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Old 02-14-2008, 04:14 PM
Mike Williams
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

Hey all,

I need a laptop. But the requirements are slightly odd.
This is for a machine to stay in our colo cage for use as a barcode scanner,
serial interface, basic GUI, and ssh server management console, etc.
It needs to have USB for an eToken, PS2 for a barcode scanner, serial to
manage PDUs KVM etc, on-board ethernet, and not be flimsy, big, or expensive.

Obviously we can easily get a USB to serial adapter, meaning we'd need at
least 2 USB ports, but a PS2 keyboard port seems a rarity now-a-days.

Battery life isn't really important. Doesn't need to be a properly ruggadized,
just sturdy. 15" or so screen, with a decent resolution to fit webpages and
OO documents etc, 17" is too big. 512-1G of ram, so-so CPU (this P4M 1.8 I'm
using is way more than powerful enough).

Can anyone recommend a laptop that does all these things, runs Linux happily
(Gentoo of course), and isn't a Thinkpad (I was forced to use one a few years
ago, and hated it).

Thanks

--
Mike Williams
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 02-14-2008, 09:58 PM
David Relson
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

On Thu, 14 Feb 2008 17:14:58 +0000
Mike Williams wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> I need a laptop. But the requirements are slightly odd.
> This is for a machine to stay in our colo cage for use as a barcode
> scanner, serial interface, basic GUI, and ssh server management
> console, etc. It needs to have USB for an eToken, PS2 for a barcode
> scanner, serial to manage PDUs KVM etc, on-board ethernet, and not be
> flimsy, big, or expensive.
>
> Obviously we can easily get a USB to serial adapter, meaning we'd
> need at least 2 USB ports, but a PS2 keyboard port seems a rarity
> now-a-days.
>
> Battery life isn't really important. Doesn't need to be a properly
> ruggadized, just sturdy. 15" or so screen, with a decent resolution
> to fit webpages and OO documents etc, 17" is too big. 512-1G of ram,
> so-so CPU (this P4M 1.8 I'm using is way more than powerful enough).
>
> Can anyone recommend a laptop that does all these things, runs Linux
> happily (Gentoo of course), and isn't a Thinkpad (I was forced to use
> one a few years ago, and hated it).

Have you thought about a PS/2 to USB adapter? I'm presently using a
PS/2 keyboard _and_ a PS/2 mouse connected to a single USB port (with a
"Y" adapter -- dual PS/2 inputs and USB output).

Also a USB hub might work to connect multiple USB devices to a single
port.

HTH,

David
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 02-14-2008, 10:29 PM
Mike Williams
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

On Thursday 14 February 2008 22:58:13 David Relson wrote:
> Have you thought about a PS/2 to USB adapter? *I'm presently using a
> PS/2 keyboard _and_ a PS/2 mouse connected to a single USB port (with a
> "Y" adapter -- dual PS/2 inputs and USB output).

D'you know what, I didn't even realise such a thing existed!
I've probably got dozens of USB to PS2 adaptors, and never imagined the
opposite.
A dual PS2 to USB could well do the trick, and my local Maplin have some in
stock, a bit pricey but the company will pay.

Thanks very much.

--
Mike Williams
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 02-14-2008, 11:08 PM
"Adam Carter"
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

> Obviously we can easily get a USB to serial adapter

You can still get laptops with real serial ports (HP sell them). You
might want to investigate whether you can manipulate the USB serial
adapter to your requirements. I tried once with setserial and it didn't
work - I havent had time to look into it further (potentially driver
dependent??). Minicom works fine for configuring routers/unix boxes
however.

absydos adam # file /dev/ttyUSB0
/dev/ttyUSB0: character special (188/0)
absydos adam # setserial /dev/ttyUSB0
Cannot get serial info: Invalid argument
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 02-15-2008, 12:21 AM
David Relson
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

On Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:29:58 +0000
Mike Williams wrote:

> On Thursday 14 February 2008 22:58:13 David Relson wrote:
> > Have you thought about a PS/2 to USB adapter? *I'm presently using a
> > PS/2 keyboard _and_ a PS/2 mouse connected to a single USB port
> > (with a "Y" adapter -- dual PS/2 inputs and USB output).
>
> D'you know what, I didn't even realise such a thing existed!
> I've probably got dozens of USB to PS2 adaptors, and never imagined
> the opposite.
> A dual PS2 to USB could well do the trick, and my local Maplin have
> some in stock, a bit pricey but the company will pay.

Here in Michigan they seem a bit pricey, as well. A single PS/2 to USB
adapter is a few dollars but the dual PS/2 to USB "Y" adapter is $16.00
(or worse). I had hoped to use one with my PS/2 only KVM but the combo
doesn't work. I suspect the issue is with the KVM as I have 2
different "Y" adapters and neither works. Sigh :-<
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 02-15-2008, 01:39 AM
Iain Buchanan
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

On Thu, 2008-02-14 at 20:21 -0500, David Relson wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:29:58 +0000
> Mike Williams wrote:
>
> > On Thursday 14 February 2008 22:58:13 David Relson wrote:
> > > Have you thought about a PS/2 to USB adapter? I'm presently using a
> > > PS/2 keyboard _and_ a PS/2 mouse connected to a single USB port
> > > (with a "Y" adapter -- dual PS/2 inputs and USB output).
> >
> > D'you know what, I didn't even realise such a thing existed!
> > I've probably got dozens of USB to PS2 adaptors, and never imagined
> > the opposite.
> > A dual PS2 to USB could well do the trick, and my local Maplin have
> > some in stock, a bit pricey but the company will pay.
>
> Here in Michigan they seem a bit pricey, as well. A single PS/2 to USB
> adapter is a few dollars but the dual PS/2 to USB "Y" adapter is $16.00
> (or worse). I had hoped to use one with my PS/2 only KVM but the combo
> doesn't work. I suspect the issue is with the KVM as I have 2
> different "Y" adapters and neither works. Sigh :-<

The Dell business models (precision) docking stations have 2 PS2 ports.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/DELL-Dock-Station-PR01X-LATITUDE-INSPIRON-FREE-DELIVERY_W0QQitemZ320215888408QQihZ011QQcategoryZ3 709QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

A docking station would be an excellent idea if you need the peripherals
to work without fussing with cables. If/when you do need to pick it up
to move / replace something, you don't need to worry about unplugging &
replugging 6 different cables in the right spots... You can even tie /
screw the docking station down (or get one of those D-View laptop
stands)
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Dell-D-View-Laptop-Stand-NEW_W0QQitemZ200199102199QQihZ010QQcategoryZ3708QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

sorry about the ebay links, but dell of course doesn't list these things
in their "products" page...
--
Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
-- Isaac Asimov

--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 02-15-2008, 10:11 AM
Florian Philipp
 
Default slightly OT, laptop for gentoo

On Fri, 2008-02-15 at 12:09 +0930, Iain Buchanan wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-02-14 at 20:21 -0500, David Relson wrote:
> > On Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:29:58 +0000
> > Mike Williams wrote:
> >
> > > On Thursday 14 February 2008 22:58:13 David Relson wrote:
> > > > Have you thought about a PS/2 to USB adapter? I'm presently using a
> > > > PS/2 keyboard _and_ a PS/2 mouse connected to a single USB port
> > > > (with a "Y" adapter -- dual PS/2 inputs and USB output).
> > >
> > > D'you know what, I didn't even realise such a thing existed!
> > > I've probably got dozens of USB to PS2 adaptors, and never imagined
> > > the opposite.
> > > A dual PS2 to USB could well do the trick, and my local Maplin have
> > > some in stock, a bit pricey but the company will pay.
> >
> > Here in Michigan they seem a bit pricey, as well. A single PS/2 to USB
> > adapter is a few dollars but the dual PS/2 to USB "Y" adapter is $16.00
> > (or worse). I had hoped to use one with my PS/2 only KVM but the combo
> > doesn't work. I suspect the issue is with the KVM as I have 2
> > different "Y" adapters and neither works. Sigh :-<
>
> The Dell business models (precision) docking stations have 2 PS2 ports.
>
> http://cgi.ebay.com.au/DELL-Dock-Station-PR01X-LATITUDE-INSPIRON-FREE-DELIVERY_W0QQitemZ320215888408QQihZ011QQcategoryZ3 709QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
>
> A docking station would be an excellent idea if you need the peripherals
> to work without fussing with cables. If/when you do need to pick it up
> to move / replace something, you don't need to worry about unplugging &
> replugging 6 different cables in the right spots... You can even tie /
> screw the docking station down (or get one of those D-View laptop
> stands)
> http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Dell-D-View-Laptop-Stand-NEW_W0QQitemZ200199102199QQihZ010QQcategoryZ3708QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
>
> sorry about the ebay links, but dell of course doesn't list these things
> in their "products" page...
> --

If you buy a docking station, double check what kind of AC-adapter you
use. A PA-12 (65W) is not powerful enough to supply a docking station.
You'll need a PA-10. Some notebooks are shipped with a PA-10, some with
a PA-12 with no apparent system.
 

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