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#1 2017-07-30 18:02

crosscourt
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Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#2 2017-07-30 22:05

Dai_trying
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From: UK
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 2,989

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

I have just been given a ThinkPad T61 with some spare batteries and was told the computer had died (BSD) and batteries were not working so had to use power cord all the time. Got it home and plugged it in and 2 fully charged batteries and one dead but now fully charged and working normally, last battery was dead (I thought) so dismantled it for the cells and all cells charge fine! I think that board with that pack was dead and not the cells.
Laptop has Windows 7 and is running fine too, I haven't allowed it to have network access as I am guessing it may have been compromised at some time. I've loaded Orion onto it and its running like a dream! Its got a fingerprint reader too so when I have more time I will have to look at how I can get that set up as well.

So I now got a new (to me) little laptop. happy days! smile

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#3 2017-07-31 01:15

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

T61 has a problematic history with its Nvidia gpu that many times doesnt work or has problems. Lenovo knew about it and at one time finally offered to fix it free but that was quite awhile ago.  Lets hope yours works ok as its not an OS dependent issue, even though there were some driver issues as well. Some it boots and they get a variety of graphical artifacts, others it wont boot at all.

We also have another person with  T61 that posted in Q4OS support about graphics issues with a T61, so maybe you can help out given you now own one, thanks.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-07-31 01:19)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#4 2017-07-31 09:30

Dai_trying
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From: UK
Registered: 2015-12-14
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

I don't have the nvidia problems as I have intel graphics (luckily for me) specs listed below...

System:    Host: t61thinkpad Kernel: 3.16.0-4-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: KDE 3 Distro: Debian GNU/Linux 8
Machine:   System: LENOVO product: N/A v: ThinkPad T61
           Mobo: LENOVO model: N/A Bios: LENOVO v: 7LETC6WW (2.26 ) date: 05/11/2009
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core2 Duo T7250 (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB
           Clock Speeds: 1: 800 MHz 2: 1200 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary)
           Display Server: X.Org 1.16.4 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1024x768@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 965GM GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 10.3.2
Audio:     Card Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.16.0-4-amd64
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82566MM Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: 00:21:86:54:5f:d3
           Card-2: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection driver: iwl3945
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: 00:1c:bf:b8:7a:ee
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 160.0GB (3.8% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD1600BEVS size: 160.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 70G used: 2.0G (3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda6
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.29GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 29.0C mobo: 26.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 0
Info:      Processes: 127 Uptime: 1 min Memory: 221.8/1969.0MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.1.28

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#5 2017-07-31 18:35

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Youve got the older version with Intel GPU, lucky you!!!


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#6 2017-08-01 08:32

Dai_trying
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From: UK
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

smile Sometimes older is better big_smile

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#7 2017-08-01 18:00

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Generally yes , as long as it isnt too old, then different kinds of problems start to occur. Have fun with your new toy.


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#8 2017-08-01 21:32

johnrpm
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Registered: 2017-03-29
Posts: 26

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

I have a T61p, I bought it second hand from eBay, it has nvidia but not had any issues with that, my problem was 2, 2gig memory modules, it would lock up after about 10 minutes, I found a registry fix after hunting for days, but had to remove one module to fully solve the problem, it would work with a single 4gig module apparently.
I have tried scorpion live on it and all seems well, but not with nvidia drivers  I think, Mint is flawless with nvidia drivers.
Apparently on hackaday its claimed that thinkpads are the number one choice for hackers, good hackers that is.

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#9 2017-08-01 22:34

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

T61P had a lot of issues including, Nvidia gpu problems, driver issues, memory issues, acpi issues and many were returned or fixed. Its not all units though and yes many for some reason havent many issues but very few had no issues.

I just got an email from a guy whos having issues with his similar to one of our members who posted in the Q4OS support forum. Hoping to get a look at it to see what can be done as hes running Orion 1.8.7

Nvidia had a run of bad mobile gpus that essentially wouldnt stay in their sockets and people used hair dryers to melt the adhesive and try to reset the gpu with limited success. It cost Nvidia alot of cash trying to solve this issue and damaged their reputation heavily. It wasnt just Lenovo as other companies like HP had issues as  well.

In regards to Mint they use the Nouveau drivers by default which for most users will work very well depending on your hardware.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-01 22:45)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#10 2017-08-05 02:25

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

I had bought a couple enterprise class ssd's on craigslist, and upon discovering that the laptop one was bound for only took mSATA drives (it's in my sig...), not 2.5" drives, I found myself a cheap used Dell Latitude E5430 on Craigslist.  Bought a $15 Intel 3160AC + BT wireless card to replace the broadcom wireless-n card, popped in the ssd, bought a new battery (lasted 45 minutes from fully charged to dead) and for under $250 TOTAL (including the SSD), I've got a great machine:

Intel Core i5-3380M
8 GB DDR3
480 GB Kingston E50 SSD
Intel 3160AC Wireless AC + BT 4.0
HD+ (1600x900) 14" LCD

It had Windows 7 on it, I upgraded it to Windows 10 and then wiped it and happily running Arch Linux on it.

Last edited by tlmiller76 (2017-08-05 02:29)


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#11 2017-08-05 04:38

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

E5430 is a nice laptop and going to the Intel wireless card is a great move. I really hate broadcom with a passion as many of my older laptops wont work and i ended up using USB wifi adapters to gain wireless.

I run Dell almost exclusively these days in both laptops and desktops and have had few issues.

How does Arch run on the E5430?  Ive been running Zorin Lite 12.1 on some of my laptops, Q4OS on others.

My favorite right now is the Dell V130 as it has just the right size and performance for my personal use. I carry it with me when Im doing tech work and doing demos of Linux to friends and clients.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-05 04:42)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#12 2017-08-05 05:31

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

We used a bunch of those V130's at work (they're all dead though at this point).

Overall, the E5430 runs SUPER well with Arch.  I've got a full KDE desktop on there, chromium as the default browser.  Boots in about 12 seconds, actually shuts down in about 4 seconds.  While I would wish for a 1080P screen, for what I paid for the laptop itself, I can't hardly complain!

I tend to reinstall my laptops frequently, and I may try q4os when scorpion goes released on this one, unless I can repair my Chuwi lapbook, which I'd much rather run (with the backports kernel) with q4os.

Overall, I had actually planned on selling this after playing with the Enterprise SSD, but it just performs SO WELL that I couldn't bring myself to do it, and am keeping it.  I have entirely too many computers though.  Desktop (ancient AMD build I need to replace), 6 laptops maybe 7 if I can fix the one, and my wife has 3 laptops herself.  The E5430 is by far the oldest of all the laptops in the house, yet using it you'd never guess as it performs so well (although it is double the weight of most of the others, triple the weight of a few).

Last edited by tlmiller76 (2017-08-05 05:38)


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#13 2017-08-05 17:12

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Im hopeless as Ive got 11 laptops and 16 desktops, of varying form factors such as SFF from 2006 to 2014, all Dell. Ive also got an ancient Dell XPS T500 that I use for older DOS gaming/apps. My most recent acquisition is a Dell Optiplex 7010/ i5 3470 which I got really cheap and added 8gb of ram, and a Geforce GTX 1050TI for gaming. Many of the desktops/laptops I got for free as people got rid of them and I was able to clean them up and upgrade them.

Many of my older systems run very well on Linux as I run a mix of Q4OS and Zorin Lite 12.1 on my laptops and PCLinuxOS KDE on my desktops as well as Windows 7. Overall Im running 13 distros either as my main OS or for testing.

Definitely keep the E5430 as its one of the better performing and reliable laptops.

Ive got some Vostro 1000/1500 laptops and 4 D430s which my wife really likes, along with the V130s.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-05 17:21)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#14 2017-08-05 23:33

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Yeah, I've set up a few older laptops for friends/family running Q4OS.  I personally would never touch Zorin, I have a personal hatred of Ubuntu and anything based on it (even at work my coworkers always laugh because we have some systems running ubuntu server that I always cuss about whenever I have to work on them because I hate Ubuntu so much).


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#15 2017-08-06 00:03

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Cant speak to Ubuntu server but Ubuntu and its cousins are good OS that make sense for the vast majority of users, certainly not meant for everyone.

More advanced users many times dont want distros that are overly simple to use, and thats their prerogative.

Ive spent most of my life using, Fedora,Open SUSE,Mandriva and PCLinuxOS the latter I still use.


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#16 2017-08-06 00:37

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

My problem with Ubuntu is it takes Debian, strips out everything good about it, and replaces it with unstable garbage.


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#17 2017-08-06 01:26

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Ive been running Ubuntu and its variants for a long time and its a very stable distro, thats really easy to use and offers a wide range of apps and features. Zorin Lite 12.1 is a very light distro that Ive enjoyed using even though its not my everyday OS.

To each his own but Id recommend Ubuntu,Mint or other variants to anyone who wants to try them.

Linus Torvalds doesnt hate Ubuntu and is only lukewarm about Debian but he uses Fedora so everyones perspective is a bit different.

Arch isnt universally loved and many people diss me because I use PCLinuxOS.

Its up to the user and Im ok with people using whatever distro they prefer.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-06 01:36)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#18 2017-08-06 04:36

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Yeah, I have nothing against Ubuntu existing, I just hate touching it.  I've used it a few times, and on my systems, it's never been stable.  Debian, Arch, Fedora, Mageia all would be, then I'd try Ubuntu, and it would hang on shutdown, it would crash the desktop, it would hang on boot.  I'd be using it, and it would freeze X entirely.  After 4-5 years of this every time I used it, I don't even try new versions anymore (last version I used on my personal system was 16.04).  So I learned to hate Ubuntu.


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#19 2017-08-06 05:26

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Ive used Mageia and liked it but it has had some issues along with Fedora so I headed off to PCLinuxOS and Open SUSE instead.

My experience with Ubuntu/variants on a variety of hardware has been excellent so not sure why you had so many problems with it . Many reviewers even the toughest ones tend to like Ubuntu/variants for their simplicity and stability.  Everyones experience tends to be different but id never call Ubuntu unstable or an issue to run for most users. 16.04 is extremely stable and Ive run it on all my 16 desktops at some point without issues.

I dont hate any distro to be honest and Ill just leave it there as I disagree with you for what its worth.

My experience so far with Q4OS has been excellent but its not perfect by any means which can be said for many distros.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-06 05:27)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#20 2017-08-06 05:54

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Mageia is odd.  From what I've seen (been using it since v3), odd numbered Mageia's are great.  Even numbered are horrible.  3 was fantastic, AWESOME OS.  4 was a hot mess.  5 was stable, reliable, and just plain worked.  I have yet to get 6 to even INSTALL on any real hardware I've tried, and the only install that was successful (VM), had errors when adding repos, some error during the install (don't remember), and then had all kinds of issues with installing Softmaker Office (I have a 6 seat linux license so that's my office suite of choice).

Fedora I used to HATE using.  Around 20/21-ish (don't remember exactly) they stopped using mega packages and went to meta packages, and I've liked it since.  25 was one of my favorite OS's, and absolutely my favorite non-Debian based OS.  Although I admit 26 I'm less than enthused with.  Noeveau performance was AWFUL after upgrading to it, and then when I installed the Nvidia proprietary drivers, performance was great but my desktop will crash every few minutes.  I've switched over that machine to Debian and my other Fedora machine is still on 25 for now.

I had tried Ubuntu 16.04 on my E5450.  It would hang ~25% of the time on boot, couldn't read sd-cards, wouldn't shut down (at all, you could do systemctl, poweroff, shutdown, shut down from the gui, and all of them it would go through the motions but then would just set running after saying it had shut down), and kwin would crash quite regularly.  Went to Fedora 24 and had no issues.  Moved to Arch when I got bored of having Fedora on it, no issues.  Got bored of that, went to Stretch, no issues.  And that's where it currently sets.

Never really got into SUSE.  I've used it, I think it's fine, but it doesn't do it for me.  I don't even keep an install USB around, and I don't believe I even have a VM of it currently.

I agree Q4OS isn't perfect.  I do like it, and it's commendable that they've managed to get Trinity to work as well as they have given how small the Trinity dev team is, and how out of date the underlying technology used in Trinity is.  Given my preference for Debian based OS's and KDE as a desktop, it's not overly surprising that it's my favorite choice for low spec machines.


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#21 2017-08-06 17:35

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Ubuntu 16.04 I had some minor issues due to the newer kernel initially but that corrected itself pretty quickly as I had done a comparison with 14.04 which had fewer issues with the older kernel. Q4OS Orion for that same reason is a better choice for older hardware or problem hardware. Right now Im using Ubuntu Mate 16.04 , Zorin Lite 12.1 and Linux Mint 18 XFCE all very stable and reliable. My wife runs Mate for all her work needs with no issues with FreeOffice installed.

Mageia 4 was a mess but I very much enjoyed 5 but even it had some issues at times with updating/packages.  Fedora you have to want to tweak it and force it to do what you want, and given the fast releases I got tired of dealing with it. It rewards you with some excellent performance but at a price but I still tend to come back to it at times yet cant seem to stick with it. PCLinuxOS is the best everyday KDE distro Ive ever used and offers a lot of flexibility with no systemd for those of you who dislike it.  Open SUSE is one of the most polished KDE distros iIe ever used and its very stable but it does things its own way and sometimes that doesnt mesh with some users, including myself. Ive always been a RPM distro fan and even with complaints I still love using them.

Q4OS is quirky in the right way and my main use for it is with my older hardware as i dont presently use it on any of my desktops. Originally I was going to use it on my wifes system but waiting to see how scorpion turns out when it releases with Debian 9 and the new version of Trinity.

Havent tried Softmaker  so cant compare but most of my systems have either LibreOffice , FreeOffice or WPS as I test alot of software outside of what I choose to use.

Im going to give Mageia 6 a try and see but I doubt it will sway me at this point. Ill probably give Fedore 25 a look as well as I love their KDE spin version but even with the rpmfusion repos I find it tedious to get all the software I want installed on Fedora.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-06 17:57)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#22 2017-08-06 23:10

tlmiller76
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From: AZ, USA
Registered: 2016-11-29
Posts: 452

Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

FreeOffice = Softmaker Office with a bunch of features disabled.  I've read WPS has abandoned development of their Linux port after the recently released alpha.  Sad, I REALLY liked it.


Q4OS Trinity machine - HP Probook 445 G8.  AMD Ryzen R5-5600U, 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD, Vega 7, Intel AX210 Wifi 6E + BT 5.2.

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#23 2017-08-06 23:21

crosscourt
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Registered: 2017-05-07
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Actually they havent abandoned development on the Linux version of WPS as I reported here on site recently. I posted it here as I was researching it for another website who reported on the change in their stance on the Linux version.

I use WPS mainly with Windows and its a very nice program with good compatibility.
Really enjoy LibreOffice 5.4 as the most recent version is spot on for most of my needs.

Just did a desktop install of Q4OS 1.8.7 that went very well on my new system.

Last edited by crosscourt (2017-08-06 23:25)


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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#24 2017-08-19 18:01

crosscourt
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Re: Linux laptop: buying new vs used laptop

Ive had a really good experience overall with all the Dell laptops and Q4OS.  My laptops vary in their age but so far installs have been fine with very few issues.

Id say that also for other distros as well as typically video and wifi issues are the most common and all it takes is changing drivers. Broadcom wifi being the most common and you end up trying the dirvers till you find one that works. Many times the default driver isnt the correct one in all cases.


Q4OS Aquarius 5.1 KDE   Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 Tiny i5-6500T, 16gb ddr4 ram, 512gb m.2 ssd

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