(Not) Changing Religions23 Nov 2003
I've known for a couple months that I would be buying a new notebook at the end of November. My Thinkpad (with SuSE 9.0) is somewhat long in tooth (at 400 MHz and 800x600), and the non-functional battery makes wireless a cruel joke. And like everyone else, I'm finding I spend a lot more time on my notebook, even at home, than at my desktop. I'll be buying it myself, so price is a major issue. 1200 Euros is my target, 1500 the absolute maximum I can pay.
I wanted to choose an iBook, I really did. The new 12" G4 is 1199 Euros, right on target. It has Unix pre-installed. It has geek credibility. And it looks cool. But 1199 Euros is not the end. I'd have to add an Airport card, since it can't take my old PCMCIA wireless card. And 256 MB RAM is a bit weak, would need to be upgraded. And I'd have to buy software, Net News Wire and BBEdit just for starters. And I would have to learn a new operating system, with its own quirks and bugs, and be beholden to Apple, a company I neither like nor trust. Changing your operating system is like changing your religion. It's not a decision to be taken lightly... after all, your soul is at stake!
Of course, Windows is out of the question... the first thing I'd do with a Windows notebook is format the hard disk. So I was intrigued to see that the Asus L3D series can be configured without any operating system, for about 1150 Euros. SuSE 9.0 seems to run just fine with it (which I can't say for sure for a Centrino). With a mobile Athlon 2500+ and 512 MB, it's powerful and cool enough. It's big and heavy, but it won't be leaving the house much. And I'll be able to leverage the software and knowledge I already have.
I've given myself 24 hours to change my mind, in case any evangelists want me to convert to Apple or Dell or whatever.
Update Welcome to everyone coming over from MacSurfer, and thanks for adding your comments (even if they are somewhat one-sided :-).