[PlanetCCRMA] Re: MiniPC or LapTop? Sooner or later...

Ryan G. ryanpg@yahoo.com
Sat Oct 25 12:45:02 2003

> Weighing the pros and cons:
> Now:
> - the more you wait, the more your hardware gets obsolete and hard to
> sell,
> - the Mini one may less suffer from APCI restrictions and ventilation
> noise.
> Later:
> - new would-be standard hardware: 64bit architectures, serial ATA...
> - the choice in FireWire or USB 2.0 external sound-cards and
> respective ALSA 
> drivers is low for the moment,
> (- laptops seem to be less expensive in the USA.)

I just bought a laptop with the intention of using it for audio with
CCRMA packages.  All I can say is it'll be a bigger risk and more
effort to get a laptop rolling than a more standard and customizable
mini-pc.  I've thought about building a micro computer to carry around
if I ever do performances again.

One thing to seriously consider -> if you're going to use a "pro" audio
interface you're pretty much limited to USB devices.  USB devices are
currently NOT working well under jack (and to some degree alsa).  My
emi 2|6 sits in dust waiting for the kind folks providing me with free
software find time to help me out.  Another thing to consider is screen
realestate.  I got a laptop with a 15 inch monitor.  It's pretty
amazing that I can really tell a difference between it and my monitor
(only 17").  Some may say "just do dual head" but not all video chips
support two monitors effectively.

So though I'm happy with my laptop (dell 5100 bought new for $900 on
ebay) there are limitations i.e. crappy built in sound and poor usb
sound support.

I'd say wait, things ARE cheap in USA and besides you are going to want
to do a LOT of research.  Check out linux-on-laptops.com.  Really I'll
say it again, if you decide to go with the laptop, do research, you'll
save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache in the long run.

Also (please don't hit me list) you should consider apples new G4
ibooks.  OSX is a BEAUTIFUL unix os with some wonderful if pricey audio
applications.  And there are linux distro's that'll run on PPC too.

Good luck,