techie contacts at the moment, so I’ll ask here for the scuttlebutt:  What brands are the good brands now, if any?  HP used to be my go-to but they’ve been pissing me off for a while now.  AFAIK Dell still has their bad rep, I think Acer may also be on that list, Lenovo remains Chinese Commie and thus I don’t trust them, and I severely mistrust the Microsoft Surface line long-term given some of what Microsoft has been up to lately (laziness will be warring with that wariness wrt converting the old laptop to a Linux testbed).  Who does that leave?  And if I have to go for one of the aforementioned bad options, which one is least bad?

(Pinging @poipoipoi-2016)



So personally, for some historical reasons, I pay the Apple tax (that for various reasons wasn’t; that is one of the historical reasons) and dual boot for workflow reasons.

I also last bought a laptop in 2014 and you can still find “Greatest laptop ever made” posts about my admittedly slightly collapsing MBP from 2014.

Of course, Apple doubled down on China so…..

The Dell and HP business lines seem to be at least relative oases of competency comparatively though once again I couldn’t speak for Linux compatibility, I know there’s a couple of vendors doing Linux first laptops and someone on the feed was trying to buy one.

And also, frame.work is the new home of the 10/10 repairable Framework laptop with completely customizable parts. (Excellent job, also there’s a reason why we generally don’t let you do that). Currently only available in 13-inch form, but that might be where I’d put my money in 2021.

/Or hang out on NotebookCheck reviews until you find a set of tradeoffs you like.



is chip stuff continuing to get more fucked? should I give up on waiting out the fucked up chip stuff and just buy all my replacement parts now

ok I mean I basically have to replace my lightweight laptop now because in addition to slowly falling apart (2015 purchase! that’s $30/yr of depreciation baby) it’s also exiting the manufacturer support period. and running arbitrary linux on it will leave me with zero usable usb ports



I’d been aiming for one of my usual Dell business laptops for my most recent laptop purchase, but eBay was pretty picked over in the summer of 2020, so I ended up getting an HP ZBook 15u g3. It’s turned out pretty well for me (apart from those couple of weeks after my only Dell-to-HP power-cord adapter broke and I found myself with no power cords I could use; one is none, folks!).

Is Linux compatibility on PCs still an area of concern? I think it’s been quite a while since the last time installing Ubuntu posed me any major problems. Is that just because I’m using a (relatively) normie distro?



it’s not nearly as big of a thing as it used to be but you can still get unlucky and have some poorly supported hardware. nonstandard features can also be hit or miss



Anecdotally, I threw together a 5800X desktop for lulz and the 2.5GBE ethernet did *not* work at all period, nor did the wifi card in that motherboard. 

That is of course the motherboard from which the magic smoke leaked about a month later, so I replaced it with slightly sidegraded hardware that, critically, only came with GBE and a slightly older wifi card.  Worked perfectly.  

Related: After a bit of toying in alsamixer to turn on the front panel, this is the first time I’ve been able to play 1080p video with sound in Linux *ever*.  First attempt 2004.  



it happens still! it’s a risk! if you’re running linux I still advise you to look up all parts before buying them. but you can usually get away with not

tbh I think network stuff and motherboards are unusually likely to have problems because there’s relatively many varieties and manufacturers. almost intel or amd or nvidia chip has at least bad support. but that’s three companies who all provide some level of support to an existing linux developer community

(see also)


#Linux #conversational aglets

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