Where can I buy a linux-friendly laptop?

Colin McGregor colinmc151-bJEeYj9oJeDQT0dZR+AlfA at public.gmane.org
Mon Nov 21 19:11:55 UTC 2005

--- Evan Leibovitch <evan-ieNeDk6JonTYtjvyW6yDsg at public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> >Remember that lovely pcmcia/pccard slot all laptops
> come with?  Modems
> >used to go there.  They used to be hardware modems
> too.  USB really
> >doesn't make sense for a laptop where you generally
> don't want bits
> >dangling off it just to do normal stuff.
> Modems need to have a phone cable plug into them.
> This means that even 
> PC-Card modems either have dongles or flimsy,
> fragile "pop out" 
> connectors. I've used both. The dongles are no
> smaller than the USB 
> modem, and the pop-out connectors break or bend
> all-too-easily. It's 
> also possible to accidentally plug the RJ-11
> connector in backwards to 
> the pop-out.

Sigh, or there is the third option, the type III PC
Cards with more-or-less conventional phone jacks in
them. Granted this third type of modem card is
something of a rarity (I have one a Xircom (now part
of Intel) RealPort CardBus Ethernet 10/100+Modem 56
GlobalACCESS Adapter (RBEM56G-100)). I haven't used my
card as a modem, just an ethernet card, but that sort
of thing is an option.

> The USB modem has the advantage of being usable on
> desktop systems in a 
> pinch. Since it's external, it doesn't contribute to
> internal laptop 
> heat the way PC cards do. The dongle has status LEDs
> which can be a 
> great help in diagnosing problem connections. And
> lastly, the USB modem 
> is less expensive than PC-Card non-Winmodems.

Reasonable points, but the downsides of USB modems are
the use of what in many cases are precious USB
connectors (which yes you can get arround with a hub,
but that adds one more bit of cabling that you have to
deal with).

If I were going with an external modem for a laptop I
would look at the the likes of a conventional serial
US Robotics 56K modem. Cheap (used), near bullet
proof, uses a never used in my case serial port, the
gold standard in Hayes compatibles and lots of idiot
status lights to tell you what is happening. The one
down side, a bit big and bulky...

Colin McGregor

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