I'll po YOUR lite! (algeh) wrote,
I'll po YOUR lite!

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Computer suggestions (no beanie today, either)

I am going to get a new computer.

As I do not yet know if I am in the teaching program, I may well stall on this another week or so, but it will happen in the near future.

Depending on my budget, I will get either a Mac laptop or a Linux desktop. I mostly want input on the second concept, as I think I have a pretty clear idea of what I want in a Mac laptop and I know where to easily get one that works out of the box.

So anyway, the Linux box.

I want to know where to buy one, ideally from someone who has actually bought from the shop in question.

A little background on me: I used to be a CS grad student, then I realized that I never wanted to debug anything ever again, and I thus didn't want to write code-that-actually-runs anymore. I was very much in the wrong program for that attitude, and bailed on the whole thing. I am now trying to become a math teacher, and failing that may try to get a masters in math rather than in teaching.

Thus, I know a lot about how computers work in a CS-sense, and I've played with Linux off-and-on since the late 90s, but I really, truly, and sincerely have no interest whatsoever in setting this damn thing up myself. I'm sure I have the background to allow me to spend a few weeks researching all this crap (primarily playing the "which hardware has decent drivers?" game), and then another few building and tweaking the box itself, but I really don't want to. I want to push the button and it goes. I have other stuff to micromanage right now, and I am fucking delegating this. Also, I haven't kept up with Linux stuff in a few years, as is probably obvious.

Therefore, feel free to use technical language and explain nitty-gritty differences, but I really want vendors of entire computers and not parts. I refuse to write my own drivers for *anything*. Yes, I'm pretty sure I'd know how. No, I'm not willing to actually do it. I'm not even willing to go looking on the net for drivers. It needs to work absolutely out of the box. Someone must be selling them this way. I'd rather support the open source movement with my money than my time right now.

These are the things I need and want it to do. I realize that some of these are pretty much automatic (able to run Firefox) and some are much less likely (video editing).


  • Gotten from someplace reputable, with everything already installed and playing nicely with the hardware (someplace local to PDX or Eugene with an actual counter for me to go bang on if things break is preferable but not absolutely required)
  • Firefox
  • Some sort of word-processor (OpenOffice seems likely)
  • a wireless card
  • an ethernet card
  • a modem
  • a CD burner
  • Speakers
  • Able to rip and play MP3s (yes, I know about ogg, but I still need mp3 abilities to play nicely with some other devices and my existing collection)
  • Some kind of FTP software in which I cannot easily fuck up the difference between "get" and "put" and thus hose all my files (something that mimics old-style Windows File Manager with two lists (here and there) that I can select files from and some arrows to send them would be ideal)
  • SSH of some kind
  • Play nicely with a printer (I currently have use of an Epson inkjet, but would be willing to buy a new printer (preference for bw laser))
  • Let me remap the mouse buttons for left-handedness and the keyboard for Dvorak (but that shouldn't be a problem regardless, and I don't really mind doing it myself after it leaves the shop, unlike the rest of this)
  • Some messaging program that will let me on AIM
  • A really big hard drive so I'll want a new computer before I want to install a new hard drive
  • Able to run the GIMP
  • As completely open-source as possible


  • Play nicely with a scanner (willing to buy a new one depending on price)
  • Spider solitaire
  • Is it possible to get The Sims for Linux?
  • Works as an answering machine
  • Works as a fax machine
  • Two hard drives with identical content (forgot the RAID number for this (2?), as I haven't given a shit in years)
  • TV tuner & capture stuff, so it can play ghetto-Tivo for me, ideally in hi-def (this would also require either a DVD burner or a reasonable video-out so I could transfer stuff to tape)
  • Video editing stuff, if I'm going to have video ins and outs anyway
  • Multiple desktops (they should all have this anyway)
  • Tetris
  • Play nice with one of those little USB hard drives
  • Some messaging program that will let me on Jabber
  • IRC client
  • Newsgroups client
  • Email client
  • C compiler
  • Emacs
  • Ghostscript or similar
  • Whatever the cool kids are using these days instead of PowerPoint
  • Whatever the cool kids are using these days instead of PageMaker
  • A pony

I probably want other stuff too. Feel free to suggest stuff I should want.

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