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Old 09-05-2010, 12:58 PM
John Blinka
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

Hi, all,

My trusty Inspiron 8200 is on death's door and so I'm looking for a
new laptop - one that will run Gentoo straightforwardly, of course.

I really liked the 1600x1200 display on this machine, which I greatly
prefer to the 1600x900 display on the more modern Inspiron 1545 I own.
Most of what I do now is through a web browser, and I can see much
more of a web page with 1200 lines of display than I can with 900.
And I dislike the massive width of the 1545 which makes it much less
portable than the old 8200. I'd love to replace my 8200 with a
machine of similar dimensions, but thinner and lighter. However, I
cannot find any machine on Dell's website with a 4x3 aspect ratio -
they all seem to be approximately 16x9 now.

So, is 16x9 all that's available now in laptops?

If I'm stuck with a 16x9 aspect ratio, then I'd like to get something
significantly narrower and more portable than my 1545 (14.75", 37.5 cm
wide) and with as many horizontal lines in the display as possible.

Any suggestions?

(And, yes, I'm open to a non-Dell solution.)

Thanks for your suggestions,

John Blinka
 
Old 09-05-2010, 03:18 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

On 2010-09-05, John Blinka <john.blinka@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, all,
>
> My trusty Inspiron 8200 is on death's door and so I'm looking for a
> new laptop - one that will run Gentoo straightforwardly, of course.
>
> I really liked the 1600x1200 display on this machine, which I greatly
> prefer to the 1600x900 display on the more modern Inspiron 1545 I own.
> Most of what I do now is through a web browser, and I can see much
> more of a web page with 1200 lines of display than I can with 900.
> And I dislike the massive width of the 1545 which makes it much less
> portable than the old 8200. I'd love to replace my 8200 with a
> machine of similar dimensions, but thinner and lighter. However, I
> cannot find any machine on Dell's website with a 4x3 aspect ratio -
> they all seem to be approximately 16x9 now.
>
> So, is 16x9 all that's available now in laptops?

Yup, and 16x9 sucks -- it's just an excuse to ship smaller,
lower-resolution displays labelled with bigger numbers.

Complete ripoff.

--
Grant
 
Old 09-05-2010, 03:55 PM
Al
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

2010/9/5 John Blinka <john.blinka@gmail.com>:
> Hi, all,
>
> My trusty Inspiron 8200 is on death's door and so I'm looking for a
> new laptop - one that will run Gentoo straightforwardly, of course.
>
> I really liked the 1600x1200 display on this machine, which I greatly
> prefer to the 1600x900 display on the more modern Inspiron 1545 I own.
> *Most of what I do now is through a web browser, and I can see much
> more of a web page with 1200 lines of display than I can with 900.
> And I dislike the massive width of the 1545 which makes it much less
> portable than the old 8200. *I'd love to replace my 8200 with a
> machine of similar dimensions, but thinner and lighter. *However, I
> cannot find any machine on Dell's website with a 4x3 aspect ratio -
> they all seem to be approximately 16x9 now.
>
> So, *is 16x9 all that's available now in laptops?
>
> If I'm stuck with a 16x9 aspect ratio, then I'd like to get something
> significantly narrower and more portable than my 1545 (14.75", 37.5 cm
> wide) and with as many horizontal lines in the display as possible.
>
> Any suggestions?
>

The typical recommondation I read is Thinkpad.

Do a general search for linux laptops. I.e. I find:
http://linuxcertified.com/linux-laptop-lctp.html

Maybe look at ebay.

Al
 
Old 09-05-2010, 07:25 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

Apparently, though unproven, at 17:18 on Sunday 05 September 2010, Grant
Edwards did opine thusly:

> On 2010-09-05, John Blinka <john.blinka@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi, all,
> >
> > My trusty Inspiron 8200 is on death's door and so I'm looking for a
> > new laptop - one that will run Gentoo straightforwardly, of course.
> >
> > I really liked the 1600x1200 display on this machine, which I greatly
> > prefer to the 1600x900 display on the more modern Inspiron 1545 I own.
> >
> > Most of what I do now is through a web browser, and I can see much
> >
> > more of a web page with 1200 lines of display than I can with 900.
> > And I dislike the massive width of the 1545 which makes it much less
> > portable than the old 8200. I'd love to replace my 8200 with a
> > machine of similar dimensions, but thinner and lighter. However, I
> > cannot find any machine on Dell's website with a 4x3 aspect ratio -
> > they all seem to be approximately 16x9 now.
> >
> > So, is 16x9 all that's available now in laptops?
>
> Yup, and 16x9 sucks -- it's just an excuse to ship smaller,
> lower-resolution displays labelled with bigger numbers.
>
> Complete ripoff.


If you have 16:9 at 1280*720, then yes, it is going to suck. There is nothing
inherently wrong with the aspect ratio, please desist from trying to make it
so.

There are good reasons for it. It most easily fits the overall dimensions of
the machine, you have a wide and not very deep keyboard plus space for a
touchpad and palm rests. It's all approximately 16:9. I paid the extra to get
16:9 @ 1920x1200. Best thing I ever did laptop-wise - I can get two webpages
side by side on the screen looking very natural.

Did you know that 16:9 is the eye's natural aspect ratio? Test it sometime
with outstreched fingers.


--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 09-05-2010, 10:04 PM
Allan Gottlieb
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> writes:

> Apparently, though unproven, at 17:18 on Sunday 05 September 2010, Grant
> Edwards did opine thusly:
>
>> On 2010-09-05, John Blinka <john.blinka@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi, all,
>> >
>> > My trusty Inspiron 8200 is on death's door and so I'm looking for a
>> > new laptop - one that will run Gentoo straightforwardly, of course.
>> >
>> > I really liked the 1600x1200 display on this machine, which I greatly
>> > prefer to the 1600x900 display on the more modern Inspiron 1545 I own.
>> >
>> > Most of what I do now is through a web browser, and I can see much
>> >
>> > more of a web page with 1200 lines of display than I can with 900.
>> > And I dislike the massive width of the 1545 which makes it much less
>> > portable than the old 8200. I'd love to replace my 8200 with a
>> > machine of similar dimensions, but thinner and lighter. However, I
>> > cannot find any machine on Dell's website with a 4x3 aspect ratio -
>> > they all seem to be approximately 16x9 now.
>> >
>> > So, is 16x9 all that's available now in laptops?
>>
>> Yup, and 16x9 sucks -- it's just an excuse to ship smaller,
>> lower-resolution displays labelled with bigger numbers.
>
> If you have 16:9 at 1280*720, then yes, it is going to suck. There is nothing
> inherently wrong with the aspect ratio, please desist from trying to make it
> so.
>
> There are good reasons for it. It most easily fits the overall dimensions of
> the machine, you have a wide and not very deep keyboard plus space for a
> touchpad and palm rests. It's all approximately 16:9. I paid the extra to get
> 16:9 @ 1920x1200. Best thing I ever did laptop-wise - I can get two webpages
> side by side on the screen looking very natural.

I agree with the thrust of Alan's reply, but his numbers require
nonsquare pixels.

With square pixels 16x9 is 1920x1080 (so called full HD is 1080p). This
is my laptop's display.

My big (30") monitor is 16x10 (2560x1600) and is a joy to use. I prefer
the current wide aspect ratio better then the previous 4x3 standard.

allan
 
Old 09-05-2010, 11:42 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

On 2010-09-05, Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:
> Apparently, though unproven, at 17:18 on Sunday 05 September 2010, Grant
> Edwards did opine thusly:
>
>> On 2010-09-05, John Blinka <john.blinka@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi, all,
>> >
>> > My trusty Inspiron 8200 is on death's door and so I'm looking for a
>> > new laptop - one that will run Gentoo straightforwardly, of course.
>> >
>> > I really liked the 1600x1200 display on this machine, which I greatly
>> > prefer to the 1600x900 display on the more modern Inspiron 1545 I own.
>> >
>> > Most of what I do now is through a web browser, and I can see much
>> >
>> > more of a web page with 1200 lines of display than I can with 900.
>> > And I dislike the massive width of the 1545 which makes it much less
>> > portable than the old 8200. I'd love to replace my 8200 with a
>> > machine of similar dimensions, but thinner and lighter. However, I
>> > cannot find any machine on Dell's website with a 4x3 aspect ratio -
>> > they all seem to be approximately 16x9 now.
>> >
>> > So, is 16x9 all that's available now in laptops?
>>
>> Yup, and 16x9 sucks -- it's just an excuse to ship smaller,
>> lower-resolution displays labelled with bigger numbers.
>>
>> Complete ripoff.
>
> If you have 16:9 at 1280*720, then yes, it is going to suck. There is nothing
> inherently wrong with the aspect ratio, please desist from trying to make it
> so.

Yes, there is an inherent problem: in order to get what I consider
acceptable vertical size/resolution you have to buy something that's
rediculously wide.

> There are good reasons for it. It most easily fits the overall
> dimensions of the machine, you have a wide and not very deep keyboard
> plus space for a touchpad and palm rests. It's all approximately
> 16:9.

No it's not. At least only on any of my laptops. I suppose you can
tack on a useless numeric keypat to try to take up some of the extra
horizontal space that's required in order to get a screen that's tall
enough to be useful.

> I paid the extra to get 16:9 @ 1920x1200. Best thing I ever did
> laptop-wise - I can get two webpages side by side on the screen
> looking very natural.
>
> Did you know that 16:9 is the eye's natural aspect ratio?

How do you explain the widespread popularity of portrait mode for
printed material? Text is much easier to read in tall, narrow,
columns. The more lines of code you can see at once when editing
source code, the fewer the bugs. Both those have been experimentally
verified.

> Test it sometime with outstreched fingers.

I still vastly prefer 4:3 for all of the work I do. I guess if you
want to watch movies, and you don't mind hauling around a useless
numeric keypad, 16:9 is nice.

--
Grant
 
Old 09-06-2010, 12:21 AM
Al
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

>
> How do you explain the widespread popularity of portrait mode for
> printed material? *Text is much easier to read in tall, narrow,
> columns. *The more lines of code you can see at once when editing
> source code, the fewer the bugs. *Both those have been experimentally
> verified.

And I like to have two documents open side by side. It has been
verified, that writing code und tests side by side reduces bugs much
more than debugging after writing the code.

Al
 
Old 09-06-2010, 06:16 AM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

Apparently, though unproven, at 01:42 on Monday 06 September 2010, Grant
Edwards did opine thusly:

> >> Yup, and 16x9 sucks -- it's just an excuse to ship smaller,
> >> lower-resolution displays labelled with bigger numbers.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Complete ripoff.
> >
> > If you have 16:9 at 1280*720, then yes, it is going to suck. There is
> > nothing inherently wrong with the aspect ratio, please desist from
> > trying to make it so.
>
> Yes, there is an inherent problem: in order to get what I consider
> acceptable vertical size/resolution you have to buy something that's
> rediculously wide.

Untrue.

Vertical resolution depends only on the available dimension and the number of
pixels-per-inch of your screen.

How do you manage to take the position that screen height somehow depends on
the machine width? Remember that we are talking regular sized notebooks here

>
> > There are good reasons for it. It most easily fits the overall
> > dimensions of the machine, you have a wide and not very deep keyboard
> > plus space for a touchpad and palm rests. It's all approximately
> > 16:9.
>
> No it's not. At least only on any of my laptops. I suppose you can
> tack on a useless numeric keypat to try to take up some of the extra
> horizontal space that's required in order to get a screen that's tall
> enough to be useful.

I have a 16:9 in a regular sized notebook, a Dell M1530. There's no numpad. In
fact the keyboard takes up less space horizontally than I'm used to.

So please tell me again where this machine width thing comes from?

> > I paid the extra to get 16:9 @ 1920x1200. Best thing I ever did
> > laptop-wise - I can get two webpages side by side on the screen
> > looking very natural.
> >
> > Did you know that 16:9 is the eye's natural aspect ratio?
>
> How do you explain the widespread popularity of portrait mode for
> printed material? Text is much easier to read in tall, narrow,
> columns. The more lines of code you can see at once when editing
> source code, the fewer the bugs. Both those have been experimentally
> verified.

Tall narrow columns come from newsprint and the average person does not
display only text on a screen. Even the example you cite - printed material -
is incomplete, in that few folks have only one of them when working.

The usual case is one book for reference, and at least one other work area.
Which is why I mentioned two web sites side by side at a very acceptable size.


> > Test it sometime with outstreched fingers.
>
> I still vastly prefer 4:3 for all of the work I do. I guess if you
> want to watch movies, and you don't mind hauling around a useless
> numeric keypad, 16:9 is nice.

Once again, who mentioned a numpad? I didn't. You inserted that the bolster
your argument, but I never put it there.

Personally, I think you went cheap and bought a less-than-ideal screen based
on price. I didn't make that error - I spent the extra bucks, sacrificed a few
features here and there and went for the best on offer. I have full 1200
height (the same as I get out of my 21" CRT monitor) which instantly renders
all your arguments redundant.

So tell me again why there is something wrong with 16:9?

I think you have it conflated with 800 height which indeed is pathetic.


--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 09-06-2010, 11:08 AM
Stroller
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

On 5 Sep 2010, at 23:04, Allan Gottlieb wrote:

...
With square pixels 16x9 is 1920x1080 (so called full HD is 1080p).
This

is my laptop's display.

My big (30") monitor is 16x10 (2560x1600) and is a joy to use. I
prefer

the current wide aspect ratio better then the previous 4x3 standard.



That kind of resolution is starting to sound appealing, however from
what I can tell, you're looking to pay 2 or 3 times the price [1] for
a monitor of this specification, as you will for a set of three
1600x1200 TFTs. That makes it extremely hard to justify for me.


I'll certainly admit that dual-head is not perfect, but I can't help
thinking that maybe a central display with two "aides", one at each
side, might solve the "central bezel problem".


I'm having a lot of difficulty visualising how big high-quality
widescreen monitors might compare to my good 4:3s, because I don't get
to see them. Certainly the widescreens at the low-end of the market
are much inferior, and a good 4:3 is not much more expensive than those.


Stroller.





[1] Please don't flame me if your maths on monitor pricing differs
from mine; I didn't want to spend hours comparison shopping products
I'm unlikely to buy right now.
 
Old 09-06-2010, 04:24 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default OT: advice sought on new laptop for Gentoo

On 2010-09-06, Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Yes, there is an inherent problem: in order to get what I consider
>> acceptable vertical size/resolution you have to buy something that's
>> rediculously wide.
>
> Untrue.
>
> Vertical resolution depends only on the available dimension and the
> number of pixels-per-inch of your screen.

Ah, how conveniently you ignored the _size_ requirement and
concentrated solely on the resolution.

> How do you manage to take the position that screen height somehow
> depends on the machine width? Remember that we are talking regular
> sized notebooks here

Of course screen height depends on width.

To get a display height equivalent to my current Thinkpad's 15"
display (height 9.2") with a 16:9 display, you have to buy a laptop
that's 17" wide. My Thinkpad is 13" wide. I simply don't wan't to
carry around that extra 4" of width.

>>> There are good reasons for it. It most easily fits the overall
>>> dimensions of the machine, you have a wide and not very deep keyboard
>>> plus space for a touchpad and palm rests. It's all approximately
>>> 16:9.
>>
>> No it's not. At least only on any of my laptops. I suppose you can
>> tack on a useless numeric keypat to try to take up some of the extra
>> horizontal space that's required in order to get a screen that's tall
>> enough to be useful.
>
> I have a 16:9 in a regular sized notebook, a Dell M1530. There's no
> numpad. In fact the keyboard takes up less space horizontally than
> I'm used to.

How tall is the display (physically)?

How wide is the laptop (physically)?

> So please tell me again where this machine width thing comes from?

Well, the height and width are related by a fixed ratio. With a 4:3
display, the laptop's width has to be at least displayHeight*(4/3).
With a 16:9 display, the laptop's width has to be at least
displayHeight(16/9).

For a given height, a 16:9 display is 30% wider. I want nice tall
display (prefereably at least 9-10") without having to increase the
width beyond what a standard "laptop" style keyboard takes up (about
12-13 inches).

> Personally, I think you went cheap and bought a less-than-ideal
> screen based on price.

Now you're just being insulting.

My laptop display was almost top-of-the-line for IBM at the time: 15"
1400x1050. There may have been a 16" 1600x1200 available in another
product line, but it wasn't available in the model line I wanted.

Perhaps I'm too cynical, but IMO the "cheap" factor is why we got 16:9
displays on laptops in the first place. A 15" 16:9 display is roughly
10% smaller (cheaper) than a 15" 4:3 display. But, the salesdroid can
talk the consumer into paying more for a cheaper product: "Wow, for
only $100 more we can move you up from a 15" regular display to a 15"
WIDESCREEN display!

$100 more and it's 1.6" shorter and has 10% less screen area!

What a deal!!

> I didn't make that error - I spent the extra bucks, sacrificed a few
> features here and there and went for the best on offer. I have full
> 1200 height (the same as I get out of my 21" CRT monitor) which
> instantly renders all your arguments redundant.

OK, how high is your display and how wide is your laptop?

> So tell me again why there is something wrong with 16:9?

Because I don't want a 17" wide laptop, and I do want a 10" tall
display.

> I think you have it conflated with 800 height which indeed is
> pathetic.

No, it's about physical form factor: height vs. width. I want a
physically tall display on a laptop that doesn't take up half of my
neighbor's tray table.

My idea display on a laptop would probably be a 4:3 16" 1600x1200.

--
Grant
 

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