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#1 2007-10-02 18:38:32

Thrillhouse
Member
From: Arlington, VA, USA
Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 175

New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

I recently purchased a Dell Latitude D630 through my company's purchase program.  I've done my homework on it but I'm just wondering if I'm leaving anything out.  As far as I know, there's no Wiki entry for the D630 (although I'll be glad to make one when I'm up and running).  However, there is a short one for the D620 and I'll be sure to follow that.  I've also read most of the threads regarding the D600 series.  So, any suggestions you may have are welcome.  I have to keep Windows around because my company requires it but my plan is to shrink it to however small it will go and install Arch to the rest of the disk.

Here are some of the specs:
Base Unit: Latitude D630, Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, 2.00GHz, 800MHz 4M L2 Cache, Dual Core (222-7947)
Processor: 14.1 inch Wide Screen WXGA LCD for Latitude D630 (320-5288)
Memory: 2.0GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2 DIMM for Dell Latitude Notebooks (311-5687)
Video Card: Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 Latitude D630 (320-5298)
Hard Drive: 80GB Hard Drive 9.5MM 7200RPM for Latitude DX30 (341-4568)
Hard Drive Controller: Touchpad with UPEK fingerprint reader, Latitude D630 (310-8793)
NIC: Dell Wireless 360 Bluetooth Module for XP, Latitude (430-2274)
DVD: 8X DVD+/-RW w/ Roxio Creator and Cyberlink for Vista Basic/Business, Latitude DX20
Processor Cable: Intel 3945 WLAN (802.11a/g) mini Card Latitude, Factory Install (430-2376)

I wanted the WSXGA+ screen but the Dell rep said it would delay shipment by 20 days so I just went with the standard one.

I'm planning on using XFCE.  I wanted something light but the *boxes are just a little too minimal for me.  I still prefer some graphical applications over text/terminal-based (i.e. Exaile, Eclipse, k3b, etc.).

I was going to use the x86_64 version of Arch with the suspend2 kernel but if anyone has any real reasons why I shouldn't, I'd like to hear them.  The plan is to use the xf86-video-intel driver for graphics card and ipw3945-suspend2 and wpa_supplicant for the wireless card (along with wifi-radar).  I think touchfinger-svn from the AUR will work for the fingerprint reader but I'm not 100% sure about that.  It seems UPEK makes both the Dell and IBM/Lenovo fingerprint readers.  Hopefully synaptics will work for the touchpand.  The bluetooth module isn't really a big deal for me but I thought I'd try bluez anyways.  I don't have any bluetooth devices but maybe in a couple of years I'll have a smart phone that I want to take advantage of so that's why I added it.  My company's paying for it anyways.  What do I care?

Anyways, if you think I'm going wrong in any way or you have a suggestion for me I'd like to hear it.  I know Linux is an entirely different beast on laptops and I've never tried it before so it will be good to hear from some people with good experiences.  Maybe I can learn from them and avoid some huge mistake.  Thanks.

Last edited by Thrillhouse (2007-10-02 18:40:16)


For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

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#2 2007-10-03 04:50:26

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

I have a similar setup (WSXGA+ though tongue) from HP (a 6510b). Instead of suspend2 i'd recommend pm-utils, which requires no patched kernel, yet suspends/hibernates my box flawlessly. I also run the newer iwlwifi driver for my wireless (ipw3945). Bluetooth shouldn't be that much of a problem i figure to set up hardware-wise. As for the fingerprint reader, I got one too, but haven't set it up yet. However, I have talked to people who can use it to authenticate (and lock their screens), but then again, this was for IBM/Lenovo ones.

Running XFCE here too - good choice cool


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#3 2007-10-03 05:42:01

Allan
Developer
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,395
Website

Re: New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

I also recommend using pm-utils instead of suspend2.  Currently working nicely on my Dell Latitude D520. 

I use the ipw3945 driver for my wireless.  Haven't tried the newer iwlwifi driver. 

The xf86-video-i810 driver didn't work for me - issues plying video.  I still use the generic vesa driver.  Probably should try the newer intel one at some stage.  Look forward to hearing how you go.

I'm also using XFCE...

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#4 2007-10-03 19:22:56

Thrillhouse
Member
From: Arlington, VA, USA
Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 175

Re: New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

Thanks for the suggestions.  I guess I will go with the standard kernel and pm-utils.  I hadn't come across that when I was doing my research and that's why I posted this, in case somebody had an idea I hadn't though of or seen. 

I will also try the iwlwifi driver.  If I have any issues with it, I can always go back to the standard ipw3945.  And I will post back here with my results when I get the laptop.  It could be a couple of weeks before I actually receive it, though.  Thanks again for the help and if anybody else has anything to add, I'd be glad to hear it.


For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

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#5 2007-10-03 22:11:41

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

Allan wrote:

I also recommend using pm-utils instead of suspend2.  Currently working nicely on my Dell Latitude D520. 

I use the ipw3945 driver for my wireless.  Haven't tried the newer iwlwifi driver. 

The xf86-video-i810 driver didn't work for me - issues plying video.  I still use the generic vesa driver.  Probably should try the newer intel one at some stage.  Look forward to hearing how you go.

I'm also using XFCE...

I grabbed the xf86-video-intel driver from testing a while ago, together with some other X stuff that came along. Working just fine here smile.


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#6 2007-11-04 00:05:48

Thrillhouse
Member
From: Arlington, VA, USA
Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 175

Re: New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

Alright, well the laptop should be here in the next couple of days but I wanted to ask one more thing before I do the install.

The machine has 2 GB of RAM.  Do I need to make swap >=2 GB if I want to be able to suspend or hibernate?  I know most suspend tools tell you to make swap big enough to accommodate the contents of your RAM but 2 GB seems like an awful lot for a swap partition.  I was thinking of making it around 512 MB.  Let me know what you think.

PS - I'll be making a Wiki page for the process I went through so I'll post that once I get everything working.

Thanks again.


For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

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#7 2007-11-04 00:23:40

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: New laptop on the way. Suggestions?

Well think for a minute... What good is a 512 MB swap if you got 2 GB of RAM?

Nothing. Suspending to disk will save the RAM's contents to your disk. Theoretically that could amount to 2 GB.


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