New Laptop!

Today I received my new Alienware Sentia. I got it for the good screen (1280×800) and the availability of a dvd+- burner for less than a thinkpad x40.

Thoughts on the transition:
To move my data from my old Dell Inspiron 4100 to my new system, I actually just moved the hard drive from one machine to the other. I have a 7200RPM 60 gig drive, so it made sense anyway.

When I booted up, I ran kudzu and let it reconfigure everything. That got the sound, USB, firewire, and ethernet working. On the whole I was very impressed with how much was automatic.

Things I had to do manually:

  • I needed to add a modeline for the 1280×800 screen. I googled that in about a minute, and added it to the xorg.conf file. A look at the man page told me how to get the monitor to use that specific mode.
  • I needed to get custom drivers for the Intel 2200 BG wireless card. That took more like a half hour to figure out the installation process (you need to put firmware files in a specific place)
  • XVideo was totally washed out on the default settings, but playing with the brightness and contast in totem fixed that

And that’s it. I have wireless, video, sound, and I have to test cd burning, but that’s it. Under an hour of poking and my whole system is moved to a completely new laptop. I don’t think I could have done it any faster on any other platform.