[kwlug-disc] could be the laptop deal of the year

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Fri Jun 25 10:37:13 EDT 2010

On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM, Insurance Squared Inc. <
gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

>  I'm once again surprised how linux users are buying stuff like 4gigs of
> ram with high end processors.  Your junk is probably better than the stuff I
> run, and I don't think in most cases the monster machines noticeably
> outperform an old junk laptop.  It matters if you're running Vista, it
> doesn't matter with a current linux distro.
> I've got four laptops (no idea why) and none of them are near the specs in
> that link.  If you've got 1 gig of ram and a p4 3gzh processor, so say a 5
> year old machine (and I do :) )  and I'm running linux, why would I go out
> and buy a new laptop with current specs?  When I was running windows the
> answer was 'because it runs faster'.  Under linux, I don't see the drive.
> Why not spend your money on a nice dual wide-screen monitor setup?
> Maybe I'm just getting old and regressing to 'why back in my day sonny boy
> we had PIII 750's and it was good enough for us.  Also, all we had to eat
> was potatoes'.

Here is the perspective from someone using the laptop as a desktop only. No
development stuff on it (all of that gets done on the server).

The bloat I have is mainly from Firefox with 200 tabs (separate thread
please!). It uses 1 to 1.2 G. Around 850 with 60 to 80 tabs. There are also
some bugs that leak memory. I think the X server has issues after I have
went through a photo album. Otherwise, I stay up for a week or so (with
suspending to RAM overnight).

There is no way you can buy a new 15" or more laptop with 1GB of RAM today.
So we buy what is on the market for a good price, because it is there, not
because we need it. The price point is still the same as the one you paid
for your laptops back then (dollar for dollar at least).

Extra RAM gets used by cache and buffers, so it is not really wasted.

And DDR memory is cheap. I upgraded the old laptop's RAM from a total of 1GB
(2X512MB) to 2.5GB (replaced one 512MB by 2GB) for maybe $25. The older
SDRAM was obscenely more expensive.

As for the dual cores, they help when you are watching a video, or when a
flash app is running (also video, Youtube), so other things do not slow

Car analogy time: How many new cars have a regular carburator today, and not
fuel injection?
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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