Linked by Adam S on Wed 23rd May 2007 23:54 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems If online articles and blogs are any indication of things, the number of Linux users migrating to, and satisfied with, Ubuntu GNU/Linux seems to be staggering. Given that, it was only a matter of time before a capable company had the resources to offer accessible, affordable Linux desktops and notebooks that delivered the way that Apple's products have. Colorado-based System76 sent us their Darter Ultra for review, and proved that there is an OEM hardware/software combination capable of being the primary PC for the general public.
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suspend to ram
by Eugenia on Thu 24th May 2007 00:22 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

> I'm surprised to see System76 not change this to suspend or hibernate by default.

I agree. System76 should have modified this behavior before selling their machine. By default it is set to just blank the screen I think, because the Gnome/ACPI developers are not sure if the PC/laptop supports hibernation/suspend correctly or not. So they take the easy way out of simply blank the screen or not blank it at all. You need to tell it otherwise in the Gnome Power Manager applet. But you see, this is why a user would buy from System76 and not a random laptop. Because they EXPECT such DETAILS to be already configured by the manufacturer. System76 has to learn these little tricks as they go along.

Reply Score: 1

RE: suspend to ram
by ubit on Thu 24th May 2007 00:53 UTC in reply to "suspend to ram"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

GNOME is really weird about that. On my Thinkpad, all I see are Blank Screen and Shutdown. I have to wander into GConf->gnome-power-manager to enable suspend and hibernate and get them to show up for some reason. Also, the suspend bar doesn't let me choose anything less than 11 minutes on battery power, but anyways...

I need a new laptop and this review was very appropos to me; I had heard some issues with Ubuntu on their laptops, but reading this shows that there really aren't any bad issues. The competition between Dell and System76 should be very interesting to watch, since S76 has a great head start.

Edited 2007-05-24 00:54

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: suspend to ram
by Eugenia on Thu 24th May 2007 01:25 UTC in reply to "RE: suspend to ram"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

>On my Thinkpad, all I see are Blank Screen and Shutdown.

Then it's your distro's ACPI script support not complete, and so Gnome can't pick it up from that point. If you run Ubuntu the options should be there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: suspend to ram
by jcpinto on Thu 24th May 2007 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE: suspend to ram"
jcpinto Member since:
2006-08-30

It's a configuration option as you just saw in gconf-editor. Doesn't seem a problem with Power Management!
The suspend bar can be adjusted lower than 11 minutes, if you adjust screensaver to less than 10 minutes. This is a behavior of gnome-screensaver if I'm not wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE: suspend to ram
by sbergman27 on Thu 24th May 2007 02:28 UTC in reply to "suspend to ram"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
I agree. System76 should have modified this behavior before selling their machine.
"""

Ask them on the System76 forum of the Ubuntu Forums. They (System76 employees) are very open and available there.

The idea of enabling suspend is obvious enough that I'm sure thought went into the default setting for System 76 machines, and that it was not just inattention to detail.

Reply Score: 4

did work?
by jcgf on Thu 24th May 2007 00:32 UTC
jcgf
Member since:
2005-11-14

To be clear: on the edgy unit I got, hibernate did work, it just gave an error on resume, and the internet connection restoration was shaky.


That kinda fits my definition of did not work. ;)

That said, if I hadn't just ordered a macbook, I would have considered the system76 unit here. I'm using ubuntu 7.04 (fiesty fawn is a dumb name) on my desktop now and it's quite solid.

Reply Score: 5

RE: did work?
by l3mr on Fri 25th May 2007 12:04 UTC in reply to "did work?"
l3mr Member since:
2007-05-01

fiesty fawn is a dumb name


Yes, that's why it's called feisty fawn ;)

Edited 2007-05-25 12:05

Reply Score: 2

Bluetooth bug
by Eugenia on Thu 24th May 2007 00:45 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

> [Bluetooth] an actual Ubuntu bug!

Which I filed 2+ months ago. ;-)
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux-source-2.6.20/+bug/9...
The "sudo hciconfig hci0 inqmode 0" has the same effect as the also suggested "hciconfig hci0 reset". Apparently a driver fix was suggested towards the end of the bug report which I tried, and it worked. Not sure if it was committed for inclusion in Gutsy. It is a bit of a downer that Ubuntu shipped with this bug because it affected a lot of Bluetooth chips. That's one minus point for both Ubuntu and System76 for shipping with a bug that completely crippled a major hardware feature.

Reply Score: 1

??
by fsckit on Thu 24th May 2007 01:28 UTC
fsckit
Member since:
2006-09-24

Unless it's a very non-standard Ubuntu install it certainly does search for wireless connections out of the box. I just got through installing Ubuntu 3 days ago on the DELL D820 my job gave me and the network manager applet right at the top of the screen shows every ssid the card can reach with absolutely no user setup.

Reply Score: 5

RE: ??
by Eugenia on Thu 24th May 2007 01:32 UTC in reply to "??"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Please read more carefully. Adam is speaking of the network settings, not NetworkManager. NetworkManager which sits in the panel does search for networks, as long as the driver allows it to do so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ??
by fsckit on Thu 24th May 2007 01:37 UTC in reply to "RE: ??"
fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

I know what he was referring to. Now exactly why would a network "settings" app search for an ssid? It's not for on-the-fly network switching. It's for configuring the network. Had he looked in the proper place, as in right-in-front-of-his-face he would have seen that it does search out ssids for that purpose.

Edited 2007-05-24 01:38

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: ??
by Eugenia on Thu 24th May 2007 01:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ??"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Sorry pal, but if wireless is part of a network setting app, it should offer the whole deal of features. Why? Because it is the obvious place to look at. Many people don't click the small obscure icons in the panel and instead are trying to configure/fix things under "Administration". Simply, because it's the obvious place to look at first.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: ??
by archiesteel on Thu 24th May 2007 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ??"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I have to disagree with you here Eugenia. Network Manager is the new default app for searching and connecting to Wireless networks, it's on by default and it's in an obvious place (if only because people who migrate from Windows are used to having their wireless networks accessible through the "tray").

I understand Adam might have been used to a different way of doing things, but personally (even though I'm not a Gnome user) I think the way Ubuntu does it is really the way to go.

Don't get me wrong - I'm the same way...I don't like it when they change the UI around (I could never stand the new control panel layout in XP, and always switched to classic view - don't get me started about Vista). However, this is one instance where, once past the initial annoyance, it all smooth sailing.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[5]: ??
by CrazyDude0 on Thu 24th May 2007 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ??"
RE[6]: ??
by archiesteel on Thu 24th May 2007 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ??"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

What the hell are you talking about, dude?

All I said was that I get grumpy when they change the UI around - NOT that the ones they did in Linux are good while those in Vista are bad!

I your ever-predictable rush to pick a fight and defend your precious OS, you made some assumptions that are, well, wrong. And now you look like a fool. Again. (And you're off-topic, too.)

As far as using NetworkManager, I'm not sure that's a Gnome decision, but rather a Ubuntu decision.

Microsoft has done many user interface studies and I was a part of one such study.


God have mercy on our souls...

Reply Score: 5

RE: ??
by fjleon on Thu 24th May 2007 16:52 UTC in reply to "??"
fjleon Member since:
2006-05-02

Remember it was ubuntu edgy, an old version

Reply Score: 1

Reading article in opera mini...
by hobgoblin on Thu 24th May 2007 01:42 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is the second multi-page article on osnews where i get the first page when trying to open the later pages...

Browser: Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/3.1.7139/1682; nb; U; ssr)

Reply Score: 2

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I can confirm. This seems to be a new bug. The URLs are changing from news_id=XXXX to the new naming standard Adam added on osnews, but on the way the $page variable is not carried through... This is a newly created bug, I will poke Adam about it. Thanks for the report.

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I just fixed it. It should be ok now.

Reply Score: 1

The Power Of Ubuntu
by th3rmite on Thu 24th May 2007 02:25 UTC
th3rmite
Member since:
2006-01-08

This sounds like exactly the same experience I had with Ubuntu on my 3 year old Toshiba Satellite. In the last 9+ years of using linux, I would definately say that Ubuntu has pushed the desktop usability on linux to new levels.

Reply Score: 4

Just one question:
by Moochman on Thu 24th May 2007 04:08 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

What was the actual (not the rated) battery life in your tests?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Just one question:
by Adam S on Thu 24th May 2007 14:24 UTC in reply to "Just one question:"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

What was the actual (not the rated) battery life in your tests?


I have yet to run it down completely, but I have gotten over 4 hours.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just one question:
by cptnapalm on Thu 24th May 2007 14:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Just one question:"
cptnapalm Member since:
2006-08-09

Four hours? That's pretty damn good.

My Toshiba bit the dust after about a whopping year due to being poorly engineered (heat and cheap components) and I was thinking about getting another x86 laptop as I figure that mine will crap out again, even if sent for repairs.

So I was thinking about System76, but wanted to read some reviews first. And along comes this one, which sounds pretty good. (Minor software annoyances don't bother me. Hell, even some hardware goofiness isn't unacceptable: I have a Tadpole Sparcle, an UltraSparc laptop.)

So thanks for the review. There any other System76 reviews around?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Just one question:
by Adam S on Thu 24th May 2007 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just one question:"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Four hours? That's pretty damn good.


The disclaimer, of course, is that it depends what you're doing. If you compile a new kernel and run Folding@Home or BOINC, that will yield a different result than if you spend 4 hours in gedit and Firefox.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Just one question:
by cptnapalm on Thu 24th May 2007 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just one question:"
cptnapalm Member since:
2006-08-09

I'm thinking that 4 terms open with ssh wouldn't be too draining.

I do wish that they had a Unix style keyboard. My Sparcle has one and I've got so used to it so quickly that normal PC keyboards get on my nerves.

Reply Score: 1

Heaven forbid ...
by kanwar.plaha on Thu 24th May 2007 04:24 UTC
kanwar.plaha
Member since:
2006-02-20

Sorry to pour cold water over this review but the poor user is in for a *nasty* surprise or frustration when he/she tries to import pictures into F-spot and find that for every image that f-spot feels has some issue, a 'skip' button has to be pressed individually.

I faced that with Ub 7.04 lately and after pressing it for at least 20-30 times, I killed it with xkill! Is it blasphemous to ask the developers to add an 'auto-skip' button for such things? I mean digikam has it -- or maybe its against user-friendliness and usablity to have an extra button there!!

Sorry for the unveiled sarcasm but GNOME developers need to address some serious issues!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Heaven forbid ...
by Soulbender on Thu 24th May 2007 05:07 UTC in reply to "Heaven forbid ..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Is it blasphemous to ask the developers to add an 'auto-skip' button for such things? "

I dunno, did you ask them?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Heaven forbid ...
by Adam S on Thu 24th May 2007 14:22 UTC in reply to "Heaven forbid ..."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Sorry to pour cold water over this review but the poor user is in for a *nasty* surprise or frustration when he/she tries to import pictures into F-spot and find that for every image that f-spot feels has some issue, a 'skip' button has to be pressed individually.


Surely, you can't blame System76 for a perceived problem with an application?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Heaven forbid ...
by intangible on Thu 24th May 2007 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Heaven forbid ..."
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly, there are other applications out there... Picasa seems to work well.

Reply Score: 1

Interesting review
by tux2005 on Thu 24th May 2007 04:52 UTC
tux2005
Member since:
2007-04-03

I've looked at the System76 laptops a few times (largely because I've been trying to get their free "Powered by Ubuntu" stickers), they definitely did appeal. I'm using Feisty on my ThinkPad R52, it's worked brilliantly for me. I had been using Edgy until I ran into trouble with Ubuntu and IBM Rational Software Architect so I ended up with Fedora and I disliked it immensely. Switching between wired and wireless was a huge hassle as DHCP would not work, it needed killing and restarting every switch, coupled with wpa_supplicant on my university wireless and it was really irritating. I've not had any problems in Feisty, Edgy or Fedora Core 6 with hibernate or sleep, nor any problems with network connections (excluding the Fedora comment obviously).

I personally dislike laptops going to sleep or hibernating when I close the lid. I often use the laptop in class and close it when I won't be using it for a minute or two, when I hope the lid I expect it to be ready to use.

I've had experience with a Dell Inspiron and this ThinkPad directly and seen several other laptops, if I were buying a laptop the three laptops I would consider are ThinkPads, Toshibas, Macbooks and System76 ones. I had a bad experience with my Dell and seen too many problems with Compaq, HP, etc. The only thing I dislike about both the Macbook and System76 systems are the lack of a TrackPoint, my ThinkPad has made me a convert.

Edit: Also I think every laptop I have ever used needed me to tweak it so it didn't suspend, hibernate or shutdown on the lid closing, whether in Linux or Windows.

Edited 2007-05-24 04:56

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting review
by Moochman on Thu 24th May 2007 07:14 UTC in reply to "Interesting review"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

If you're planning on putting Linux on it, I wouldn't recommend going with Toshiba. They have a tendency to make their hardware very tied to Windows.

Reply Score: 2

modem
by elanthis on Thu 24th May 2007 05:43 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

The review fails to mention if the modem is supported at all or not. I'm assuming it's not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: modem
by siimo on Thu 24th May 2007 06:04 UTC in reply to "modem"
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

Dell said they will be bundling linux drivers for their connexant modems. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: modem
by Constantine XVI on Thu 24th May 2007 12:27 UTC in reply to "modem"
Constantine XVI Member since:
2006-11-02

Since System76 only sells Linux hardware, I'm guessing that if it has a modem, it works.

Reply Score: 2

What's the point?
by evangs on Thu 24th May 2007 06:51 UTC
evangs
Member since:
2005-07-07

It's good to see that there are manufacturers shipping preinstalled Linux laptops. However, I fail to see what these guys are adding over buying a standard retail laptop and putting Ubuntu on it?

The problems like suspend and bluetooth is what you'd have to deal with if you installed Linux yourself. So if you're going to have to mess around with these things when you bought a laptop preinstalled with Linux, what's the point?

From the review, I can't find any reason to justify buying this laptop other than to support System76 and hope they come up with better offerings sometime down the line.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What's the point?
by Stock on Thu 24th May 2007 07:11 UTC in reply to "What's the point?"
Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

We recently started to sell similar OEM laptops in the U.K. The first huge difference between buying from a Linux OEM and any other is that you're pretty much guaranteed to have all your hardware working. A retail laptop might work with 90% of the hardware included but when a new user finds that the modem doesn't work it is more that just a minor hassle.

The other big difference buying from ourselves is that there is no Window's tax, I assume System76 have avoided it too. You wont see much of a reduction in the price because the cost of a licence on these laptops is a pittance and the extra costs involved to certify hardware more than close that gap.

I completely understand the worry about fiddling with bluetooth and hibernate. That's why we didn't choose to include bluetooth in our current line up and wont be adding it until we can guarantee it works. The hibernate issue is harder to avoid but we went with the set of hardware we found works best.

So if your main concern is cost and you're happy to fight with a Broadcom Wifi chip and maybe accept the odd crash due an ATI video card then buy retail. If you want reliability and a nice enjoyable user experience then checkout System76 or a XePhi Computer if you're in Europe:
http://www.linuxlaptops.eu/
(Warning: site may be missing pages due to redevelopment but core functionality is back now.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: What's the point?
by butters on Thu 24th May 2007 21:43 UTC in reply to "What's the point?"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I see the point of selling a laptop designed with Linux in mind and bundling it with a Linux distribution pre-installed. What irks me is the "System76 driver." What is this, and why is it distributed separately from the rest of the Ubuntu distribution? If they've done kernel work, why is it not being submitted for inclusion in the mainline?

Reply Score: 4

price
by l3v1 on Thu 24th May 2007 07:49 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Mz only problem with is laptop is the price. When I configured it with the 2gig c2d, 1.5g mem and 80g hd I got ~$1500. For that sum for this spec in the 12-13" range I can get a lenovo, a vaio, an asus (and so on). Question: if one is not a linux newbie and can manage to pick a laptop with proper hardware and install one's distro of choice, why would one choose the Darter Ultra ?

Reply Score: 5

RE: price
by siimo on Thu 24th May 2007 07:54 UTC in reply to "price"
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

Because it *gurantees* you that all hardware is supported in linux unlike those other brands you mention.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: price
by l3v1 on Thu 24th May 2007 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE: price"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, from the point of view I asked, that doesn't really matter.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: price
by Stock on Thu 24th May 2007 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: price"
Stock Member since:
2005-08-31

It really does matter. How do you know the hardware will work?

If it doesn't you've got no recourse because it wasn't sold with Linux and if you discover a hardware fault after a month chances are you voided your warranty by installing Linux.

Just because you see a review doesn't mean the vendor wont change a component and still sell it under the same model number. This happens an awful lot with WiFi cards because it's a really easy way to drive down costs.

When we specify the hardware for our laptops we always get asked if we want a cheaper WiFi card in there "because it's what people do" to save money. And we're not talking about a difference of $5 here it's a big difference but we pay the extra for a card that works 100% with Linux and just doesn't give any hassle.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: price
by l3v1 on Thu 24th May 2007 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: price"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I see your point, but remember, I wasn't asking from a newbie or a corporate deployment point of view.

I really don't have any offensive intentions here. I just happen to wonder whether such laptops are worth considering for us others (or for me, if I'm alone with this ;) ) I don't think this is a big deal, maybe I shouldn't have even asked.

It really does matter. How do you know the hardware will work?


If I order a laptop with certain specs and I get one with different specs, then I return it. About knowing what will work, well, I'm not a guru and I'm not a linux hacker, but I've been using Linux for many years and I know what is a safe bet. Meaning I know what to look for when buying a laptop if I intend to use Linux on it. Yes, I'm a niche, but even two posts above this has been the point of view I've tried to represent.

If it doesn't you've got no recourse because it wasn't sold with Linux and if you discover a hardware fault after a month chances are you voided your warranty by installing Linux.


Yes, I've heard and read stories on the issue (related to hp) recently. That's why is always a safe bet to not wipe the windows partition, just shrink it to minimal thus unless the hard drive fails you can regrow the partition and restore the mbr before giving it to servicing.

Edited 2007-05-24 13:53

Reply Score: 3

stefanpa
Member since:
2006-01-03

It seem to me that desktop linux distributions like Ubuntu should possible concentrate on laptop support instead of desktop machines. It seems to me that this is where a lot of the faults still lie. I don't mind if my desktop machine doesn't hibernate or sleep properly but I do care if my laptop doesn't. Laptops are the more popular option for consumers. The people who want a big desktop, I would say are more likely to have the knowledge and will to fix small problems.

I would imagine (may be wrong with this) that the amount of different types of hardware needed to be supported is smaller for laptops. You are less likely to have to support every possible graphics chipset. You know that the machine is unlikely to change components(my not help). The possible combination of hardware is smaller because components are not easily replaceable.

It might be an idea to try and use "a supports all Apple hardware" line as a selling point. Apple are trying to push boot camp why not hitch a ride. You know what all the hardware is on the Mac and it's has a relatively small variation in it's line. It give a hard specification to conform too. If you can say, "This will work with your MacBook" with more certainty than currently, people will be more inclined to go with it. I would be more inclined to use linux if I knew that with the hardware I have I'm 90% likely for it all to work. I don't want to spend my time finding fixes. I want to get some stuff done on it.

You want to do what happens with MS windows but the other way round. Because windows has the majority share, hardware suppliers have to try and keep to what windows supports. Linux should try supporting the hardware which has the majority share making it a real certainty that linux will work fully on 60% of hardware not 60% working on 90% of hardware.

This maybe complete BS or it might be the current aim already. It just my view on things from outside the community.

Reply Score: 2

bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

It might be an idea to try and use "a supports all Apple hardware" line as a selling point. Apple are trying to push boot camp why not hitch a ride. You know what all the hardware is on the Mac and it's has a relatively small variation in it's line. It give a hard specification to conform too. If you can say, "This will work with your MacBook" with more certainty than currently, people will be more inclined to go with it. I would be more inclined to use linux if I knew that with the hardware I have I'm 90% likely for it all to work. I don't want to spend my time finding fixes. I want to get some stuff done on it.


Interesting idea. Unfortunately, choosing Apple as the hardware vendor will likely limit the attractiveness of your offerings to new Linux users.

Reply Score: 1

evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Interesting idea. Unfortunately, choosing Apple as the hardware vendor will likely limit the attractiveness of your offerings to new Linux users.

No, that doesn't make any sense. Apple hardware is standardized. If you get a Macbook, you know exactly what's gonna be in there. That makes it much easier to come up with a distro that works with everything out of the box.

You could even argue that if someone is willing to buy a Mac, they're willing to take the plunge away from Windows. Create an attractive, easy to manage/use distro that works hassle free on the Macs, and you've got a shot at switching users.

Reply Score: 5

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Apple hardware is standardized. If you get a Macbook, you know exactly what's gonna be in there


This doesn't help you if you know exactly that it won't work.

E.g. if some parts do not work with Linux because the hardware vendor does not support drivers in any way (e.g. broadcom).

Apple might have some special deal to get their drivers, Linux distributions might not.

Additionally it will be pretty difficult to get Apple hardware without Mac OS X

Reply Score: 3

Also Price
by stefanpa on Thu 24th May 2007 11:06 UTC
stefanpa
Member since:
2006-01-03

I notices the price was higher then an similarly equipped MacBook. OK the MacBook didn't have a PCI Express Card Slot but the System76 doesn't have a webcam, 802.11n or the 20 extra gig the MacBook has and they don't have the cost of developing the OS.

Wouldn't be too bad if everything really did work without any support needed, but as it doesn't, why bother. You end up paying an extra $200 or so for support which they know you will need. Why not fix the problems once and deduct $200.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Also Price
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 24th May 2007 11:58 UTC in reply to "Also Price"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly. I had been checking the same thing before reading your post.

Macbook:

Specifications

* 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* 1GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x512
* 120GB Serial ATA @ 5400 rpm
* SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
* Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
* AirPort Extreme Card & Bluetooth

$1,299.00

Darter Ultra with similar specs:

$1,588.00

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Also Price
by Lu-Tze on Thu 24th May 2007 12:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Also Price"
Lu-Tze Member since:
2006-01-10

For those comparing the price with Macbook. This is nearly a pound lighter (5.1 vs 4.3lb). Now many of us might not care about that difference but this kind of weight difference also comes with a price difference. On the other hand, if you customize the Gazelle range (bigger screen - 5.5lb), you get a similar price to the Macbook.

Edited 2007-05-24 12:55

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Also Price
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 24th May 2007 13:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Also Price"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

if you customize the Gazelle range (bigger screen - 5.5lb), you get a similar price to the Macbook.


That is a good point too, although personally I still prefer the Macbook (it runs OS X as well) ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Also Price
by Adam S on Thu 24th May 2007 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Also Price"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Macbook: [...] $1,299.00
Darter Ultra with similar specs: $1,588.00


The Darter comes with an integrated modem, an integrated memory card reader, more and better located USB ports, and a nice case. Just to make things a little more even.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Also Price
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 24th May 2007 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Also Price"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

OK, I acknowledge that ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Also Price
by nemith on Thu 24th May 2007 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Also Price"
nemith Member since:
2005-07-28

And a smaller trackpad, no camera.... and the big kicker: DVI out. I can hook my computer up to my plasma a display photos, or movies, or.... whatever.

I think the better deal is still the Macbook. I don't want to pay 300 bones for a a card reader and a "better located USB".

After using my macbook for a month now I have never thought to myself, "Hey... I wish this laptop had a better located USB port"

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Also Price
by Adam S on Thu 24th May 2007 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Also Price"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

After using my macbook for a month now I have never thought to myself, "Hey... I wish this laptop had a better located USB port"


I used my Macbook Pro for 9 months before I finally said "this is nuts" and sold it. Now I think it everytime I have to switch the ports on my iMac. USB location *is* important for some people.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Price
by serlex on Thu 24th May 2007 12:13 UTC
serlex
Member since:
2007-01-09

exatcly what Penguin said, was looking all good until price went higher than a macbook with similar specs

Reply Score: 4

.
by Governa on Thu 24th May 2007 12:17 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

How can I actually buy one of these in the UK? I love it. ;)

Also, why are most Linux Laptops so expensive when compared with other solutions?

For example, anyone can buy a £299/£399 laptop on PC World with Windows Vista (yuck!) but when I check for Linux laptops (www.linuxlaptops.eu for example) the cheapest one is almost £700.

Are there no cheap laptops that are actually any good for running linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE: .
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 24th May 2007 12:46 UTC in reply to "."
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Are there no cheap laptops that are actually any good for running linux?


Linux support for notebooks has improved a lot in the last few years, so you have a very good chance that if you buy a notebook. Linux will run fine on it. I'd avoid ATI cards, but the GMA950 is fine.

Reply Score: 3

nice notebook
by netpython on Thu 24th May 2007 12:30 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Although i would like a macbook but dislike the onboard graphics chip only option the ultra with latests ubuntu preloaded looks like a serious alternativ.

Browser: Links (2.1pre26; Linux 2.6.20-gentoo-r8 x86_64; x)

Reply Score: 3

hm
by spikeb on Thu 24th May 2007 13:15 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

I'm actually LESS likely to buy something from system76 now that I know they don't work that great out of the box. what's the point?

Reply Score: 1

RE: hm
by Adam S on Thu 24th May 2007 14:07 UTC in reply to "hm"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

I'm actually LESS likely to buy something from system76 now that I know they don't work that great out of the box. what's the point?


They do! There are a few "gotchas" - most are Ubuntu bugs, not System76 bugs, some are fixed with Feisty, and the some are not bugs but settings which you can change easily yourself.

It's not much different than complaining that when you bought your Dell there was a Windows exploit, and then blaming Dell for it!

Edited 2007-05-24 14:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

OpenGL
by fretinator on Thu 24th May 2007 15:17 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

How about the FPS on glxgears?

Reply Score: 2

Poor Display Resolution
by braddock on Thu 24th May 2007 16:02 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

I would consider buying one of the higher end System76 machines if the display resolution was reasonable. 1280x800 on the high-end nvidia-based models is insufficient.

Edited 2007-05-24 16:03

Reply Score: 1

hmm
by Robocoastie on Thu 24th May 2007 16:05 UTC
Robocoastie
Member since:
2005-09-15

I like the prices. I would like to see an option to have the fluendo codecs installed though. I imagine they use the open source video drivers too so 3d desktop won't work either.

Reply Score: 1

I don't get it
by nevali on Thu 24th May 2007 18:36 UTC
nevali
Member since:
2006-10-12

Everybody makes the Apple comparison here, but as soon as there's a hiccup, it's “a GNOME problem” or “an Ubuntu problem”. You don't get Apple going “oh, it's a Mach problem” or “it's an Apache issue” (even when it is, it wouldn't help, the users don't care about that).

The whole point of a single vendor both hardware and operating system (whether they bought it in or developed it themselves matters not to a user) is that (a) you know that everything will work, and (b) you're not going to play the blame game when something goes wrong: it's the vendor's problem, and they fix it.

Reply Score: 5

v Gentoo Rules!
by jerryn on Thu 24th May 2007 20:37 UTC
RE: Gentoo Rules!
by evangs on Fri 25th May 2007 11:37 UTC in reply to "Gentoo Rules!"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

I tried Ubunto, it's not as gast as my gentoo distribution!

Freudian slip and typo in one sentence? Did you mean "ghastly" when you wrote gast? ;)

I've upgraded Ubuntu 5.10 (or 09 or 11, whatever it was) to the latest with no problems either. Prior to that, it was a Debian Sid box that has been upgraded for 2 - 3 years before I gave Ubuntu a go.

You do not need to compile things from the source to have such ease of maintainability. Debian has been doing that long before Gentoo became popular. There's nothing about Gentoo that will inherently make it better for power users. If anything, you're confusing power users with ricers ;)

Edited 2007-05-25 11:38

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gentoo Rules!
by Adam S on Fri 25th May 2007 13:32 UTC in reply to "Gentoo Rules!"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

There's nothing like having a release compiled and optimized for your hardware.


Bah. Compiling on a desktop machine gives you a speed bump that, for most tasks, is negligible at best. For most people, it isn't worth the extra time and energy required just for installation!

But that doesn't stop Gentoo geeks from coming to every forums possible and posting off topic comments to pimp their distro of choice.

Reply Score: 1

winkey
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 24th May 2007 20:48 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

This certainly wouldn't affect whether or not I bought a laptop from them, but the laptops all have Windows keys ;) Hardly worth the effort to create Ubuntu keys (with the round Ubuntu logo instead of the 4 pane window), but it would have been cool to see.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

It's about $150 more expensive than a MacBook when comparably equipped and still doesn't have a webcam or 1 Gbps Ethernet, but does have an Expresscard slot. What is weight, or lack of it, worth?

The bigger models have the 15.4 display at the lower resolution of the MacBook and are closer to a better value.

As far as the machine working well out of the box, I'd be surprised if System76 don't fix things properly as soon as they know that there is a problem.

Reply Score: 1