Got my new workstation last week. Ultimately I decided to opt for a Dell notebook system with Linux pre-installed. So that left me only one single option: the XPS 13 Developer Edition, aka Sputnik 3. After having worked with it for a week I can only say I’m very, very happy with it. Unboxing it was a joy in itself, unwrapping the amazingly sleek machine and booting it for the first time. The XPS 13 comes with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS pre-installed which is just fine for me, especially given the fact that everything seems to work flawlessly so far. I haven’t rebooted it for days for example, suspending it works brilliantly and when I open the lid the device wakes up instantly, even after having it closed for days. And even though it has an i7 CPU it can run for hours on a full battery. The touch screen is a nice bonus but I haven’t really made use of it yet, it could be quite cool for live perfomances though. I’ve tested the touch screen with seq24 and it’s quite awesome to be able to trigger sequences by pressing the sequences on your screen.
Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition
I did try a fresh install but it would take me a bit too much time to get everything working properly so in the end I opted for sticking with the default install and install the Lubuntu desktop on top of it. And the default install doesn’t get in the way so I’m all set. I’m now looking for a nice keyboard and mouse to pair with the notebook, I’d greatly appreciate any suggestions. I had already ordered a Logitech K290 but I’m sending it back because it has the function keys swapped with the media keys and I just can’t work with that. Switching tty’s with Fn+Ctrl+F[:digit:] is just impossible to do with that keyboard. I could’ve tried swapping the keys but I’ve already filled in the RMA form and repacked the keyboard so it’s going back.
Next up is configuring it for making music. I’m thinking about purchasing a new USB audio interface, preferably USB2.0, that matches well with this machine. Suggestions are very welcome. I’ve looked at the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 but a recent thread on LAU raised some doubts. We’ll see, it’s something for later, for now I’m extremely happy with my new work horse.
Yay, got a new notebook, a BTO P•BOOK 17CL45-GT650 i7 QUAD! I visited BTO last Tuesday and placed an order for a custom built notebook and it arrived yesterday. It’s quite a monster if you ask me:
- Intel Core i7-3630QM Quad Core Processor (6MB Cache, 2.3 GHz, Turbo Mode 3.3GHz)
- 16GB RAM
- 120GN SSD
- 1TB HDD
- Nvidia GT650M
One of the reasons I chose BTO besides the fact that they offer custom built notebooks is that they also offer the choice to have your custom built notebook come without an OS. Unfortunately it came without a license, in other words, when I first started the notebook it booted into a Windows 7 installation procedure. No biggie, created a bootable USB stick with the Ubuntu 12.04 mini ISO and wiped all partitions. 20 minutes later I could boot into a fresh Lubuntu installation. And you know what? All the essential stuff worked out of the box! So far the following things just work:
- Network, both WiFi and wired
- Fn buttons
- Suspend to RAM
The only real challenge is probably getting the Nvidia Optimus configuration to work but I already found some very specific documentation. Yes, the BTO is actually a Clevo W170ER housing with custom hardware.
BTO P•BOOK 17CL45-GT650 i7 QUAD/Clevo W170ER
Other than that the BTO was a breeze to set up and it happily runs Lubuntu 12.04. Booting into a complete desktop takes less than 15 seconds at the moment. Next up is configuring it properly for real-time, low-latency audio. If I want to get the most out of it I’ll probably have to start looking for a decent USB2.0 audio interface. The BTO has no FireWire or PCI Express ports. A sign of the times, guess FireWire is basically dead technology.
En dan mag ik eindelijk m’n PC’s updaten naar de nieuwe Ubuntu LTS versie, 12.04 Precise Pangolin. Dus ook mijn home studio PC. Komt redelijk goed uit want heb momenteel niet zo gek veel tijd en behoefte om muziek te maken. Heb wat anders om handen.
Op mijn werk draai ik al wel een paar maanden 11.10 en ben daar best tevreden over. Toch kan LXDE niet op tegen Gnome 2 dus ga denk ik toch weer wat zoeken naar en experimenteren met window en desktop managers opdat ik maar moge eindigen met de ultieme desktop ervaring. Ach uiteindelijk zal het wel weer een pragmatische oplossing worden, niet de D66 connotatie van pragmatisch, maar de Driss uit Les Intouchables connotatie (cliffhanger alert). Pragmatique.