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Q: Specification/Model & OS Research for selecting a notebook/laptop & Software. ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Specification/Model & OS Research for selecting a notebook/laptop & Software.
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: sanjay_arora-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 18 Nov 2006 10:43 PST
Expires: 18 Dec 2006 10:43 PST
Question ID: 783803
I am in India. I wish to buy a notebook computer. I want someone to
research and recommend a few models according to my requirements. If
the product is purchaseable in India, its a godsend, but thats not a
constraint. I'll buy and import from anywhere in the world.

First of all, my use...I intend to use this notebook for my main work machine.

- Want a 64 bit or equally multicore processor...both AMD & Intel are
acceptable, unless there is hardware support problem for any required
feature in AMD.
- Processor should be a mobile processor, not a desktop one built into a laptop.
- Processor should have hardware virtualization support (See
virtualization requirements below).
- High memory required (as much as possible, see virtualization requirements).
- Since one of the main use case is Desktop, the machine should have
as many hardware doodads such as graphics, dvd reader/writer,
Wi-Fi/Wimax, Big & fast  HDD, large screen with daylight adjustment,
maybe fingerprint reader and all the other doodads that windows
notebooks support. I understand here that some hardware will require
custom tinkering before it starts working.

- Machine will run with a minimal Xen dom0 install, with full IPtables firewalling.
- Machine will run with multiple Xen domU instances, simulating a full
Network with three network segments WAN, LAN & DMZ. In the DMZ,
multiple minimal server installs will be done with each running one
application e.g. mail server, web-server, dns server. Similarly LAN
will run with multiple servers running say..backup, samba etc., in
addition to one Graphical Desktop machine for which I may boot
multiple OSs (one at a time) for different uses.

Concept here is that this machine would be my walking data-center &
will replicate my physical server infrastructure at the office, so
that I can tinker with things and rsync the wanted changes. In
addition, I want normal desktop work & entertainment uses of a PC.
Only thing I do not need is gaming. Watching Movies, Cable, Internet
surfing etc. are heavy duty operations for me.

Normally such a thing won't be feasible on a notebook, but since all
virtual machines will be minimal load and again I can choose to shut
down some virtual machines all the time....I think I just may get away
with it.
- My OS of choice is CentOS 4.4 for server environment in domU.
- Recommendations for dom0 Linux based OS are required, that would
support Windows in some way in domU, even if with another
virtualization layer.
- Recommendations for Linux based Desktop OS are required.

Some Pointers:
- I suggest those with some Linux exposure work on it, though its not
a requirement if you are a glutton for punishment ;-)
- One major issue with Linux is that many hardware features will not
work with off the shelf install. You will have to research literature
on the net from other who have implemented drivers and posted
something on the net about it and give pointers to it.
- Few years back I stumbled upon a few companies that built laptops
for linux only. Don't know if they survived the dot-com but or not,
but thats one avenue to look.
- Brief comments & Links to howtos and other tutorials working out
kinks of install are required.
- Ask a lot of questions on this brief if you are unsure about what I
want to do in any area, before embarking on your research.
- Ultimate target is to find a dream machine that will rival my
girl-friend in my affections & then telling me how to make it work the
way I want (info that it can be done & links to how) ;-))
- If you do this well, more work will follow along similar lines for
my various office servers (hardware & software...all linux based).

Hope someone will take it up in the budget I indicated, but its not willing to add a bonus.
Subject: Re: Specification/Model & OS Research for selecting a notebook/laptop & Software
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 04 Dec 2006 14:28 PST
Hello sanjay_arora,

Thank you for your question.

I have spent the last few days researching this for you and I believe I
have come up with two possible laptops from Dell that will suit your

The first is the Dell XPS M1710.

It has a Dual Core Mobile CPU, 1 gig of ram (which you can upgrade when
purchasing) 17inch Ultrasharp display and a 80GB hard drive. The CPUs
can be upgraded to the top of line for a little extra cash from the

Dell XPS M1710

The other alternative is the Dell XPS M2010. This laptop is the same as
above, except it comes with a 120 GB hard drive and a 20 inch screen.

Dell XPS M2010

You can upgrade this laptop with up to 4GB of ram, and the top of the
range Intel Dual Core CPU, 200GB HD. It comes with a DVD writer as

I use a D510 right now, with a single core Centrino CPU and I have to
admit that my Virtualization software works fantastically fast on it,
much faster than a fast XEON server runs the same images.

The only thing these two laptops do not have (that I am aware of) is a
fingerprint reader, but they are fantastic top-of-the-line laptops that
will do everything you require.

If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be glad
to assist you.

There are no comments at this time.

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