December 9th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Notebook Buying Advice
I'm in the market for a new laptop, but I'm having trouble narrowing down my choices. So, of course, I thought I'd ask all the experts at AO.
I'm going to be in school for computer security, but I'm also running my own business. I'm familiar with (and still learning) linux, but I need software that only runs on XP for my business. So, what I'm looking for is a laptop that comes with XP (which almost all do) that I can repartition and reload everything so I have a dual-boot XP/Linux.
So, I need a laptop that has hardware that is supported under linux--I anticipate using it for wardriving exercises, so the wireless NIC must be supported under linux (I'm probably going to use Fedora, but I'm flexible). I would like something with a relatively simple install.
This is a big investment for me, so I would like something that will last for quite some time. Because of the work I do for my business, I need parallel and serial ports, which are getting harder to find on notebooks. I also want either a true Pentium 4 or high end AMD processor (in my desktop computers I've been extremely happy with AMD).
It's possible that at some point I'll be using this for vulerability assessment, penetration testing, and/or forensics, so that should all be a consideration.
Of course, I'd also like to keep the price below about $1800.
December 10th, 2004, 12:37 AM
Suggestion: IBM Thinkpad with a Pentium M.
Why: First of all, I HIGHLY recommend a Pentium M over a Pentium 4 or AMD mobile over a high end AMD processor. Pentium M and AMD Mobile were design for to use very low battery power. If you don't take one of those, your battery will last for a max of 2 hours unplug. Why IBM, I personally support over 20 Thinkpad and they are very good. The drivers work very well, IBM support is flawless (Their 3 years on site support is wonderfull; they will fix any hardware problem within 48 business hours at your house. You have to pay for the extra 2 years but it's worth it for a laptop because those are not cheap to repair.) IBM is high on Linux so I'll probably less hard to have Linux Driver for an IBM laptop that for a Dell or other.
December 19th, 2004, 11:12 PM
I would go with a Toughbook CF-18 if you have the money.
If at first you don\'t succeed, work for Microsoft.