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32BitsOnline: Review: Dell Inspiron 3700

Dec 14, 1999, 22:54 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jim Thompson)

"I configured my 3700 with a 433 MHz Celeron processor, 96 MB of memory, a 10 GB hard drive and the 24X CD drive. I chose not to equip my system with a Dell-supplied modem or network card because I could get a better deal from another vendor. I also declined the Microsoft Office 2000 option, which saved USD$50. Dell does not preconfigure its notebook systems with Linux, and does not offer a "no-OS" option. This wasn't a problem for me, because I will need to run Windows on occasion...."

"Booting Linux from the RedHat 6.1 distribution media requires tweaking the BIOS to allow booting from the CD drive. The new Red Hat graphical installation program won't run because it requires the X server, which has trouble starting up on the 3700's ATI video system. The simple way around this problem is to just use the old text-based install program, which is available from the Red Hat 6.1 boot menu...."

"The trackpad works well with XFree86, which sees it and the stick as PS/2 mice, but the trackpad has to be handled with some care. It has a "tapping" feature. which means that a single, short tap on the trackpad surface is the same as a single click on the trackpad button. A nice feature if you want it, but I sometimes get unintended mouse clicks. There does not appear to be any way to turn off this tapping feature from Linux."

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