Where can I buy a linux-friendly laptop?

William Park opengeometry-FFYn/CNdgSA at public.gmane.org
Tue Nov 22 05:57:50 UTC 2005

On Mon, Nov 21, 2005 at 09:42:03PM -0500, William Park wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 21, 2005 at 08:56:43PM -0500, phiscock-g851W1bGYuGnS0EtXVNi6w at public.gmane.org wrote:
> > 
> > I just purchased an $800 Acer laptop at Canada Computes. It has *no*
> > serial or parallel ports, but it does have 4 USB ports. I know you can
> > get usb-serial adaptors and I assume that the same sort of thing
> > exists for parallel ports. The serial port adaptor includes software
> > drivers for Windows, and in Linux the drivers are built into the
> > kernel. They make the USB port invisible and software thinks it's
> > writing to a serial port which is nice, because legacy software
> > continues to work and USB is a programming nightmare.
> I have my eye on that laptop, also.

Hi Peter,

A.  Can you tell me if your laptop can boot from USB key?  You should see
    something like 
    in BIOS's boot device section.

B.  Also, just because BIOS says so, it doesn't mean it can.  I would
    appreciate if you could do a short experiment in USB booting.  

    1.  Insert a blank USB key.

    2.  Run
	    fdisk /dev/sda
	and make the whole thing a one partition (ie. /dev/sda1).

    3.  Make FAT32 filesystem, copy kernel and syslinux.cfg, and make it

	    mkdosfs /dev/sda1
	    mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

	    cat /boot/vmlinuz > /mnt/vmlinuz
	    cat > /mnt/syslinux.cfg << EOF
		prompt 1
		timeout 100
		label linux
		    kernel vmlinuz
		    append ro root=/dev/sda1 vga=773

	    umount /mnt
	    syslinux /dev/sda1

    Now, reboot your laptop.  You should see 'boot:' prompt, and then
    kernel should load.  Eventually, it will hang, because nothing is on
    /dev/sda1.  But, at least, you know it can load kernel from USB key.

William Park <opengeometry-FFYn/CNdgSA at public.gmane.org>, Toronto, Canada
ThinFlash: Linux thin-client on USB key (flash) drive
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