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Harry8


Member

Posted Tue Sep 9th, 2008 4:11pm Post subject: Gnu's not OSX - laptop software
Hello there!
So in a dark, dingy corner of the interwebs where kiddies like me hang out and occasionally grunt while writing software the problems of the world are discussed (and solved, mind you). Well perhaps not, but we did see Stephen's introduction to and celebration of Free Software, GNU and all these good things.
http://www.gnu.org/fry/
The thing that intrigued us in particular was the rather nice piece of hardware that Stephen had beside him, namely the Apple Macbook Air.
The question is:

Is this laptop running some version of Apple's OSX[1] (presumably 10.5) or is it running some version of Gnu/Linux, gNewSense, Debian, Fedora or what have you?


We have all the speculation on the issue that anyone could possibly want, including a maverick who thinks someone with the taste and distinction of our Mr Fry would obviously be running NetBSD (another entirely free operating system if you've not heard of it). Further speculation? Well why not join the fun. Poll attached.

Anyway I thought well why not ask? You never know maybe a definitive answer might be forthcoming...


[1]If you were not aware OSX has rather a lot of code that it has taken from the FreeBSD project so some large chunk of OSX itself is Free Software. It is usually lacking code for the important drivers, eg the ones that drive the video and all the code that makes the pretty max user interface work. Free version is here:
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/
And indeed a lot of the software that ships with OSX, like the compilers, script interpreters, shells, the chess program, the web browser and the program that allows it to see windows shared drives is Free software, most of it developed outside apple and predating OSX.

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fryfan20


Member

Posted Tue Sep 9th, 2008 6:45pm Post subject: Gnu's not OSX - laptop software
i think the first question must be, with laptop/ computer do you want to know about? I imagination that Stephen has more than one of both.
and if we are speculating than i think that he has every computer running on a different system.so he has the whole collection (with the exception of any Microsoft thing, because he doesn't like Microsoft). and beside of al those computers running on different kinds of software I think he has one for with he writes his own software from scratch (he is smart enough for it)

I am what I am

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Harry8


Member

Posted Tue Sep 9th, 2008 7:09pm Post subject: Gnu's not OSX - laptop software
Which laptop? The very one I mentioned that is prominent in the video. The Macbook air. Have a look, it's a rather interesting talk.
http://www.gnu.org/fry/

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fryfan20


Member

Posted Tue Sep 9th, 2008 8:05pm Post subject: Gnu's not OSX - laptop software
Which laptop? The very one I mentioned that is prominent in the video. The Macbook air. Have a look, it's a rather interesting talk.
http://www.gnu.org/fry/

i have seen it, and it was quite interesting indeed.
I of course don't know what he has, but it was fun to speculate on

I am what I am

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jumbika


Member

Posted Tue Oct 21st, 2008 10:53pm Post subject: Gnu's not OSX - laptop software
Well folks, I am currently a student at a community college, but yesterday I got my acceptance letter to a 4 year University. Basically, I want to prepare now (financially) to get the things I will need to go away. Of course my parents are there to help, but we are definitely not rich. I really want a laptop or a computer for school, but don't know how I will ever be able to afford one. How to afford a laptop on a small budget?

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McGrew


Member

Posted Sun Nov 9th, 2008 5:16am Post subject: Gnu's not OSX - laptop software
. I really want a laptop or a computer for school, but don't know how I will ever be able to afford one. How to afford a laptop on a small budget?

Well, the easy answer is, buy an inexpensive laptop. This, unfortunately, might limit you non-apple products (which tend, in my experience, to be generally better, but also generally more expensive.)

However, this does not mean you have to condemn yourself to a life of WindowsXP (or worse, Vista) - a number of excellent (and free) distributions of linux work on laptops, and are often faster on low-end machines than microsoft products.

One thing you should do is check if your school will require specific software, and make sure what you buy will do it. (Also remember that openoffice makes a fine linux-base substitute for microsoft office stuff, and is much cheaper -- as in free.)

Anyway, I suggest:

* don't go for big display size. Big displays are great, but you pay extra for them. (They also weigh more.)

* get as much memory as you can afford. The more memory, the better.

* don't get hung up on processor speed. A fast processor with not enough memory is worse than a slow processor with enough.

* get a large disk. You'll fill it up anyway. Trust me, you'll find things. Also, if you decide to dual boot the machine (for instance, linux for class, windows for games), more disk space is better.

* get the best display chipset you can, especially if you want to play games in your non-learning time. For the most part, the ultracool games are on microsoft oss, and depend on the fanciest display processors there are.
(Notice that cpu and display processors are different, so a less-than-great cpu doesn't preclude you from playing 'fight like a demon VI" (or whatever), if your display processor is good.)

* make sure all the peripheral things you want are included. I was, for instance, surprised to discover that airbooks do not come with firewire connector any more, which is a reason why I don't own one, cool though they are.

* lastly, don't dismiss a non-big-name product, so long as the warranty is good, and you don't have to mail your busted product to Albania to get it fixed.

* oops, one more. Your laptop is more vulnerable to getting dropped, spilled on, kicked, rained on, and incidentally stolen than a desktop. Do backups regularly (so having a cd or dvd burner built in might be a good thing to check on). And I mean do them. Would you rather restart that term paper from last week's backup, or from scratch?

Hope this helps,

Charles

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