[PlanetCCRMA] a bit of advice needed

Fernando Pablo Lopez-Lezcano nando@ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Sun Sep 21 20:18:00 2003

> I'm going to be purchasing a new laptop (with funds gained by selling
> my nifty mks-80 analog synth) for live performance.  Of course I'll be
> using planet packages.  Could you all give me opinions about which
> lappy works the best with linux for this purpose.  BTW, I'll most
> likely be using the emi2|6 usb audio interface for audio.

I'll comment on the one I have (Sony GRX580). I guess it is obsolete by
now so maybe this is not useful. I'm not recommending it (or saying you
should not buy it either :-)

> What I'm looking for;
> 1 - Compatibility, everything should work

I think everything pretty much works. Caveats: I have not tested the
internal modem ever, I have not tried to make suspend and all that stuff
work either. It's one of those laptops that don't work quite well
without acpi (for example sound does not work because the interrupts are
not routed properly if acpi is not used). It does work with the Planet
CCRMA kernel. The internal sound chip only does 48Khz but that is
becoming more common. As far as I can tell the cdrom drive is not
connected to the mixer internally, so if you want to play an audio cd
you have to use something that extracts the audio on the fly. 

> 2 - Big screen, 15 inch or bigger

16.1", 1600x1200, beautiful (it was a big selling point when I got
it)... I don't think newer Sony models are that good. 

> 3 - Decent graphics (Ati vs. Nvidia vs. intel/sis?)

This one has a Radeon so it does not need the binary Nvidia drivers. I
have not done heavy graphics with it but I'm happy so far. I think I saw
a newer model had an Nvidia chip, I would not buy it. 

> 4 - Good design (I've been spoiled by owning mac laptops, all those
> stupid "internet buttons" and flashing led lights look like pure crap
> to me... I like a simple austere layout)

Same here, it was a buying point for the Sony, has a "spartan look" as
compared to almost all the others. I think IBM's are also in the
non-flashy design category. 

Warranty for the Sony sucks, only 1 year and to get that you have to
register "officially", otherwise it is only 90 days. 

> Judging from what I find on http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/ seems like
> just about anything will work, but I'm overwhelmed with options so any
> feedback offered will be gratefully appreciated.

-- Fernando