Last week, an important desktop computer used by my family died. The connection between the power supply and motherboard fried somehow. I’ve never seen a connection fail like this before: all of the connections attached to red wires had burned the surrounding plastic within the connector. It was difficult to detach the connector, and even when I cleaned up the motherboard and used a new power supply, the motherboard refused to power on. Nothing else was damaged.
I suspect the motherboard was drawing too much current and the connector failed over time. Newer motherboards have separate 12V connectors which could solve the problem.
Anyway, I immediately found a better motherboard (PCCHIPS A15G (V1.0) AM2+ MCP61P) and a faster, lower power CPU (AMD|A64 X2 5200 2.7G AM2 65N R) on NewEgg for a total of $108 including shipping. The computer will be better than ever. NewEgg sure knows how to keep me as a customer.
I recently bought a laptop for my new job. I chose an HP dv9933cl, intending to install Ubuntu on it. The verdict? It’s great! I bought it from CostCo rather than Newegg because I wanted to avoid shipping in case I needed to replace it, but so far I see no need to replace it.
It has a 17″ screen, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD, Intel Core 2 Duo, a LightScribe DVD writer, SD card slot, WiFi (802.11abgn), nVidia graphics, and all the regular ports you’d expect. It comes with Windows Vista, which is OK for watching movies, but it’s not the right environment for getting work done. 🙂
Ubuntu 8.10 installed with hardly a hitch. I installed all of the drivers I needed from a standard Ubuntu mirror. The wi-fi didn’t work on the first boot, but apparently something sorted itself out and it began working (and hasn’t stopped working) on the second boot. The wi-fi has better range than any laptop I’ve used before. I can put the laptop to sleep just by closing the lid. Compiz (for desktop 3D effects) works well. The SD card reader works. Even the unusual little infrared remote control that came with the laptop works.
I suspect most laptops in the HP Pavilion dv9000 line will have similar success with Linux. I wish HP would publish something that says Linux works well on it.