Sunday, November 7, 2004

New Laptop

A few weeks ago I got a new laptop.

It may suprise some of you, but it's not a PowerBook this time. Instead, I'm typing this on an IBM Thinkpad t42p. There are a number of reasons I went with an x86 machine this time, including, but not limited to, the following.
  • The particular t42p I've got has a truly stunning display, it's 15 inches and 1600x1200 glorious pixels. I love it.
  • This thing is damn fast. Building Subversion from scratch is so much faster than it was on my PowerBook that I haven't even bothered to go back and time it on the old machine.
  • It's been some time since I worked on a real Unix machine, and I felt the need to "return to my roots" so to speak. At the moment I'm running Ubuntu Linux on it, but now that FreeBSD 5.3 is out I'll probably move to that once I get back from ApacheCon and find some free time.
  • IBM has a fantastic friends and family program, which resulted in a huge discount. If you're shopping for a new laptop and you happen to know someone who works at IBM make sure to ask them about it.
It's been a while since I worked on a Linux (soon to be FreeBSD) box on a daily basis, but so far I'm quite impressed. Everything has worked out of the box, with the exception of suspend, which required me to fiddle around a bit to tell the machine to use APM instead of ACPI. Other than that it's just worked.

I will restrain myself from going off on a rant about how back in the old days it would have taken weeks and weeks of pain to make this stuff work, how I would have had to download patches, manually tweak them, email obscure mailing lists begging for help, et ceterra.

So far though, I'm happy with it. There are some aspects of Mac OS X that I miss, but it's also quite nice to be in an environment where the vast majority of Unix software doesn't actually require any manual tweaking to make it do what I want. If you're in the market for a new laptop I can absolutely recommend the IBM t42p, it is a fantastic machine.