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Author Topic: ideal laptop from ebay...  (Read 1945 times)

Offline puppybyte!

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ideal laptop from ebay...
« on: January 15, 2024, 06:52:35 AM »
I like to try TC again, tried on 2 laptops 3 years ago, one had no sound, the other worked well.  Can I get a suggestion on a 32bit laptop that work out of the box with a recent TC?  Likely will get one from ebay but would like suggestion on a make/model.

Offline curaga

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2024, 07:54:26 AM »
It's hard to give a specific model without having tried it, but Thinkpads in general are very Linux friendly. Something like T510 should be cheaply available (pick a model without the Nvidia graphics, as those require Nvidia drivers).
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline core-user

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2024, 08:13:28 AM »
Intel based usually work well...
AMD, ARM, & Intel.

Offline CNK

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2024, 01:10:29 PM »
Thinkpads and Linux are generally a good combination, as Curaga suggests. Although I'm not so sure about the low-end notebook ones that Lenovo have released in the last 5-10 years. I use a Thinkpad T60 with ATI graphics and it works well with TC14 x86_64, though I haven't tried 32b.

In case you want a tiny laptop for Tiny Core, I recently found that x86 TC14 worked great on an Asus Eee PC 701. For Firefox to be usable I increased the RAM from the original 512MB to 2GB, and for a fast boot I use Xvesa and haven't tried Xorg. I haven't tried the webcam, but otherwise everything seems to work great after installing some driver extensions. The CPU speed governing is done by the BIOS and Linux doesn't seem to have control over that with the drivers in TC, but I don't see a need to adjust it.

Yes those are pretty old, I tend to be a bit behind the times.

Offline Rich

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2024, 02:41:11 PM »
Hi puppybyte!
I have an old (2011) HP G62 a friend gave me after the hard
drive failed. I replaced the drive with a 240 GB SSD and upgraded
the RAM from 4GB to 8GB.

It runs 32 bit TC10, 13, and 14 as well as 64 bit TC11, 13, and 14.

It has wired and wireless network support.
It needs this in  bootlocal.sh:
Code: [Select]
modprobe -r r8169.ko
modprobe realtek.ko
modprobe r8169.ko

/opt/eth0.sh &

It can also boot from internal CD/DVD drive and USB thumb drive.
It has 3 USB, SD card reader, 15 pin video, HDMI, and audio connectors.
The screen is only 1366 x 768.

I keep the lid closed and use it as a desktop machine. I plugged in external
keyboard, mouse, and 1920 x 1080 monitor.

From dmesg:
Code: [Select]
Command line: quiet syslog module_blacklist=hp_wmi ...................

DMI: Hewlett-Packard HP G62 Notebook PC/1444, BIOS F.29 04/07/2011
tsc: Detected 2394.051 MHz processor
smpboot: CPU0: AMD Turion(tm) II P540 Dual-Core Processor (family: 0x10, model: 0x6, stepping: 0x3)

From BIOS screen:
Code: [Select]
Notebook Model HP G62
Product Number XZ259UA#ABA
System Board ID 1444
BIOS Version F.29
BIOS Vendor Insyde

Offline Leee

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2024, 02:58:44 AM »
I'm using a hand-me-down  HP ENVY x360 Convertible (X0S30UA#ABA)  (2015 vintage, I think).
I have booted it under 32 bit Tiny Core 14.0 and 13.1, though only briefly - it has 12 GB of RAM, so I nearly always run it with 64 bit.
Like Rich, I'm running it with the lid closed and an external monitor and the, so I haven't had occasion to fiddle with the touch screen - I suspect that might be problematic.
Both wired and wifi network are good out of the box.
The CPU is an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6200U CPU @ 2.30GHz (2 cores, 4 threads)
Sound initially didn't work for me because it was sending sound to the HDMI monitor - but my monitor has no speakers.  I found the simple solution to that here on the Tiny Core forums and now sound comes out the audio jack with no problems.

Similarly, Xorg tried to "stretch" my desktop across the builtin screen and the external monitor, even though I had the lid closed.  Again, I found the solution here on the Tiny Core forums.  I love it when shtuff works!

Not sure what these go for on ebay as mine came from a family member for $0.00.  (I love it when MS Windows -doesn't- work!    ;D )

---
I've successfully used Tiny Core on a few other HP laptops.  The only one that gives me trouble is a little 11 inch HP Stream 11 on which the GUI often doesn't recover when the screen blanks.  I haven't found a way to tell the BIOS not to blank the screen but I'm using xdotool to jiggle the mouse (when I remember to run my script!) to keep it from blanking.  Earlier today I forgot to start the mouse jiggler and it blanked and the graphics failed to recover -BUT- I was able to log in via ssh so it wasn't completely crashed.  I was able to pkill Xorg then go back to the netbook itself and run startx.  So maybe the HP Stream 11 would be one to avoid.

core 14.0 x86_64

Offline GNUser

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2024, 09:41:51 AM »
I'm running TCL15-alpha pure 64bit on an X230 ThinkPad with coreboot. Everything just works. US$200-250 on ebay.

P.S. The only change I made to the laptop was to swap out the wireless network card for one with Atheros AR9382 chip (also known as "AR5BHB116"), which works without needing to load any special extensions--all it needs is the ath9k kernel module, which is part of TCL's base system and gets loaded automatically at boot when the chip is detected.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2024, 09:52:42 AM by GNUser »

Offline Rich

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2024, 11:55:15 AM »
Hi Leee
... Similarly, Xorg tried to "stretch" my desktop across the builtin screen and the external monitor, even though I had the lid closed. ...
I had the same issue. The problem was the window manager would
start opening apps on the laptop screen when it felt there wasn't
enough empty space on the main monitor. Then I would have to mouse
over to the app and drag it back to the main monitor.

I solved it by detecting the presence of the external monitor in  .xsession
and copy a special  xorg.conf  to  /etc/X11.  I start a second copy of the
window manager on the laptop screen. You can move the mouse cursor
between the screens but apps can't be dragged to the other screen.
You can only have the wbar on one screen but the desktop popup menu
works on both screens. Best of all, with 2 window managers, each one
only launches apps on its own screen.

I've attached copies of xsession and xorg.conf.2monitors in case you are
interested. I also attached a script for turning the touchpad On/Off.
Set  TouchpadName  to match your hardware.
PropertyName  should not need to be changed.
The script contains explanations.

Offline Rich

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2024, 12:00:43 PM »
Hi GNUser
... all it needs is the ath9k kernel module, which is part of TCL's base system ...
Really? I use the same module and it's part of  wireless-KERNEL.tcz.  I also see
ath9k  listed here:
http://tinycorelinux.net/15.x/x86_64/tcz/wireless-6.6.8-tinycore64.tcz.list

Offline Leee

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2024, 03:41:02 PM »
Thanks Rich!

I hadn't really even considered using both the built-in and the external monitors, nor the touch screen, primarily because I keep the laptop closed (usually with shtuff piled on top of it!)

The idea of running a separate window manager on each screen actually makes me want to open up the laptop screen and play with it some.  I don't suppose it would even have to be two instances of the -same- window manager - although jwm on one side and flwm on the other might damage the ole brain a bit.    :)
core 14.0 x86_64

Offline Rich

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2024, 06:33:32 PM »
Hi Leee
I hadn't really even considered using both the built-in and the external monitors ...
Sometimes it's handy to put something on the small builtin monitor that
you don't want cluttering up your main screen. Like running  top  to see
if anything is starting to hog RAM or CPU time. Or when searching the web
for something, you can highlight and copy from the browser, then slide the
mouse to the other screen and paste into editor for later use.

Quote
... I don't suppose it would even have to be two instances of the -same- window manager - although jwm on one side and flwm on the other might damage the ole brain a bit.    :)
You might want to rethink that. The window managers each have their
own scripts for setting up menus, and I don't know if they're compatible.
The last window manager extension loaded sets this:
Code: [Select]
tc@E310:~$ cat /etc/sysconfig/desktop
flwm_topside
tc@E310:~$
tce-load calls  desktop.sh  if a window manager is running:
Code: [Select]
tc@E310:~$ grep "desktop.sh" /usr/bin/tce-load
                                [ -s /etc/sysconfig/desktop ] && desktop.sh "$APPNAME"
                                        [ -s /etc/sysconfig/desktop ] && desktop.sh "$APPNAME"
tc@E310:~$
Checking  desktop.sh  shows it calls  "$DESKTOP"_makemenu:
Code: [Select]
tc@E310:~$ grep menu /usr/local/bin/desktop.sh
[ $(which "$DESKTOP"_makemenu) ] && "$DESKTOP"_makemenu "$APPNAME" 2>/dev/null
tc@E310:~$
Since the value of  $DESKTOP  is set to:
Code: [Select]
tc@E310:~$ echo $DESKTOP
flwm_topside
tc@E310:~$
It will call this script:
Code: [Select]
tc@E310:~$ ls -l $(which "$DESKTOP"_makemenu)
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 60 Jan  7 17:28 /usr/local/bin/flwm_topside_makemenu -> /tmp/tcloop/flwm_topside/usr/local/bin/flwm_topside_makemenu
tc@E310:~$

Offline GNUser

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2024, 07:47:26 PM »
Really? I use the same module and it's part of  wireless-KERNEL.tcz.  I also see
ath9k  listed here:
http://tinycorelinux.net/15.x/x86_64/tcz/wireless-6.6.8-tinycore64.tcz.list
Hi Rich. Oops, you're right, of course. I forgot that I had that extension loaded. Thank you for the correction.

Offline Leee

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2024, 03:55:45 AM »
Quote
...
You might want to rethink that. The window managers each have theirown scripts for setting up menus, and I don't know if they're compatible.
...
Probably just as well - that was just one of those absurdities that occasionally pop up in my thoughts.   :)
My current physical set up doesn't have room for me to open the laptop screen right now so I won't be able to play with that sort of thing for a while.  I was in the midst of re-arranging the whole setup when the snow tried to get me - I fell and twisted my ankle pretty badly - so no more rearranging of shtuff for a few weeks.
On the other hand (or "foot"!), I now have plenty of time to sit and consider things like desktop menus... I recently started using apulse with firefox, which calls for starting firefox with
Code: [Select]
apulse firefox
so I ended up writing a little script to tweak .wbar appropriately.  Now I'm feeling like there's probably a more elegant solution to that.
core 14.0 x86_64

Offline NewUser

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Re: ideal laptop from ebay...
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2024, 12:11:45 PM »
The company I worked for was a Dell shop. I have put TCL on D and E series Latitudes, and mid-modern XPSs. All work well.