OT: Recommended Linux Laptops, suppliers?

Cliff Wells LogiplexSoftware at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 19 01:24:06 CET 2003

On Tue, 2003-03-18 at 15:11, Brian Quinlan wrote:
> > I never said otherwise.  I have no real problem with Apple other than
> > their pricing.  I think OSX is a *huge* step forward for them, however
> I
> > don't see paying twice the price for half the performance (or equal
> > performance, for that matter), unless there is a real need for a
> > particular application that only runs on Mac.  Python certainly runs
> > well enough on less expensive platforms that buying a Mac for Python
> > development seems silly (unless the work is specifically for the Mac
> > port of Python).
> If, as you seem to be suggesting, Macs have a terrible price to
> performance ratio, and have no other features that make up for this,
> then they are not a reasonable platform. I've been arguing that their
> price to performance ratio is reasonable and that they have a lot of
> nice features.

No doubt they have some nice features.  They also lack some I consider
essential.  I don't think we're going to reach an agreement on what a
good price/performance ratio is.  Perhaps you get a bigger paycheck or
are happy with the same PC for longer than I am.  I spend around $400 a
year to upgrade my PC (new mobo, CPU and RAM, occasionally an additional
amount for a larger HDD) and easily double my performance every year. 
With a Mac I'd have to shell out $2000/year to maintain the same
situation (and given their glacial processor improvements *if* it could
be done remains questionable).  To me that's unacceptable in today's
commodity PC market.

> > > I think that it would be difficult designing a powerful graphics
> server
> > > that is also easy to implement. Unless I'm mistaken, X still has
> > > problems with anti-aliasing, compositing and 2D transformations (*).
> > 
> > My entire GNOME2 desktop is AA.  I'm unsure of the others.  I
> certainly
> > haven't noticed a marked difference in performance on my desktop
> > compared to the G4's my gf uses at (art) school.  Well, nothing that
> > didn't make mine look faster ;)
> Are your fonts antialiased or is every graphic object antialiased? And I
> am talking about client graphics, not window manager constructs.

Everything.  The fonts are AA by X (Xft extensions), but the desktop is
AA by the video driver (nVidia), which, IMHO, is where it ought to be
done (most modern video cards support fullscreen AA in hardware).  I'd
be surprised if Apple doesn't leverage this same hardware support.

> > Or use a decent graphics library.  While X may not provide this
> > capability natively (it's probably considered outside the scope of X)
> > there are enough graphics libraries built on top of X that you
> shouldn't
> > need to do this sort of thing yourself.
> But then:
> 1. you are doing all of your processing on the client
> 2. you are sending a huge amount of data across the network
> There are OpenGL extensions for X windows. Why do you think that is?
> Because it would be way too expensive to convert OpenGL constructs into
> X primitives and send those across the network.

But at least they *can* be sent across the network <wink>.  I've done
little research and it appears that Apple's remote desktop is very
similar to VNC or PCAnywhere.  It isn't possible to run a single app
remotely - you run the whole desktop and share it with anyone who
happens to be at the console: you move your mouse, his mouse moves. 
Contrast this with X where I can run a single app on a remote PC while
someone else does something else on that PC without interfering with
each other at all.  Undoubtedly Apple figures this type of thing isn't
too interesting to their target market (and perhaps they'll add it
later, if their architecture allows) but to me it's an essential aspect
of my computing environment.  I have 4 PC's here at work, one in another
room, and I routinely run monitor apps, editors and whatnot remotely.  I
can run GUI apps on systems that don't have a GUI running, which lets me
use graphical configuration tools on our little P133 Linux firewall
which isn't able to run a full GNOME desktop.  My gf runs XMMS remotely
off of my home PC so that mp3's (all legal, I swear!) get played over
the good speakers (which are hooked to my PC) instead of her little
laptop ones, etc.  I can't imagine settling for less.


Cliff Wells, Software Engineer
Logiplex Corporation (www.logiplex.net)
(503) 978-6726 x308  (800) 735-0555 x308

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