[9fans] Laptop advice - Plan9

This is a discussion on [9fans] Laptop advice - Plan9 ; I'm looking for a laptop that will run Plan 9 native and not sacrifice too many of its features in the process. High resolution screen and supported Wi-Fi (possibly add-on, in which case, please recommend a product and a source) ...

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  1. [9fans] Laptop advice

    I'm looking for a laptop that will run Plan 9 native and not sacrifice
    too many of its features in the process. High resolution screen and
    supported Wi-Fi (possibly add-on, in which case, please recommend a
    product and a source) are particularly desirable assets, audio would
    be nice.

    I won't mind using an external mouse, seeing that there is little
    alternative.

    And considering that I'm likely to look for a refurbished model, it
    does not necessarily have to be Intel or AMD, a Mac need not be
    excluded.

    Let me know. I don't have to buy locally (South Africa) or in a
    hurry, so if anyone has something for sale that will travel safely, I
    may be very interested.

    ++L

    PS: I suspect I'll boot-select (Ubuntu) Linux most of the time and run
    Plan 9 under VMware server, but being able to boot-select a decent
    version of Plan 9 is absolutely essential.



  2. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    I just got a fujitsu lifebook, which seems to be mostly compatible, or
    used to be.

    ron


  3. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    The classic T22 with the SXGA+ screen seem to still be the best (you
    should get an orinoco pcmcia card for wifi, which is the only one
    supported anyway). And they can be found quite cheaply (around 300$ I
    think). Of course, if you also want to run a recent lunix version or
    vista, or whatever, you probably will need something more 'modern'.

    uriel

    On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 1:27 PM, wrote:
    > I'm looking for a laptop that will run Plan 9 native and not sacrifice
    > too many of its features in the process. High resolution screen and
    > supported Wi-Fi (possibly add-on, in which case, please recommend a
    > product and a source) are particularly desirable assets, audio would
    > be nice.
    >
    > I won't mind using an external mouse, seeing that there is little
    > alternative.
    >
    > And considering that I'm likely to look for a refurbished model, it
    > does not necessarily have to be Intel or AMD, a Mac need not be
    > excluded.
    >
    > Let me know. I don't have to buy locally (South Africa) or in a
    > hurry, so if anyone has something for sale that will travel safely, I
    > may be very interested.
    >
    > ++L
    >
    > PS: I suspect I'll boot-select (Ubuntu) Linux most of the time and run
    > Plan 9 under VMware server, but being able to boot-select a decent
    > version of Plan 9 is absolutely essential.
    >
    >
    >



  4. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    Uriel wrote:
    > The classic T22 with the SXGA+ screen seem to still be the best (you
    > should get an orinoco pcmcia card for wifi, which is the only one
    > supported anyway). And they can be found quite cheaply (around 300$ I
    > think). Of course, if you also want to run a recent lunix version or
    > vista, or whatever, you probably will need something more 'modern'.
    >

    T23 works well too
    > uriel
    >

    cinap


  5. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    T61 here.

    1) Display working fine (intel X3100 chip).
    2) At first I had problems with the ethernet and sata drivers but Erik
    fixed that.
    3) Usb not always working (I have not investigated that thoroughly enough
    yet), but good enough for mouse.
    4) Optical media burning somewhat working (dma deactivated and dvdrw
    burning fails.)
    5) Sound not working (apparently because it's an intel HDA chip instead
    of the good ol one supported by ac97 driver).
    6) wifi I don't care so I haven't even tried but I believe it's not
    supported anyway.

    Everything (that I know of) supported fine on linux if you care about
    that.

    Cheers,
    Mathieu.

    On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 02:13:46PM +0200, Kernel Panic wrote:
    > Uriel wrote:
    > >The classic T22 with the SXGA+ screen seem to still be the best (you
    > >should get an orinoco pcmcia card for wifi, which is the only one
    > >supported anyway). And they can be found quite cheaply (around 300$ I
    > >think). Of course, if you also want to run a recent lunix version or
    > >vista, or whatever, you probably will need something more 'modern'.
    > >

    > T23 works well too
    > >uriel
    > >

    > cinap
    >



  6. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    HP Omnibook XE3 with a PCMCIA Orinoco card works too.
    It is an oldie though....

    On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 7:13 AM, Kernel Panic wrote:
    > Uriel wrote:
    >>
    >> The classic T22 with the SXGA+ screen seem to still be the best (you
    >> should get an orinoco pcmcia card for wifi, which is the only one
    >> supported anyway). And they can be found quite cheaply (around 300$ I
    >> think). Of course, if you also want to run a recent lunix version or
    >> vista, or whatever, you probably will need something more 'modern'.
    >>

    >
    > T23 works well too
    >>
    >> uriel
    >>

    >
    > cinap
    >
    >



  7. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    I could well believe that Vista would struggle on anything less
    than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?

    I had a look at the T22 specs and they seem pretty respectable to
    me, at least compared to some of the systems I have Linux running
    on (eg 64MB, 266MHz Pentium MMX).

    And BSD is still running fine on my 48MB, 66MHz 486dx (although admitedly
    its not so good for running netscape or heavy crypto).

    Of course it might be different if I were trying to run full blown
    KDE or GNOME, but you can't really blame the operating system for that.
    (though a T22 looks like it would be able to handle it if necessary)

    I do find I tend to need a lot more HDD capacity than comes as
    standard on older machines when running a Unix variant. But even
    my old 486 was upgradeable from the original 122MB hard drive to a
    pair of 40GB drives, so it isn't usually a problem.

    Personally I think there is a lot to be said for doing development on
    modest spec'd machines, unless (like Microsoft) you have a vested
    interest in generating a need for hardware upgrades...

    Anyway - I found an old Thinkpad 600 in my junk box. Anyone know
    if that would make a useable Plan9 machine?

    DigbyT

    On Sun, Jun 08, 2008 at 06:47:53PM +0200, Uriel wrote:
    > The classic T22 with the SXGA+ screen seem to still be the best (you
    > should get an orinoco pcmcia card for wifi, which is the only one
    > supported anyway). And they can be found quite cheaply (around 300$ I
    > think). Of course, if you also want to run a recent lunix version or
    > vista, or whatever, you probably will need something more 'modern'.
    >
    > uriel
    >
    > On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 1:27 PM, wrote:
    > > I'm looking for a laptop that will run Plan 9 native and not sacrifice
    > > too many of its features in the process. High resolution screen and
    > > supported Wi-Fi (possibly add-on, in which case, please recommend a
    > > product and a source) are particularly desirable assets, audio would
    > > be nice.
    > >
    > > I won't mind using an external mouse, seeing that there is little
    > > alternative.
    > >
    > > And considering that I'm likely to look for a refurbished model, it
    > > does not necessarily have to be Intel or AMD, a Mac need not be
    > > excluded.
    > >
    > > Let me know. I don't have to buy locally (South Africa) or in a
    > > hurry, so if anyone has something for sale that will travel safely, I
    > > may be very interested.
    > >
    > > ++L
    > >
    > > PS: I suspect I'll boot-select (Ubuntu) Linux most of the time and run
    > > Plan 9 under VMware server, but being able to boot-select a decent
    > > version of Plan 9 is absolutely essential.
    > >
    > >
    > >


    --
    Digby R. S. Tarvin digbyt(at)digbyt.com
    http://www.digbyt.com


  8. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    > than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?

    last week i added 1gb RAM to my previously 512mbyte lenovo (3000 N100) to stop
    the linux system from thrashing. all i run directly is firefox and drawterm.
    the system was fine at 512mbyte until a few weeks ago (when more updates
    arrived).

    i could probably have got by with `only' 256mbyte or 512mbyte more but the
    bigger memory card was hardly more expensive.



  9. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    > Anyway - I found an old Thinkpad 600 in my junk box. Anyone know
    > if that would make a useable Plan9 machine?


    it should be fine.



  10. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    On Mon Jun 9 11:33:19 EDT 2008, digbyt@acm.org wrote:
    > I could well believe that Vista would struggle on anything less
    > than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?
    >
    > I had a look at the T22 specs and they seem pretty respectable to
    > me, at least compared to some of the systems I have Linux running
    > on (eg 64MB, 266MHz Pentium MMX).
    >
    > And BSD is still running fine on my 48MB, 66MHz 486dx (although admitedly
    > its not so good for running netscape or heavy crypto).
    >
    > Of course it might be different if I were trying to run full blown
    > KDE or GNOME, but you can't really blame the operating system for that.
    > (though a T22 looks like it would be able to handle it if necessary)


    well the first thing most people run on linux is firefox, flash and
    acrobat. those three horsemen of the apocalypse bring my pIII/256mb
    machine to its knees.

    while your point is valid, the only reason i run linux at all is for the
    three horsemen. so maybe "linux" is not short for gnu/linux in most
    people's mind, it's short for firefox/linux. :-)

    - erik


  11. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    Who needs firefox having abaco

    In fact I think linux has become more and more bloa... I mean resource
    demanding lately.
    Some years ago I had a 100MHz IBM (Cyrix?) 8MiB ram machine that made
    marvels for me...
    It is impressive what we did with so "little"... 3d modelling, raytracing...
    What did get so wrong that now people are willing to pay for a 1GiB
    ram minimum resource predator?

    Anyway... Someone told me that Toshiba Libretto C70 works good with
    plan 9... plus it is "VHS" sized.
    (I think that floppy is a little tricky... I'll have to ask)


    On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 10:49 AM, erik quanstrom wrote:
    > On Mon Jun 9 11:33:19 EDT 2008, digbyt@acm.org wrote:
    >> I could well believe that Vista would struggle on anything less
    >> than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?
    >>
    >> I had a look at the T22 specs and they seem pretty respectable to
    >> me, at least compared to some of the systems I have Linux running
    >> on (eg 64MB, 266MHz Pentium MMX).
    >>
    >> And BSD is still running fine on my 48MB, 66MHz 486dx (although admitedly
    >> its not so good for running netscape or heavy crypto).
    >>
    >> Of course it might be different if I were trying to run full blown
    >> KDE or GNOME, but you can't really blame the operating system for that.
    >> (though a T22 looks like it would be able to handle it if necessary)

    >
    > well the first thing most people run on linux is firefox, flash and
    > acrobat. those three horsemen of the apocalypse bring my pIII/256mb
    > machine to its knees.
    >
    > while your point is valid, the only reason i run linux at all is for the
    > three horsemen. so maybe "linux" is not short for gnu/linux in most
    > people's mind, it's short for firefox/linux. :-)
    >
    > - erik
    >
    >



  12. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    Actually, since you mention it, a Toshiba Libretto is one of the
    'modest' machines I have Linux running on:
    Kernel command line: auto BOOT_IMAGE=linux/xaccel ro root=306
    BOOT_FILE=/boot/vmlinuz monitor=xaccel
    Initializing CPU#0
    Detected 166.637 MHz processor.
    Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
    Calibrating delay loop... 332.59 BogoMIPS
    Memory: 62132k/65664k available (1263k kernel code, 3144k reserved,
    370k data, 120k init, 0k highmem)

    I'm still running netscape on it because I fear Firefox may have
    bloated beyond its reasonable capabilities...

    It is a 100CT, not a 70, but maybe I should give it a try a try
    with plan9 too.

    And yes, the floppy is often problematic as it is an external PCMCIA
    device. The BIOS knows how to boot from it, but most installers fail
    when they try to access the floppy themselves (such as to load the
    driver for a PCMCIA CDROM drive or network card). There is a patch to get
    it working under Linux, but you need a non-standard install to
    get up to the point of being able to use it. Once you get over the
    install hurdle, however, it works just fine with most OSs.

    It might be a compact little Plan9 machine - if the 800x480 display
    isn't too limiting..

    Regards,
    DigbyT

    On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 11:12:45AM -0500, Lorenzo Fernando Bivens de la Fuente wrote:
    > Who needs firefox having abaco
    >
    > In fact I think linux has become more and more bloa... I mean resource
    > demanding lately.
    > Some years ago I had a 100MHz IBM (Cyrix?) 8MiB ram machine that made
    > marvels for me...
    > It is impressive what we did with so "little"... 3d modelling, raytracing...
    > What did get so wrong that now people are willing to pay for a 1GiB
    > ram minimum resource predator?
    >
    > Anyway... Someone told me that Toshiba Libretto C70 works good with
    > plan 9... plus it is "VHS" sized.
    > (I think that floppy is a little tricky... I'll have to ask)
    >
    >
    > On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 10:49 AM, erik quanstrom wrote:
    > > On Mon Jun 9 11:33:19 EDT 2008, digbyt@acm.org wrote:
    > >> I could well believe that Vista would struggle on anything less
    > >> than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?
    > >>
    > >> I had a look at the T22 specs and they seem pretty respectable to
    > >> me, at least compared to some of the systems I have Linux running
    > >> on (eg 64MB, 266MHz Pentium MMX).
    > >>
    > >> And BSD is still running fine on my 48MB, 66MHz 486dx (although admitedly
    > >> its not so good for running netscape or heavy crypto).
    > >>
    > >> Of course it might be different if I were trying to run full blown
    > >> KDE or GNOME, but you can't really blame the operating system for that.
    > >> (though a T22 looks like it would be able to handle it if necessary)

    > >
    > > well the first thing most people run on linux is firefox, flash and
    > > acrobat. those three horsemen of the apocalypse bring my pIII/256mb
    > > machine to its knees.
    > >
    > > while your point is valid, the only reason i run linux at all is for the
    > > three horsemen. so maybe "linux" is not short for gnu/linux in most
    > > people's mind, it's short for firefox/linux. :-)
    > >
    > > - erik
    > >
    > >


    --
    Digby R. S. Tarvin digbyt(at)digbyt.com
    http://www.digbyt.com


  13. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    On Mon Jun 9 12:14:50 EDT 2008, lorenzobivens@gmail.com wrote:
    > Who needs firefox having abaco
    >


    anyone who wishes to access a site depending on javascript.

    - erik


  14. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    Lorenzo Fernando Bivens de la Fuente wrote:

    > What did get so wrong that now people are willing to pay for a 1GiB
    > ram minimum resource predator?


    1. We allowed the revenue generation plans of the processor & memory
    manufacturers drive the client machine design agenda through their
    software partners and their layers of VARs

    2. We allowed standards-by-committees-of-committees uberdemocracy to
    prevent real design sense (as directed from one good brain) from prevailing

    3. We prevented any form of DCPA (duly constituted public authority)
    from being able to say: "No, you are not permitted to add another layer
    of abstraction to get around the committee-driven standards. You'll have
    to convince me that the standards need to be changed."

    But there's a silver lining. With every passing day it becomes more
    apparent to the slightly smarter than average bloke (or blokette) that
    things have gotten out of hand. One must hit bottom for there to be a
    desire for change...

    See minutes 1:43 - 1:54 of this video:

    rtsp://ibs.itu.int/archives3/wsis/200805c5/22pm.qt


  15. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    Back in March people were trying the EEEPC with slight progress - did
    anyone get any joy there ?


    I have a T23 which is a good Plan 9 laptop with Orinoco PCMCIA WiFi,
    though I've not tried the AC97

    They are under 200 euros on ebay with 512Mb & 80Gb

    1024x768 screen

    3 buttons and a nipple not a touchpad

    no Windows key







  16. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    I am trying Eeepc...
    But I've had a lot of work lately, so I've fallen into the lunix dark
    side in the meanwhile.

    I think it is "mostly" an usb bootability matter. Eeepc ain't very exotic...

    On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 1:41 PM, matt wrote:
    > Back in March people were trying the EEEPC with slight progress - did anyone
    > get any joy there ?
    >
    >
    > I have a T23 which is a good Plan 9 laptop with Orinoco PCMCIA WiFi, though
    > I've not tried the AC97
    >
    > They are under 200 euros on ebay with 512Mb & 80Gb
    >
    > 1024x768 screen
    >
    > 3 buttons and a nipple not a touchpad
    >
    > no Windows key
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >



  17. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 8:30 AM, Digby Tarvin wrote:
    > I could well believe that Vista would struggle on anything less
    > than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?
    >


    Linux is an utter porker. ubuntu on my T23 is really awful, I fixed it
    by turning most of it off.

    They've fallen into the layers of abstraction trap, achieved more and
    more with the ever popular initialized structures (by ld of course)
    that point this way, that way, and every way. I had the fun experience
    recently of tracking a write system call via nfs3. Impressive that it
    works, impressive in its complexity, depressing in most ways.

    Just look at the OLPC stuff. Linux and Sugar environment now make XP
    look fast. Now that's a sad comment.

    Besides, most crays nowadays are made of opterons that run slower than
    your laptop :-)

    ron


  18. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    On Mon, 2008-06-09 at 16:45 +0100, Charles Forsyth wrote:
    > > than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?

    >
    > last week i added 1gb RAM to my previously 512mbyte lenovo (3000 N100) to stop
    > the linux system from thrashing. all i run directly is firefox and drawterm.
    > the system was fine at 512mbyte until a few weeks ago (when more updates
    > arrived).
    >
    > i could probably have got by with `only' 256mbyte or 512mbyte more but the
    > bigger memory card was hardly more expensive.


    Since we're on the subject of memory hogs: does anybody know a way for
    querying Linux or Solaris (or any OS for that matter) of what the
    *physical* pages correspond to and how many virtual pages (and in which
    processes) they map into. The only utility that comes close is memstat:
    http://www.fifi.org/cgi-bin/man2html...1/memstat.1.gz
    but I don't quite believe its output, since it relies on the second
    hand information available from /proc/*/map and a really awkward mapping
    process.

    Thanks,
    Roman.



  19. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    I don't think the virtual to physical mapping provides as much
    insight into memory usage as you might think...

    My understanding of the way it works in Linux (in the default
    Intel configuration) is that the 4GB virtual address space is split
    into 2 areas, the upper 1GB being a direct mapping to the first
    GB of physical memory, minus a small range of virtual address used
    as a window to access any physical memory in excess of 1GB (hence
    the distinction between high and low memory in the kernel).

    The lower 3GB of virtual address space is available for the currently
    running process, and is configured according to /proc//maps

    Working out how your physical memory is currently being used seems
    to involve quite a few kernel data structures. I don't know of any
    utility that collates it all into anything other than general
    statistics. It would be an interesting thing to look at if anyone
    knows of one.

    Regards,
    DigbyT

    On Mon, Jun 09, 2008 at 05:08:06PM -0700, Roman Shaposhnik wrote:
    > On Mon, 2008-06-09 at 16:45 +0100, Charles Forsyth wrote:
    > > > than a Cray, but Linux isn't *that* demanding is it?

    > >
    > > last week i added 1gb RAM to my previously 512mbyte lenovo (3000 N100) to stop
    > > the linux system from thrashing. all i run directly is firefox and drawterm.
    > > the system was fine at 512mbyte until a few weeks ago (when more updates
    > > arrived).
    > >
    > > i could probably have got by with `only' 256mbyte or 512mbyte more but the
    > > bigger memory card was hardly more expensive.

    >
    > Since we're on the subject of memory hogs: does anybody know a way for
    > querying Linux or Solaris (or any OS for that matter) of what the
    > *physical* pages correspond to and how many virtual pages (and in which
    > processes) they map into. The only utility that comes close is memstat:
    > http://www.fifi.org/cgi-bin/man2html...1/memstat.1.gz
    > but I don't quite believe its output, since it relies on the second
    > hand information available from /proc/*/map and a really awkward mapping
    > process.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Roman.


    --
    Digby R. S. Tarvin digbyt(at)digbyt.com
    http://www.digbyt.com


  20. Re: [9fans] Laptop advice

    > 3 buttons and a nipple not a touchpad
    >
    > no Windows key


    These are concrete assets. I know at least one other laptop user (I
    have an old Compac Presario 900, he has a newer Acer or some such)
    that manages to trigger the touchpad without touching it. Very, very
    annoying. As for the Windows key, on the limited keyboard real estate
    of a laptop, it is a serious waste.

    ++L



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