Home > Linux > LinuxCertified LC2464 64-bit Linux Laptop LinuxCertified LC2464 64-bit Linux Laptop Submitted by centh00 2005-08-09 Linux 28 Comments ARSTechnica took a new 64 bit laptop out for a test run using Gentoo Linux. How did it fair? Just that: fair, as it turns out. Lightening fast, but with more cons than pros. About The Author Adam Scheinberg Vice President, Information Technology at Massey Services, Inc • President, Board Member, The Mockingbird Foundation • All Things Web, Umphrey’s McGee • Web Developer • Father • Foodie • Music Snob • OS enthusiast Follow me on Twitter @sethadam1 28 Comments 2005-08-09 4:04 pm Is this guy for real or what? This read like a report from someone who hardly knows Linux at all. The vast majority of these ‘problems’ can be overcome. In fact most of them aren’t problems, most of them are simply a diplay of the user’s own lack of knowledge. Amittedly though it is not easy to do – which is why I guess he chose a preconfigured system to begin with. I don’t know if I would have chosen Gentoo for a laptop though. Suse, Kanotix (which has excellent laptop support) and Ubuntu would probably have been better choices. Compiling all that software is bound to chew up battery life. GJ 2005-08-09 6:05 pm “Is this guy for real or what? This read like a report from someone who hardly knows Linux at all. The vast majority of these ‘problems’ can be overcome. In fact most of them aren’t problems, most of them are simply a diplay of the user’s own lack of knowledge. Amittedly though it is not easy to do – which is why I guess he chose a preconfigured system to begin with. I don’t know if I would have chosen Gentoo for a laptop though. Suse, Kanotix (which has excellent laptop support) and Ubuntu would probably have been better choices. Compiling all that software is bound to chew up battery life. ” I totally agree with you. 2005-08-09 4:19 pm In fact most of them aren’t problems, most of them are simply a diplay of the user’s own lack of knowledge. Agree with you on that one.And if i couldn’t bring the wireless online which i doubt i just buy a prism based pcmcia card. Compiling all that software is bound to chew up battery life. Not with a adapter as desktop replacement.You defenitely save a big log of energy on the monitor.Nonetheless there are far to less notebooks/PC’s sold without an OS preinstalled. 2005-08-09 4:26 pm Brmbolec I’m using Gentoo on two laptops (Fujitsu 3Ghz and older Toshiba) as on desktop P4 HT and G4 PPC, it performs really better compared to others and also compared to Windows. I tried many distributions, but Gentoo is the only one doing what I want. For example, I installed Gentoo on that older Toshiba with AMD K6-III. Everything including PCMCIA WiFi and PCMCIA network card works perfect. I tried WinXP but it didn’t recognize most of the hardware and without internet or network working I have no idea how to download drivers for Windows. 2005-08-09 5:10 pm Tom K So Linux didn’t work out too well for a semi-noob … what else is new? Seriously. 2005-08-09 5:26 pm Anonymous Penguin “So Linux didn’t work out too well for a semi-noob …” Great! It takes a genius to understand why: because Gentoo *is not* for noobs or semy noobs!!! If he had chosen SUSE or Kanotix even an idiot could install and configure them. 2005-08-09 11:39 pm I consider myself noob , but thought gentoo was quite easy to install. What rocket science is there after all pop in the live CD and read the damn Handbook and type. And take a nap and go to see a movie while its compiling. 2005-08-09 5:55 pm Anonymous Penguin Some people come here only to write BS and start flamewars. Take the user “Linux Is Poo”, for instance. 1)The very nick shouldn’t be allowed. What If I replace mine with “M$ is shit” ? 2)Out of 30 comments he has got 14 – votes. That means that on average people don’t like 1 out of 2 of his comments. 3)People like him get votes too. Can you imagine? Definitely something needs to be done about such people. 2005-08-09 6:52 pm Tom K Don’t like it? Don’t read my comments. If the OSNews admins suddenly started canning people with who’s views they didn’t agree with, this site would turn into Slashdot. Oh, wait … it’s already heading in that direction. I see a wonderful amount of neutral/informative comments being modded down merely because the lot of Linux circle-jerkers don’t agree with the point of view. Mod away. 2005-08-10 12:44 am Anonymous Penguin OK, then I’ll do it: I’ll have a look at your posts, see what is your fav OS, and then replace my nick with “OS…is shit” Let’s see how much you like it. 2005-08-09 5:58 pm The review seemed fair to me. The laptop was pre-configured. If I bought a laptop with linux pre-configured, I would expect it to work. If this was an article about installing Linux on a Dell and how that worked out, I would expect there to be some implementation issues. But as a pre configured system anything that does not work out of the box is a flaw. It’s really too bad, It’s not like any of these issues are unsolvable. I think this is one of the problems with linux desktop uptake. Sure you can get Linux to work, work well, and in my opinion better than any other system. But if you can’t but a system that works out of the box it is irrelivant to most people. 2005-08-09 6:32 pm I think this dude is a Linux noob or a Linux hater. Either of these is not acceptable to me for Arstechnica because I consider them a great site that provides me with very technical, un-biased articles about today’s technology. Please let me rant and point out a few things in the article that got me real pissed. Not to mention the whole article had a negative tone to it. In the Gentoo forums, when someone would like to brag or review their laptop, they would print out a lspci. This guy didn’t do that. Even thought the LinuxCertified had a printout, the reviewer’s laptop differed from the base config. (at least in terms of wireless). Wireless support: He didn’t tell us if he was using ndiswrapper or some native driver. And the way he worded one sentence sounded like he was expecting a graphical utility to setup wireless on Gentoo, LOL. The text editor is your friend in Gentoo. Power Management: There is no need now a days for the userspace program powernowd. Ever since the 2.6.10 (or maybe the 2.6.11) you can have the kernel do the cpu scaling (oh yeah and one extra line in the startup script). A quick search in the AMD64 Gentoo forums was all he needed to solve this problem. Hibernation, sleep, etc, is still relatively new on Linux and there are lots of problems on most Linux laptops. The battery life didn’t last that long not because of the system, but because he probably didn’t have cpu scaling working properly. Video: emerge ati-drivers should of done it. It is true that ATI Linux drivers suck, but it is not as bad as he is saying. Modem: There are a lot of winmodem drivers out there. It looks like he didn’t even try any. Maybe he doesn’t know how to use lspci to identify his hardware. 2005-08-09 7:03 pm Actually, being a user of the same laptop model (LC2464), I would say that 5 out of 10 is bit too harsh, and reflects the reviewers lack of sense of what Linux laptops are really used for. Reviewer says that the screen was great, and performance was great. What else do you buy a 64 bit Linux laptop for? I have been very happy with my LC2464. Sure, some users here can roll up their own installation by buying a Dell (wait – does Dell even sell a 64 bit laptop !!?), but I don’t have the time to do so.. 2005-08-09 7:29 pm dell’s laptop line is based on the low-voltage low-power low-heat pentium-m and centrino-m processors. the current generation (dothan) are firmly 32 bit. butt really, how often are you going to need 64 bit on the move? do you have 6gb arrays to process on the train? 2005-08-09 7:44 pm wilburpan I haave been using Gentoo on my old Dell laptop for over 2 years. Having said that, this looks like a fair review to me. Let’s look at the criticisms: 1. WiFi support is iffy. 2. Power management is not great. 3. Keyboard is fair, but not great. 4. Problems with touchpad performance and middle button. 5. Feature buttons don’t work as advertised. 6. ATI video performance suffers in Linux. 7. Battery life poor. Now, remember that this is supposed to be a configured system. The point is not whether you can fix these things by configuring Gentoo. The point is that if you are paying LinuxCertified for this laptop with Linux already installed, the expectation is that it should work out of the box. As far as “the reviewers lack of sense of what Linux laptops are really used for,” I don’t see how power management, Wifi, keyboard, touchpad, video, and battery issues could _not_ affect your work on a laptop. 2005-08-10 9:08 am jziegler Well, from how the article was written, the author turned down the pre-installed Suse and Fedora distros and decided to install Gentoo himself. So he just gave up everything LinuxCertified could have pre-configured for him. As to your Dell, I’m a bit sorry to hear that. I’ve got a 2 years old Dell Latitude C640 as well. 1. no built-in wifi, my z-com 323h pcmcia card works perfectly 2. APM reads my battery correctly, Fn-* keys work (except of switching to external monitor when X are already running, I believe). Fn-Esc suspended to RAM correctly sometimes, but seems to depend on framebuffer/noframebuffer. Point taken. I have not tried ACPI yet, as I see no benefit in it. 3. Has nothing to do with Linux 4. Touchpad worked OK for me, but I prefer the touchpoint now (is closer to my hands, which rest on the keyboard). When I was using the touchpad, even double click and scrolling worked. Sometimes the cursor decides to move by itself, but that is a HW issue, as the same happens even when I’m running W2K on that machine 5. Have just one button labeled “i” and that one does nothing in W2K as well 6. I’ve got a Radeon 7500 and glxgears with default settings and 1024x768x24bit gives me some between 950 and 970 FPS. I don’t play games, so I’m not sure whether this is good or bad, but definitely the 3D hardware seems to be working 7. After 2 years, mine still gives me cca. 40 minutes on battery and that does not depend on the OS I am running. Maybe they built better laptops 2 years ago . Or were more willing to give info to Linux and X developers. Or you just get what you pay for 2005-08-09 8:17 pm OSNEWS is supposed to be a professional site. Therefore it is disheartening to see spelling errors and grammar errors here. To Mr. Adam Scheinberg – it is not “How did it fair”, but “How did it FARE”. Also, it is “lightning”, not “lightening”. “Lightening” is used in the sense of lessening, as in “to lighten a load or lightening a load”. Please let us not let our language skills degenerate like this. Thanks and cheers 2005-08-09 8:23 pm l3v1 Lightening fast, but with more cons than pros. The “but” above suggests it was expected otherwise ? If so, why doesn’t someone with real laptop&linux experience make such reviews for a change ? Oh, and I just saw, as mr. anonymous above also said, “lightening” fast gives a whole new line of experience to this piece of product :] 2005-08-09 8:27 pm l3v1 I know a guy, with a laptop on which fully installing linux, for most of the 6pack fake-selfmade-linux-professionals, probably would turn out to be an impossible task. The guy uses gentoo on it, and evereything from the synaptics touchpad to wifi works. Now, I’d appreciate if guys like him would write the reviews, not thw above mentioned 6packs thankyouverymuch. 2005-08-09 10:00 pm re_re this may or may not have been a noob…. the point is…. this is supposed to be a linux certified notebook and if they are installing the os….. everything should work properly when it is shipped. I mean come on, if I wanted to configure all that crap myself I would install it myself. one more thing….. I know ATI drivers work but….. who the hell would put a Radeon card in a linux notebook when they can get an nVidia card with drivers that are twice as good for the same price? to me it is not a bad showing for the reviewer, but for the guys over at LinuxCertified Inc. this would make me leary of buying a supposedly “linux certified” laptop from these guys. 2005-08-09 11:23 pm “. My crappy Netgear wireless router doesn’t like dchcpd (one of the standard Linux dhcp clients), but I got it working after I upgraded the router firmware.” I heard of DHCPCD but what is dchcpd. And the next question I will ask is why should I trust any small company with my money. After all I had a better laptop with AMD64 since last one year. 2005-08-09 11:32 pm I remember a harrowing experience froma a OSNews reader some time back. Basically I would check the sales and support record of the company before coughing $1500. 2005-08-09 11:43 pm Just wanted to throw in a few words about the compy. I think dude in the review was a bit harsh about his review. The little button to turn off wireless DOES work. It just takes a moment to power down. Why it takes this moment I do not know. Speaking of thew wireless, it is an ‘Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)’ according to lspci. So there is a Linux driver, although it requires a non free HAL driver. I still need to poke the one in OpenBSD to see if I can’t get it working in Linux. Over all I rather liked it. Then again, it seems like I didn’t have a lot of the problem this guy did. Then again, it may have something to do with my choice of Ubuntu over Gentoo… 2005-08-10 12:30 am re_re it is very possible that it is because of their choice of Gentoo over Ubunty…. I use Gentoo on all my home systems and FreeBSD at work, Ubuntu is less of a power users distro and honestly….. if the people at LinuxCertified Inc. are not up to par with Gentoo they either need to get up to par or they need to stop offering it Gentoo is capable of anything any other distro is capable of…. and honestly probably more then most, but it takes a true power user to set some of the more complex things up but the rewards are great. in any event….. Ubuntu is an awesome distro to, so don’t think i’m preaching against it because i’m not, i just think these guys are less then qualified to offer this system as “linux certified” as far as i am concerned…. no company that claims to be “linux certified” would ever run an ati graphics card,… at least not with the current state of drivers. 2005-08-10 12:37 am Anonymous Penguin Installing it is not the harder part. Mantaining it *is* (as it is the case with Debian Proper, my favourite) 2005-08-10 12:57 am Anonymous Penguin Sorry, the above post was meant as a reply to: Anonymous (IP: 69.161.69.—) 2005-08-10 2:57 am Jedd I’ll stick with http://www.emperorlinux.com for all my lappy needs 🙂 2005-08-13 12:48 am The whole point of this laptop is performance. Being a satisfied owner of this system, I have no problem vouching for it. I think reviewers should make a careful distinction between traveller’s laptop (which needs to have power management features and should run a bit cooler), vs. a laptop which is supposed to rip through the computations… This is a compute workstation.