[Madlug] anyone looking to upgrade and want to sell old hardware?

Douglas Whitfield whitfield at opensourceplayground.org
Sun Jun 26 21:23:40 CDT 2011

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: If you are selling an old laptop, I might be interested.
I would also be interested in suggestions for cheap new laptops.  Also,
there's a technical question at the end.

Both my girlfriend and I are looking to upgrade our laptops...which are
quite old.  She's just finished school and has student loans to pay off and
doesn't want to pay much.  I'm going back to school in August, so I also
don't want to pay much.

What this means is that it's likely that one of your old laptops will serve
one of us well.  It would be preferable if her machine ran well on Linux as
she knows she's not getting much tech support on Windows.  Mine will be
required to run Linux well (shouldn't be hard on this list, should it?).

There aren't really *required specs*.  She doesn't have a CD drive now which
is irritating, but the reason I keep mentioning CDs is because she needs to
reinstall, so if I got something and shipped it to her I could do the
install first.  She's got a Lenovo X Series now.  I don't know how she'd
feel about a smaller monitor, but she might be willing to give the netbook a

The *budget is also negotiable*.  She'll buy anything I tell her is a good
deal, but I'm not going to get her something gigantic.  Like her, I pretty
much need something that will handle Skype (I spent hours today testing out
other stuff and nothing else worked*) and browse the web.  I'd prefer
something that won't take days to compile a kernel module but I'm not going
to be able to get anything too beefy on my budget.  Also, I don't want
something too heavy because I'll be biking to class.

As to a new laptop, I know these "what's the best laptop" questions come up
occasionally, but new stuff comes out, so good to get a new sample of

*GTalk worked for a while, but then GNOME3 decided to lock up.  I don't know
whose fault it was in the system and I don't have time to investigate.  I
haven't had great stability with GNOME3 on Ubuntu though.   Anyway, I was
able to continue the audio call by hit CTRL + ALT + F1 but I couldn't get an
X session up.  X kept bombing out right at the beginning giving me an fglrx
error.  If anyone wants to suggest a way to get an X session up (I tried X
:1) then I might be willing to give GTalk another shot, but it's not like
using a Google service is the paragon of freedom.  jabber > Skype on the
freedom scale I think it's save to say though.  I'm not going to try to set
up Linphone for musicians that I interview.  No manuals should be required
for whatever we end up with and as much of a pain as it is, Skype still wins
that....at least when it comes to video.  I was on a GVoice call for a while
with no problem.   Just for clarification, GTalk is the name of the Google
jabber service with video.  GVoice allows you to call actual phone #s from
your computer.  It is ridiculously sweet...but no video.

Douglas A. Whitfield

hhp://madisonlinux.org <http://madisonlinux.org>
Last.fm group: last.fm/group/Mu...<http://www.last.fm/group/Music%2520Manumit%2520Podcast>
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