[conspire] Recommendations for cheap Linux laptop?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Feb 15 11:49:38 PST 2006

Quoting Paul Snyder (pls29 at cs.drexel.edu):

> Greetings from Philadelphia,
> My wife is out in Redwood City for at least the next month while her
> father is in the hospital.  Her old Dell laptop finally gave up the
> ghost, so she finds herself without a computer.  We're trying to decide
> if it makes sense to buy her a new one now (i.e., if we can find one
> cheap enough).
> Does anyone have a recommendation for a dirt-cheap Linux laptop that
> could be, say, purchased at Frye's or ordered online?  Ideally, it
> would have integrated 802.11g, but getting a PC Card would be
> reasonable. 

People have differing understandings of the term "dirt cheap".  I'm
personally a notorious cheap bastard<tm>; my idea of a server upgrade in
2006 is to repurpose a donated 2000-era 2U PIII/650 with scrounged RAM
and hard drives, and I sweated bullets about the need to spend $120
to replace the RAM and PSU on a Cobalt Qube2.  ;->

By my standards, "cheap Linux laptop" precludes a new unit, so you're
talking about either:

1.  Linux Certified, http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html ,
2.  one of the Silicon Valley used computer stores, e.g.

Action Computer & Surplus 
   500 Lawrence Expy # F, Sunnyvale
   3783 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Surplus Computers, 1600 Duane Ave., Santa Clara

Maybe you can talk to your wife via cellular while she's shopping? 
Otherwise, the Linux Certified people seem a fair bet.

Fry's Electronics is a real spectacle, and it's convenient for us locals
to know that it's open late, but I've never been really impressed with
their selection of things I'd actually want to buy.

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