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Looking for a light, Linux-friendly laptop with trackpoint

My Lenovo Thinkpad X220 has been falling apart for awhile, but I've resisted replacing it because shopping for laptops is annoying. But now it's definitely time for something new. I'm overwhelmed by the options, but maybe someone else who's done some laptop-shopping recently can help? I'm looking for something small and light (12-14", less than 4 lbs.), Linux-friendly, and (here's the hard part) with a trackpoint-style mouse. I use my laptop mostly for writing and general Internetting, but also for processing photos, so a decent processor and display is nice. Price isn't a huge issue. I could go with one of the newer Lenovos, and I might still, but I'm interested in other options, as well. I'm not interested in any of the Chromebooks. Any suggestions?
posted by rhiannonstone on Apr 3, 2014 - 10 answers

High-DPI Linux?

I have a Yoga 2 Pro, freshly purchased, with an insanely high resolution screen (3800 x 1800). I generally run Xubuntu in a VM alongside windows, but I'm struggling to make it truly workable. What is the state of the art in resolution independence when it comes to Linux? What window manager should I be looking at, are there guides and tweaks etc.? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Dec 2, 2013 - 3 answers

Ideas for a low powered home server running Linux...

I'm not going to be doing much with this. I already have a NAS so this won't be a file server. I just want it to do a few things such as XBMC, OpenVPN server, Squeezebox server, etc. It's going to be on 24/7, and I don't want it to use much power. Since it is isn't going to be doing too much, I don't want too spend much. I tried the Raspberry Pi, but it doesn't have enough power. It can run one of these applications perfectly, but it can't run much more at the same time. Same with an old PogoPlug. I was thinking about one of these: Beaglebone Black? CubieTruck? An old Dell Mini 9? If anyone has any ideas or can tell me about their low powered/low cost server, I'd appreciate it.
posted by toddst on Nov 16, 2013 - 18 answers

Micro computers

I have a fascination for micro computers such as the Raspbery Pi, the wide array of micro Android PCs, and low-power wall plug computers. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Aug 9, 2013 - 15 answers

The year of...

Can you bring me up to date with the state of Linux desktop environments? [more inside]
posted by deadwax on Jun 19, 2012 - 12 answers

computer careers for the un(der) educated?

Thinking about the future. What certifications, courses, qualifications, etc. should I be looking at? [more inside]
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand on Nov 7, 2011 - 4 answers

Boot Camp

I have a Toshiba laptop that seems to no longer like booting various linux os's. Ideas for how to fix it? [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 12, 2011 - 16 answers

Faster, Linuxcat, Kill! Kill!

Persistent Linux Live USBs- I want to be be able to plug in at will, to do basic stuff. I want to hear from folks who have used them. [more inside]
posted by yeloson on Aug 16, 2011 - 14 answers

Will I be punished for my inability to choose?

Linux Question: KDE, Gnome, keeping things seperate, the future etc. (Ubuntu/Fedora). [more inside]
posted by rosswald on Dec 16, 2010 - 12 answers

I can't use any operating systems because of Grub. Can any computer experts help me?

I can't use any operating systems because of Grub. Can any computer experts help me? [more inside]
posted by EatingCereal on Sep 30, 2010 - 9 answers

I want my Linux Search, Windows-style!

Windows Search-like functionality (hit the windows key, and type in your terms, then tap Enter)... in Linux? [more inside]
posted by Master Gunner on Jul 16, 2010 - 19 answers

How can I get my mouse to work with Ubuntu boot disks?

Two different USB mice freeze when using 3 different Ubuntu versions on my Dell desktop. Should I give up, and if so, what sort of linux version should a new user like me try? [more inside]
posted by Jenesta on Apr 17, 2010 - 6 answers

Robust Tablet PC - exists?

My laptop (an Acer Travelmate) just gave up the ghost after 3 years and a replaced (but still dodgy) hard drive. Any suggestions for laptops that can handle plenty of travel and being bumped around in bags? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Feb 10, 2010 - 15 answers

installing older firefoxes

I need to put an older version (2.x) of Firefox onto my computer. I am using the latest Kubuntu version (Karmic, still in beta for a few more days). How do I do this? [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Oct 20, 2009 - 9 answers

Where do you put *your* VPN?

Where exactly should I place my VPN server in my network? [more inside]
posted by plaidrabbit on Sep 22, 2009 - 6 answers

Two old PCs. Several limitations. What's possible?

What should I do with these old PCs? Of course, there are some limitations... [more inside]
posted by cgg on Apr 7, 2009 - 19 answers

How can I make Ubuntu beautiful?

I am used to Mac OS X and I really like the default fonts, the way anti aliasing works and the default theme as well. Now I am working with Ubuntu 8.10 on other machine, but it kind of frustrates me visually. I'd like to ask general tips on how could I make Ubuntu more visually appealing. I have found a couple of links about how to make fonts smoother. That improved a bit, bit still not there yet. I'd like to hear from you what font you use, themes, etc... So, what are the tricks you use to make your Ubuntu install beautiful?
posted by fcoury on Mar 19, 2009 - 9 answers

Hardware question about installing *BSD on old Sun equipment as a SOHO firewall/router.

Can someone give me any pointers, tips, or caveats about installing BSD on sun hardware for use as a firewall/router? [more inside]
posted by Myles on Feb 1, 2009 - 6 answers

How do I track my DVD-Rs?

Is there any good, free UNIX/Linux software you can suggest for keeping a searchable index of removable media? [more inside]
posted by tommorris on Nov 25, 2008 - 7 answers

Your victories and woes as a unix/linux sysadmin

What were your greatest victories and punishing woes as a unix/linux system administrator? [more inside]
posted by Myles on Jul 21, 2008 - 11 answers

can I setup usb on linux to only support input devices?

Does anyone know a good way to make input devices be the only thing recognized by usb on linux? [more inside]
posted by brent_h on Jun 4, 2008 - 8 answers

Linux-compatible very slender PCI vid card?

I need a skinny, possibly fanless video card for a 1 U server. Linux drivers, PCI Express, very little room for it to live. [more inside]
posted by everichon on Apr 16, 2008 - 7 answers

Where does KDE 3.5.5 keep it's global icons?

How do you create system-wide desktop icons in KDE 3.5? [more inside]
posted by baylink on Mar 2, 2008 - 0 answers

Geek self-study

What is the best book for a self-study course on learning to use Linux. This would be for a sophomore in college studying Computer Science, but a person totally unfamiliar with anything other than Windows. I am looking for something where the student would install, then go through a series of tasks: configure networking, mount a remote smb drive, configure firewall, set up new accounts, configure apache, etc.
posted by about_time on Nov 9, 2007 - 11 answers

The Hood Internet

Hood+Tech Filter: Help me give these kids a fighting chance. [more inside]
posted by dihutenosa on Aug 9, 2007 - 10 answers

Sending E-mails with PHP

How do I get PHP to send an e-mail. Is there a way to do it without recompiling PHP/Apache. If not, how do I recompile PHP/Apache on a linux system to do this? [more inside]
posted by kaozity on Aug 7, 2007 - 11 answers

Basic Linux Maintenance

I am running Ubuntu (Edgy Eft) on my computer and while I am feeling more and more confident about most aspects of a Linux OS I am still unclear on what sort of regular maintenance operations I should be performing. [more inside]
posted by LeeJay on Apr 4, 2007 - 13 answers

b0rked partition table! halp!

I have a SATA hard drive with all my data (yeah, I was just about to implement a backup scheme with rsync...), and my Ubuntu installation shit the bed. I'm back up, but the partition table on that drive is kablooey. It is formated ext3, and I have little reason to suspect that the data is not there. Are there any good tools for restoring a partition table on ext3, or can this be done natively? Gparted shows the file system marked as ext3, but with a warning about not being able to open dumpe2fs. [more inside]
posted by adampsyche on Dec 12, 2006 - 5 answers

Help using Amarok with a removable drive

Help using Amarok with a removable drive [more inside]
posted by mattholomew on Nov 12, 2006 - 2 answers

Ubuntu missing apps...

I used Automatix to get my Ubuntu system up and running. I know the thing installs stuff like Beagle and Gmailnotifier, but for some reason they're not showing up. [more inside]
posted by sholdens12 on Aug 24, 2006 - 8 answers

Help me find the great Linux downloader for Emusic that I lost.

Help me find the great Linux downloader for Emusic that I lost. [more inside]
posted by mattholomew on Jul 22, 2006 - 2 answers

How do I set up a server at home?

ServerFilter: How do I set up a server at home? [more inside]
posted by dirtynumbangelboy on Jan 19, 2006 - 9 answers

Can I fix these recent horizontal black glitches on this onboard SiS chipset?

How can I fix my SiS onboard video? What did I even do to break it? I recently reinstalled my girlfriend's Linux machine, adding a hard drive in the process. For some reason, the display shows horizontal glitches and every once in a while blinks black for a few seconds. [more inside]
posted by adamwolf on Jan 17, 2006 - 9 answers

Covert library ops

Can I run Linux under Windows with no reboot, no installation, and 100 MB on a USB drive? [more inside]
posted by poorlydrawnplato on Jan 1, 2006 - 16 answers

Backing up to DVD under Linux

I've got a ~40G filesystem on a Linux machine. I'm looking for a solution that will let me backup to 4.7G DVD blanks - e.g., fill one disc, tell me to put in another, etc, until all of the data is copied to disc(s). I can do this easily with Dragon Burn under OSX with its "Span discs" option, but I'd like to find something similar for Linux. I know about cdrecord/proDVD, but last time I checked it didn't offer anything like this. Any suggestions?
posted by mrbill on Jul 3, 2005 - 7 answers

I hate Red Hat

The Fedora Core 3 installation crashes on my Red Hat 9 PC, and posting to Bugzilla has yielded zero results. Is there any way to get my system up to date without upgrading? [more inside]
posted by IshmaelGraves on Mar 7, 2005 - 8 answers

minimal space hogging OS

Small Operating System: A ship that I work on has a VERY old computer (running Win 98) that is used as a public terminal. It's likely a P120, or some such thing. [MI] [more inside]
posted by MotorNeuron on Jan 26, 2005 - 17 answers

What PC games can be played off a disc with no installation whatsoever?

What PC games don't require any installation whatsoever? Or put another way, what PC games could I burn to CD/DVD and play on a system that I don't want to copy any files to? Linux-plus-games-on-a-DVD suggestions are also welcomed, although I would prefer games that would run on an existing XP installation.
posted by Jairus on Jan 22, 2005 - 12 answers

Linux Distributions

Hope I'm not opening a can of worms here. I'm jumping into the Linux ring for the very first time. There are a ton of distributions and I was wondering if there were any that the community would recommend for a noob like myself. So far, I've downloaded Mandrake and RedHat images but there are a ton of other out there and I wonder if I'm missing something better? I'll be dual booting on a WinXP pro box (Intel) so I'm looking for something that is relatively easy to install in this situation.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jan 15, 2005 - 30 answers

Thunderbird Defaults

Using Firefox with Linux. When I click a "mailto:" link, it automatically opens Evolution. How do I tell it to use Thunderbird instead? I didn't find any obvious settings in either the preferences or about:config.
posted by salmacis on Jan 5, 2005 - 9 answers

Linux and AMD64

Are any flavors of Linux currently more adept at exploiting the AMD64 chip than others? I know that Gentoo has a robust package available. Last I check with Debian, they had one version better suited for the Intel, but were working on AMD-specific one. To compound my problem, I hope to add VMWare once it's up and running (to run WindowsXP as a virtual 32-bit OS).
posted by RavinDave on Nov 26, 2004 - 9 answers

Suggestions for ATA controller for short PCI slot?

I need an ATA controller that fits in a short PCI slot, can control two 200GB drives (The Western Digital WD2000) and works extremely well under Linux. Any suggestions?
posted by djacobs on Oct 13, 2004 - 5 answers

I'm getting error messages when trying to create or clear semaphores in perl on linux.

Perl, semaphores, linux, problems [mi] [more inside]
posted by pissfactory on Oct 4, 2004 - 5 answers

What do these strange beeping and clicking sounds from my computer mean?

Strange sounds from my computer: a beep, followed by a click, followed by a beep. Not at startup, but while I'm booted into Linux (but not Windows!). [more inside]
posted by mr_roboto on Jul 25, 2004 - 4 answers

PC Driver Problems

I have a screwed up driver situation on my pc. I've tried everything i can think of, and i need help. it was suggested i look here.

Here's the PbP:

- My DVD player (Sony DDU1621) on my WinXP box wouldn't open. it would just whirr and blink, so i removed it, uninstalled it, and then reinstalled it.
- While I was checking the connections, i accidentally unplugged my harddrive ribbon. I had XP installed on the second drive in a daisy-chain, and when i replugged everything, my computer started up in win98. But my DVD drive worked.
-- The goal here was to install Linux, so i figured i didn't need XP anyway, and while i was downloading the linux iso (onto another box), i set out to totally clean out the harddrive that used to have XP on it, so i could get it ready for Linux.
-- Two hours later, i went to actually begin installing Linux, and suddenly the DVD drive won't open again.
-- I have now physically removed and replaced the DVD drive at least a dozen times. Sometimes the F drive shows up in My Computer, sometimes it doesn't. When it does show up, it still doesn't work (when i click on it it gives me an error alert saying there is a problem with the device).
- When it doesn't show up , i go to Install New Hardware, and it lists Sony Proprietary CD-Rom Controller. When I select it, i get an update window that says 'This device is already installed, but it has a problem.' There are no updates available (i'm not currently online and all of the networking software was installed into XP), and so i just click OK, and nothing has changed.
- I cannot find another driver for this device. I found something listed on DriverGuide, but it was just some batch that callibrates audio and video input.
- I found another DVD drive, this time a cheap one called a MadDog BKM-52X16, and i replaced it. but my win98 device manager doesn't detect it and still brings up the Sony Proprietary CD-Rom Controller as the only option when i run Install New Hardware.

so all i need is to get a cd drive recognized so i can either reinstall xp, or go ahead and install Linux -- both of which, of course, would solve the problem. but so long as i can't read a cd, i can't do either. so i'm stuck.

help would be deeply appreciated.
posted by milkman on May 1, 2004 - 4 answers

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