Highway to Dell, part two

(Continued from Highway to Dell, part one.) Yesterday I swapped hard disk drive in the Dell Inspiron 1525 (without even booting Windows Vista), inserted the DVD with ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso downloaded from //linux.dell.com/files/ubuntu/iso-images/ and installed Ubuntu. Everything I’ve tried worked out of the box except the wireless network. The Dell 1395 wireless network started working when I followed these great instructions and driver for the Broadcom BCM4310. The solution uses ndiswrapper and it is important to download the Windows XP drivers and not the Windows Vista driver. Don’t worry that lspci says "Broadcom Corporation BCM4310 USB Controller" but Dell writes "not USB" about the driver package. Do not bother with the bcm43xx driver! These things are now tried and seem to work fine:

  • 1440×900 pixels resolution
  • Wired network
  • Wireless network
  • Suspend
  • Hibernate
  • Sound
  • Trackpad
  • Sound playback buttons

The biggest annoyance so far is the trackpad. First of all I’m a TrackPoint guy and second the acceleration is unbearably slow. I’ll try these instructions later though. A note about DVD playback: When buying a Dell laptop with Ubuntu, they include LinDVD, but unfortunately LinDVD is not included on the ISO image. Swedish readers who long for a Dell with Ubuntu preinstalled could read about and envy Dell’s offerings to other European countries.

Update Continued at Highway to Dell, part three.

Highway to Dell, part one

(Kind of continued from About to buy a new laptop.) I ordered a Dell Inspiron 1525 on Februrary 12 and the delivery was estimated to Match 17. A few minutes to 7 AM this morning the delivery company called and said they were to deliver before lunch today! Unfortunately I had to call back and ask them to deliver tomorrow instead, but Dell sure exceed expectations on delivery time! My planned is to run Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on the laptop, so I was really pleased to read the Welcome the Inspiron 1525 to the Dell Ubuntu Family blog post! As this option was not available when I ordered (and maybe never will be in Sweden) I obviously paid the "Microsoft tax", but according to a recent article it’s more expensive to buy a Dell without operating system than with Windows in Sweden. Update Dell corrected themselves, but it’s not applicable to me anyway. To my great, great joy, Dell provides ubuntu-dell-1525n-intelvideo-reinstall.iso at //linux.dell.com/files/ubuntu/iso-images/. Wonderful! I have a spare 2,5" hard disk drive, so I’ll probably change hard drive and then try the ISO image from Dell. I’ll follow up with my experiences!

Update Continued at Highway to Dell, part two.

About to buy a new laptop

I’m about to buy a new laptop. I’m still happy with my Thinkpad T60p1 even though it needs a service to get rid of some heat problems and this annoying display issue, which has become worse lately:

Anyway, the new laptop is not for me but for my wife, so that there is less competition about the one we already have! 🙂

One option would be to get me a new laptop and let her inherit the T60p, but I have an 1600×1200 pixel display now and the Thinkpad T Series models with 1920×1200 pixels are outrageously priced! I need some really good new business for 2GooD Productions in order to afford it!

Miguel de Icaza observed that Lenovo finally offers Linux preloaded on some machines but I can’t find anything about that on their Swedish web site. It would be good to avoid paying the “Microsoft Tax” the next time a buy a Thinkpad!

When my wife found out that Dell offers their Inspiron 1525 with the design below, she wanted one of those, and who am I to argue? I’ll make sure the specs look alright and pray that I can get Ubuntu running on it properly.


(Image is Courtesy of Dell Inc.)

1 At least if I don’t think too much about the issues with the fglrx proprietary graphics driver from ATI.

Thinkpad X300

The not yet released Lenovo Thinkpad X300 seems to be a worthy competitor to the Apple Macbook Air, but with more features than the Air and with Solid State Drive (SSD) as the only storage option makes it smell even more expensive.

It has been a bit too little about software development in this blog lately. I’ll try to remedy that soon!

On the bus, and not

I’m writing this on the bus on my way back home from work. The handwriting recognition on my Nokia 770 takes some getting used to but works quite alright. I’m thinking of buying a Nokia N810 but I’m not so sure.

Starting from this sentence I’m writing from the comfort of my study. The travel sickness chewing gum prevented me from yawning, getting a head ache and feeling sick, but my brain still feels foggy a few hours later, even after eating and taking a nap!

I won’t buy an Nokia N810 when I can’t use it on the bus. Damn travel sickness.

Maybe I should get a Macbook instead? 😉 I’m a bit tired of suspend/resume not working 100% correctly with Linux on my Thinkpad. The brand new MacBook Air seems cool but expensive!

A new keyboard for my Nokia 770 web tablet?

The Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard looks much better than the Nokia Wireless Keyboard SU-8W I got for my Nokia 770 but never use! If it works I could actually do some blogging to or from work, now when they have wireless Internet on the bus. I will also need a travel sickness chewing gum but that’s another issue. The $150 price tag keeps me away, but if I sell the old keyboard… no, I’d rather get the Nokia N810 web tablet instead and not only get a built-in keyboard but also GPS, web camera, etc. If only it cured my travel sickness too.

Most ThinkPad T60p original battery for the money

The old battery for my IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T60p went from bad to useless this autumn but it wasn’t until yesterday that I ordered a new 9-cell battery (7.8 Ah) directly from IBM Sweden where the 9-cell battery actually was cheaper than a 6-cell battery (5.2Ah) . I first looked at well-stocked reseller Dustin but after discovering that either battery was cheaper at IBM, even including shipping costs, I simply ordered and smiled.

Update 2007-12-13 The battery arrived already today!

$ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info
present:                 yes
design capacity:         84240 mWh
last full capacity:      84240 mWh
battery technology:      rechargeable
design voltage:          10800 mV
design capacity warning: 4212 mWh
design capacity low:     200 mWh
capacity granularity 1:  1 mWh
capacity granularity 2:  1 mWh
model number:            92P1133
serial number:            1146
battery type:            LION
OEM info:                Panasonic