26 Mar 2004 forrest   » (Journeyer)

Which Linux Laptop?

At my work, I'm now doing some work on a java webapp written with Struts. Sadly, this means I'm now mostly using Windows ... even though everything I need to work on runs fine under Linux.

I have been using a Linux box at work that's a 200MHz or so cast-off, and have a kvm switch to go between it and my Windows box. Until this latest project, I've only used the Windows box for mail. Needless to say, it isn't quite up to the task of this java development. Even the 1GHz Windows box I have with 512 Mb RAM is clunky.

Although it really shouldn't matter what my desktop is, I'm struck by how clunky it is to do anything even a little complex without multiple virtual desktops. I'm always staring at the little rectangles (now almost squares) in the start bar, trying to deciper which of the many windows I have open is the one I'm looking for.

Although I doubt my work would spring for a decent Linux box for me, I think I could get a docking station if I brought my own laptop. Since I've wanted to get a linux laptop anyway, I've been thinking about that more and more.

The requirements are a little different than what I might choose on my own. A fast CPU, lots of RAM (at least a gig), and a big hard disk are what I need. Battery life is not a consideration in this case: I'll almost always be using this unit at work or at home, with external power.

All other things being equal, I prefer AMD CPUs, but that's just wanting to support the underdog, and is for me much less important than functionality.

I've always been initmidated to buy a laptop for running Linux; they're expensive and have all sorts of quirks which make it a gamble.

I'm soliciting recommendations, and I hope some of you will help me out before using Windows drives me (any more) batty.

Thanks for any advice!

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