Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New laptop

I just got my new laptop on Monday.

Asus G51VX-X1A

It came with Windows Vista 64 Home Premium.  Since I play a lot of games like TF2 and WoW, I'm leaving Windows on there.

So, why not a desktop machine?  I don't do a lot of travel, but I do love to sit at my regular coffee shop / bar and have a drink while writing something.

So, why this laptop?  My old desktop was a beast when I built it 5 years ago.  Dual Xeon 3.4ghz with 4gigs of ECC Registered and buffered memory.  I basically took server hardware and stuck it in a tower.  This box was loud, heavy, power hungry, and when push came to shove - not meant to play games on.  Consumer grade processors are actually faster because they allow for variation and less precision in calculations, consumer grade memory is faster because every access doesn't require a parity check.  But I will say this, that computer was by far the most stable desktop I've ever owned.  I am very interested in para-virtualization operating systems and the cpu in that box doesn't do Intel's VT-X.  It wasn't invented yet.  This laptop has a P8700 chip in, which handles VT-X - also, the motherboard is capable of VT-D hardware virtualization.  It's portable, quiet, and will do everything I would want out of a desktop.  I loaded up TF2 with all the settings on max, 1920x1080 with vertical sync enabled.  40 to 60 fps in a level with 32 players.  Now that's a f'ing gaming machine.

I've already setup dual booting with Ubuntu 9.04.  I've been out of the Linux Desktop world for a few years and have been concentrating on enterprise server environments.  My Ubuntu experience thus far has been fairly refreshing.  I was already very familiar with Debian and it's package management system (apt) so Ubuntu made perfect sense.  Only weird thing was the | key wasn't working properly - it was instead making < and > instead of \ and |.  I temporarily fixed it by adding a custom .xmodmap to my user profile.

echo "keycode 94 = backslash bar" > ~/.xmodmap; xmodmap < ~/.xmodmap
Fixed - at least for my user.  I'll modify the system level keymap later when I get some time..  I've been lazy.

On a side note, that little issue was the inspiration behind the title of this blog.  In my world - the | (pipe) key is probably the most important key on the keyboard.  I have done some pretty crazy things with the mild redirection of input and output from command line. 

The | is your friend.
The cake is a lie.

First Post

This journal is intended most for technical discoveries, techniques, habits, good practices, and personal experiences. Linux techniques will likely be the common theme here, but I may branch out into other realms. For now, this is Chuck's blog about Linux.