Laptop saga: reader, I bought it

After much brow-knitting and consternation, I bought a laptop. I’m ready to blog from GA 2008.

I decided to go with a used, but not obsolete machine: a Dell Latitude D600. $350 with mouse and case, which is in line with what comparable machines were selling on eBay. Thank you, Craigslist.

Used, rather than a new, more powerful Ubuntu Dell because I

  1. didn’t want to pay that much, even for a cheap laptop
  2. didn’t want to contribute to our national export debt
  3. didn’t want to contribute to the global electronic waste pile
  4. wanted to prove that Linux can extend our resources, as I’ve written before

To that end, I was willing to spend a bit more to than perhaps a cold, financial eye would think is fair to get a laptop. Even so, I think I did pretty well. I went with a Dell Latitude because of their reputation for robustness and asked ahead of time about its wireless card — Intel — since that’s one of Linux’s Achilles ankles.With only 256 Mb of RAM, it bucked at the Ubuntu live disc, so I tried out the lighter Xubuntu live disc which made for a usable, if slow, desktop. Installed it, ran very well and fast, but I kept looking for software and features that you loose with Xubuntu, so decided to upgrade to Ubuntu (apt-get install ubuntu-desktop for those who grok these things.)

I made the GNOME desktop, the hallmark of Ubuntu over Xubuntu, the default. I’m now updating it. Will note any additional software and problems, if any. Oh, and there wasn’t a lick of problem with wifi.

Lastly, I removed xubuntu-desktop and added ubuntu-serverguide.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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