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Date:      Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:02:15 +0200
From:      Christian Baer <christian.baer@uni-dortmund.de>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: advice for buying a laptop
Message-ID:  <njs1mo$tjd$1@ger.gmane.org>
In-Reply-To: <5759E44E.1020402@holgerdanske.com>
References:  <nj9kmu$7r8$1@ger.gmane.org> <57586E36.40509@holgerdanske.com> <njbt5o$pk6$4@ger.gmane.org> <5759E44E.1020402@holgerdanske.com>

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On 06/09/16 23:49, David Christensen wrote:

> My comment is based on my experiences with desktops and servers.  I
> discovered HDD mobile racks years ago, and have not dual booted since.
> My laptop has an easily-accessible HDD bay (2 screws), so I use the same
> strategy.  (Note that laptop HDD bays and connectors are not designed
> for frequent drive swapping.  Second HDD caddies that fit into the
> optical drive bay are usually recommended for this use case.)

I have actually never seen any of these caddies in action. But I may
quite frequently change from on OS to another which is why I didn't like
the concept of changing the HDs. As you stated, they are not made for
this kind of wear.

> If you're happy with dual-boot, then go for it.

Maybe happy isn't the word of choice, but thusfar, it has worked for me.

>> May I ask why you went to all the trouble researching the hardware an
>> then never bought that laptop your wanted?
> I have a Dell Inspiron E1505 that I bought in 2007.  Mine came with a
> 32-bit processor, and, as best I could tell, they all did.  I wanted
> 64-bit.  So, I started looking for a replacement laptop.  STFW I found
> out that certain later model 64-bit Core Duo processors were known to
> work in that laptop.  I bought a Intel Core Duo T7400, installed it, and
> it works.

Ok, that is a way of doing it, I guess. Could you also enlarge the RAM
to really profit from the 64 bit CPU?

> I can only infer that the leaders of most for-profit corporations
> believe that the best way to monetize their intellectual property
> investments is by treating them as trade secrets.  "You want to use our
> hardware?  Sign the NDA, License, and Support agreements, and write a
> check."

> Even if a company (such as NVIDIA) releases a binary driver that "works"
> for their engineers on a given computer (proprietary software and/or
> FOSS), getting and keeping the hardware working in the general case
> without unencumbered vendor assistance is difficult at best.

So what you are saying is that nVidia Chips will work fine with the
drivers provided by nVidia but I am at the mercy of them, should they
decide to drop the support?

> Intel makes it less difficult by releasing reference source code for
> some of their hardware.  So, more software works on that Intel hardware.

AMD is following a similar strategy - if you believe the press releases.
Although their opensource drivers have been in the works for a while now
(with AMD working on them too), they are still a fair bit away from
where nVidia is with their closedsource drivers. I would actually also
prefer an open driver, because then older hardware will be supported for
much longer and an update of X will usually not break the system (or the
driver), however, the drivers for AMD cards were not really ready for
production when I bought my last graphics board.

> One alternative to the trade secret approach is open-source hardware:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_hardware_projects#Computer_systems

Nothing too spectacular in that list. Actually, there isn't even
anything really current. :-(

> (I'm in the market for an open-source hardware SOHO router that runs
> pfSense, if anyone knows of such.)

I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. :-)

Regards,
Chris




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