whee! :) I got home friday afternoon and my laptop was here waiting for me. it’s a dell xps m1330, and so far I’m fairly happy with it. I installed arch on it last night, and now I begin the long process of installing software and tweaking settings and so on… :)
the hardware is almost all intel. the screen brightness fn-keys work even from a terminal, and the bios lets me choose default levels for AC and battery. there are two audio-out jacks as well as mic in at the front; I assume one of the two is better quality, but they sound the same to me. there are only two usb ports, but they’re on either side of the laptop so at least I can still choose what side to put things on. there’s a capslock led. there’s a slot-load dvd drive (why don’t all laptops have that?) and a fingerprint reader (maybe I’ll try to get that working sometime) and a webcam and it’s shiny. :)
the keyboard is standard size, unfortunately, which means it’s just a bit big for me. the trackpad, otoh, is tiny. blah. there’s no volume knob, but there are volume buttons that are producing keycodes, so I should be able to hook those up. I hope there’s a kmix plasmoid soon :)
along the top there’s a row of shiny buttons that don’t look like buttons: you press on them and they glow. :) whee, shiny. there’s a eject button, music controls and volume there.
something weird about the drive, though… it can boot a kubuntu cd just fine, and other computers can boot the arch cd, but the laptop can’t boot the arch cd. o.0 I ended up using the usb-boot option.
installing arch was fun. it’s like gentoo without the compiling. :) I spent far too long trying to decide how big my partitions should be, which ones to put in lvm, etc… eventually I finished with the base install, then spent hours trying to get wireless working – only to discover that I was running commands in the wrong order. :) pretty much all of my problems with arch today have been like that – audio was silent, then I remembered that I’d upgraded kernel stuff, so I rebooted and it worked again. network profiles didn’t work – because I’d got the wrong values in the config files. :) so now I have working sound, and a nice little dialog that lets me choose my network profile on boot (hooray for avoiding NetworkMangler!) – and arch boots amazingly fast. :) that might have something to do with the 2.1ghz processor, though. :)
it might be a while before I get around to installing kde on it, because I have math homework I really should start – but, wheeee! shiny new laptop! :)