"Buying a fully Linux compliant laptop can be a truly harrowing
experience. Many people have learned to deal with uncompliant
laptops. It's interesting to learn about some of the things people
do to get by with an uncompliant or misconfigured system. When
having audio problems, for instance, some users simply keep the
volume to a minimum. Others, when having problems with X, get into
the habit of restarting X every half hour; in especially bad cases
they even reboot the laptop every half hour. I find these
situations unacceptable. It is one thing if you were given the
laptop at no cost, but it's completely different if you dropped
hundreds of dollars of your own cash to get this kind of system.
These problems all can be avoided if you take the time to educate
yourself about what is available, set realistic goals for what you
want to buy and make certain the machine you want is within your
price range. All this said, setting up a Linux-based laptop
actually can be a satisfying experience.
"As with any other major purchase, when buying a laptop the
first thing you need to do is define your needs. Take everything
into consideration, and start with basic usage items. What size
screen would you like to have? Do you prefer a touchpad or a
trackpoint? Do you have a requirement for battery life? Do you want
to be able to watch DVDs? Do you want to burn CDs? Do you require a
good sound system? Are you planning on connecting to a wireless
network, modem-based ISP or conventional wired LAN; or do you not
require any LAN or internet connection at all? For what purposes
are you primarily going to use the laptop: word processing, gaming,
photo manipulation, SA access terminal, web browsing? All of these
questions and uses should be considered, because the answers can
effect drastically both the cost of the laptop and the time
required to make it ready for use..."
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