May 17th, 2007


These things only become more difficult.

The coincidence of a parent’s kindness and my birthday resulted in a replacement for my failing laptop. Lo, behold the Gateway NX570X! It met my short specification list frighteningly well:

  • 1 GB RAM
  • 120 GB HD
  • Intel chipset
    • Core 2 Duo
    • Wireless (802.11g)
    • Video Card
      • 3D
  • Webcam
  • DVD-R
  • S-Video output

Sam has recommended Gateway in the past as a quality OEM. buildmuscle owns two and I took a shining to their construction. The only worry was with regard to the placement of the Fn and Ctrl keys - I prefer the HP / Compaq placement scheme.

But, this keyboard clicks like a real keyboard.

It came in on that magical day. The FedEx guy kindly acquiesced to my written request to disobey the “no drop-off without physical signature” and tossed the box into my kitchen. The slam of it against the linoleum woke me, and I hurried to the door and groggily thanked him. Within minutes, I had tore open the box and carefully started accounting for the contents. I booted, and configured Windows Vista to check if there were any software or hardware registration steps I needed to take before installing Linux. Under the recommendation of my Father, I burnt off the six CD recovery disks and packed them away with the other useless media Gateway shipped along with the new hotness.

Sam and I named the new machine resa.

Ubuntu 7.04 installed without a hitch. The only post-installation hardware related fun was needing 915resolution to unlock the full potential screen resolution. I plugged geneva into resa and dynamic duo of NetworkManager and Avahi automatically configured the connection:

scott@geneva:~$ [0] rsync -aP /home/scott resa.local:
The authenticity of host ‘resa.local (’ can’t be established.
RSA key fingerprint is 3c:0a:d1:49:da:43:45:46:37:c8:55:bc:41:eb:ef:cf.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ‘resa.local,’ (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
scott@resa.local’s password:
building file list ... 
40378 files to consider
... time passes ...

And that was that. I shutdown geneva for the last time - she made it just shy of two years.

Since then, I have installed the following crucial pieces of software: Abiword, Apache 2, gcc and g++, GNOME Main Menu, Java 6, LogJam, Maple, Muine, Nmap, NTP, OpenSSH, PHP, PPTP client, Seahorse, Subversion, SVK, TeX Live, Vim, X-Chat, and all the codecs you can eat.

It’s telling that I probably spent more time recovering my Firefox add-ons than installing Linux and associated applications - the web as a platform has delivered. I ended up installing Bookmarks, Download Statusbar, Firebug, Fission, Long Titles, NoScript, Tamper Data, UI Tweaker, and Web Developer.

That’s my installation report. Now for a miniature review.

All computers are fast now, and this one is no exception. The construction of the chassis is excellent - it’s aluminum or something awesome like that. The layout and style are clean. I haven’t played with S-Video output yet. Software suspend works out of the box. The power brick’s connectors seems flimsy, so I’ll be wary of them. The CPU boots around 30° C, heats up to around 50° C, and at 60° C the fan turns on. The chassis thermal zone handles up to 90° C (passive) and 100° C (active) before it trips - which is a complex way of saying it runs warm.

Watch this space for no further nice words, and nothing but bitching when I inevitably run into things I dislike.