Tales of the new laptop

The new laptop has arrived, and it’s considerably larger than I’d hoped, which kind of sucks. However, the screen is beautiful and it’s making me forget all about the size. I had planned on re-imaging the machine with Windows XP Professional, but caved in and decided to go Linux again – this time with Gentoo/Fluxbox. I had a lot of mixed results last time, but this go around I won’t be using the laptop for work purposes, which means….

  1. It doesn’t have to support LEAP wireless authentication
  2. I won’t be spending 50% of my time (or more) using Microsoft Word
  3. I won’t be using an Exchange server, and therefore won’t need to use Evolution/the exchange connector
  4. I won’t be using Rational ClearCase, MS SQL Server, or any other Windows-specific development tools
  5. I won’t be hooking the laptop up to a projector
  6. I won’t be using VPN software that is more Windows-friendly than Linux-friendly (in fact, the opposite)
  7. It doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner on it, taunting me because said scanner has no Linux drivers

Those were all pain points for me with Linux on my previous laptop. Managing wireless connections was also tedius – iwlist/iwconfig – manually typing everything and having no saved profiles, just hacked up shell scripts. I did some research and it seems like GUI tools for this are coming along so I will try them. Also, this time around I made sure to set up a swap partition that was twice the size of my memory, so I should be able to get suspend-to-disk (hibernate) working.

The laptop is up and running now with Fluxbox and Gentoo installed… but I’ll be busy tweaking it for the next few days/weeks I’m sure. It will be nice to have a fully tweaked OS optimized for the machine with no virus scanners running and minimal overhead. When I finally get it set up the way I want, I’ll post a screenshot.

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