Laptop Alternatives

From: Mike Harrison 
On Thu, 7 Nov 2013, Phil Sieg wrote:
> I love the "idea" of abandoning my laptop, unfortunately I believe we 
> are years from that reality.
> The "killer" piece of gear would be a tablet/detachable keyboard combo that operates with a Tablet interface when it is "sans" keyboard, and operates with a desktop interface once keyboard is attached.

I thought my Asus Transformer would be that piece of gear..
not even close. Too limiting for much beyond email.

I hate to admit it, but the Mac Pro tweaked out with some Linux-ish FOSS 
goodness is an awesome machine for a portable business power user AND 
Linux developer. The polish and usability of the Linux desktop ecosystem is a 
fragmented disaster in comparison. Although I still like my 
Enlightenment/Bodhi system for serious work. It runs best on a real 
laptop/desktop system.

=============================================================== From: Nick Smith ------------------------------------------------------ What kinds of tweaks are you doing to get your awesome machine from FOSS on your mac?

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ the usuals: Libreoffice, Gimp, Inkscape... plus things I like: joe (editor), mtr, nmap, sniffit and a bunch of other things (I have forgotten all of them) either from source or Be careful with MacPorts, you can go overboard and install too much crapola and make things weird. Viscosity as an OpenVPN client rocks, and Synergy allows me to slave a real Linux (bodhi) system. Not quite FOSS.. but good things. Except for the business stuff I need to do, (convert spreadsheets, etc..) I use it like a Linux system: Lots of terminal windows and web browsers. The Apple mail client is pretty darn good, but I still like Pine on Linux.

=============================================================== From: gary hasty ------------------------------------------------------ I've pretty much went to the other darkside and have been traveling mostly with my ipad with bluetooth keyboard case. When I have something needing a desktop have been using our VDI and Computer as a Service options. I use a virtual desktop for the occasional windows needs (mostly for oddball things requiring IE). Although, I just moved from a massive engineering grade Dell notebook that weighed a ton to a Mac Air for my company work. Now the Air is half the weight and size of my ipad with it's keyboard

=============================================================== From: Wil Wade ------------------------------------------------------ And do not use both Ports and Brew. (I suggest just using Ports). Also if you do *AMP web dev on a Mac, I suggest using Ports for Apache and PHP (MySQL has a fair install from the O, but the ports is also fine). Do not use the Apple versions. They are just a mess for anything you want to do that is off from defaults. Ports is also easier than MAMP if you have anything custom.

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ Can't you just run any *nix on new Macbooks like you would on any other laptop?

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ You can install Linux on Mac hardware but it's a pain. I run Linux in a Parallels VM for my heavy lifting and leave OSX more to itself. It is nice to be able to open a shell and ssh with a stock osx install.

=============================================================== From: Jonathan Calloway ------------------------------------------------------ Not if you use refit=20 I've had great success with that. Sent from my iPhone tself. It is nice to be able to open a shell and ssh with a stock osx instal= l. aptop? te: pola and make things weird. nd PHP (MySQL has a fair install from the O, but the ports is also fine). Do= not use the Apple versions. They are just a mess for anything you want to d= o that is off from defaults. Ports is also easier than MAMP if you have anyt= hing custom.

=============================================================== From: Mike Harrison ------------------------------------------------------ I dual-booted for a while with ReFit, but gave up. What seems to be the best of both worlds in portable development is running VM's. The Mac keyboards, network, display drivers, etc work really well and I run VM's for Bodhi/Ubuntu 12.04 and Redhat EL6. and SSH into them as if they were distant servers, and point my Mac web browsers towards them as if they were distance servers. That way my dev environment and dependencies are easily duplicated on production servers. It's nice to test things out locally, on a connection with real bandwidth before you spend 3+ hours downloading the wrong'deb's or RPM's on a 3rd world 'net connection. As for desktop PC's: A laptop with a large monitor and a good keyboard will be my future choice for a long time. Digressing: I gotta say: Redhat 6.4 is an intentionally limiting FU'd world. The official Redhat Repo's are missing some odd, but important things like 'phpize' for the stock install PHP (5.3.3-24). I found it using other RPM repos, thank gawd for, pbone, etc.. but I was hoping that by paying for Redhat subs and licenses, it would "just work". In my mind, the Redhat world seems very Microsofty, lots of arcane work arounds required due to (valid) management and technical decisions that are not easily apparent.

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 Glad to see that my decision to leave RH with 7.3 is still a good one. Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - iQEcBAEBAgAGBQJSfUc3AAoJEMP+wtEOVbcdfUkH/Apqtpn+KreON65iM4G6KOWp 78Kwp/KHSJvZOiHiQ8nm7vVnJxxwAnfLlUChMFJ2+h6EMQXG+mDHTU9eZ3EtC0P/ YyB4csvZ+hYWaj41RnZ/uYUJW+gxDjAR33JMabZnp2d7dtskOAAsh+V0t8OnudCB dqK0JeMxvrvX2PWf7OwB0cG9Lln/W/nzla9CpvIFb9bC+m7uARFRRppH43EFQUA+ 6zvKGVl5LjB8y4h65ChzOSkzzWCtXt7KQn2jFFcWMiwVwvUtb35acslZisFv3TBr nKnYm8hi/xN55/BcJ/wtH/80CHxBW/qIfPHlipiansS1w9H/FZZF4D/IoISM/u8= =neE6 -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ I've basically settled on HP Elitebook/Dell Precision from now on. I have a Dell Precision M4400 for school and a Lenovo X201 for portable, my Precision is hitting the end of its life and needs a replacement, but I still run three VMs on it (Windows, Red Hat, and CentOS). My biggest issue is my schooling requires me to stick to Quadro graphics.

=============================================================== From: Stephen Haywood ------------------------------------------------------ These guys have some nice notebooks. -- Stephen Haywood Owner, ASG Consulting CISSP, OSCP 423.305.3700

=============================================================== From: Stephen Kraus ------------------------------------------------------ I have an OLD Sager with a desktop socket 949 AMD Opteron in it. Still a beast, but the SATA controller died.