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Thread: Dell or System 76?

  1. #11
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by weverjames View Post
    go with dell. You will get a cheaper system (300 bucks less) with the same specifications. I bought a gazelle and no advantage in terms of support. I upgraded to ubuntu 8.04 and lost wireless. no way to get a decent solution for this. All what they say is that it has to be your router. It sucks!. And this is not a isolated problem. search the web.
    But if you decide to buy a system 76, I can sell you mine!
    $300 cheaper is a stretch, but yes, you will end up a machine that reflects Dell's "quality"...

    As for wireless, any time you are using an "always in motion" OS such as desktop Linux and the ever-changing Ubuntu, I tend to recommend always having a good USB wifi adapter in reserve. This is hardly a System76 issue you are having as it is clearly, a Linux issue with the chipset you have. Yes, it sucks really badly. But I do not believe for a split second it is something that can not be fixed.

    Now I used to be a PC repair person - that was my business, my profession. If I atributed wireless issues to the chipset immediately without doing the following before coming to that conclusion, I would have been driven out of business:

    - No love with the router, try another. Still not working, consider RF interference and try some war driving to find an open access point.
    - If it is connecting on open (not at home WIFI access points) WAPs, but not at a home wifi network - open or restricted, then it would indicate you have an RF issue and not a chipset issue. If I remember correctly, I pointed out that some older routers have a firmware bug that creates issues with MAC filtering. Even when it is on or off, entered correctly, etc, you can still be prevented from connecting. Hence why it is worth trying the connection elsewhere before exclaiming that it is the chipset.
    - Please never use WEP, you might as well go with MAC filtering as it is sooooooooooo incredibly dated and insecure. That and WPA is generally more reliable with compatibility anyway.

    When all of the above has been exhausted and by George, you cannot not connect to anything ANYWHERE outside of your normal neighborhood (I test in front of hotels myself, its free and a great diagnostic tool), then you have a bonafide bug to report. Unfortunately, most people never go this far before filing a report however....

    Generally, if the bug is significant enough, it is worth rolling back to a release of Ubuntu that works with that chipset.

    An example would be me dealing with Flash 9 and 64bit Ubuntu. It drove me nuts until a fix was released, but I chose to run that release of Ubuntu - System76 did not force me to upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 and if you believe Dell is going to help you when something similar happens to a better degree, you would be very badly mistaken, despite their own dedicated Linux support group being better than that seen with their Windows support.

    Just a few things to think about.
    Last edited by ctsdownloads; May 24th, 2008 at 12:56 AM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    I am in a similar Dell or System 76 position, assuming I prefer to buy a pre-installed Ubuntu laptop.

    I am replacing an aging Dell 600m (4 years old). It has been a great laptop. A few minor cosmetic issues came up after 3 years of use (the microphone and lid close sensor died), but the system runs well. The hard drive died at 2 years, but was replaced free (I was traveling all the time and put the laptop in a normal backpack, so that hard drive failure is likely my fault).

    My girlfriend bought a 1420 (with Vista) 6 months ago. The quality of her 1420 is not as good as my 600m (although it cost about 60% as much). I guess in the last 3-4 years the way Dell has made their systems much much cheaper has been to cut quality (and ship support overseas). While the keyboard on my 600m is not Thinkpad quality, it is much much better than the 1420. When I use the 1420, I feel like the keys will fall off if I type too hard. Other things seem cheap too, like opening and closing the CD drive.

    I can't speak for System 76 and I wish I could get one to play with before I have to decide on a laptop.

    I also wonder how the Dell XPS laptops are? Although there is no 14" size, and they cost more?

    I am also torn because I prefer non-glossy screens and Dell seems to be the only company that lets you configure that as an option.

  3. #13
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Go to each website.
    Dell recommends Windows Vista® Home Premium.

    If you are ok with that buy dell

    Just keep in mind that you are reading this in System76 Ubuntu forum.

    as my last note System 76 has been ubuntu users freind for a long time. Dell is just looking for market share. You can't even find anything ubuntu on dell.com home page.

  4. #14
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    There is hardware out that that works with Linux and hardware that doesn't. When I brought my system76 Gazelle my assumption was that System76 would make a laptop which worked really good with Ubuntu. That assumption was wrong. I have had endless sound issues and sadly learned to live with them. I just recently tried out the card reader (surprise surprise) and it does doesn't work. I think to have a company which only produces linux PCs is a great idea but the execution is poor (no offense to the support people who answer these forums, you seem to want to help but your product just sucks).

    Mustafa

    PS: You might look into buying an lenovo laptop and installing ubuntu yourself. My 5 year old laptop works really well with Ubuntu.

  5. #15
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    Lubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Dell or System 76?

    The older the laptop the better it will work with linux.
    It takes a while to get drivers written & bugs fixed when new hardware is released.

    I have a bunch of old desktops running linux that work great. I put a new motherboard with all the latest & greatest stuff in one of them a few years ago & had a heck of a time getting it to work right, it works perfectly now.

    It's a rough job offering the latest in hardware & getting it all working right with linux.

    Also if things not working perfectly is a big frustration, it's a good idea to wait a few months (or even a year) before upgrading to a new ubuntu.

    jdb

  6. #16
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdozurk View Post
    There is hardware out that that works with Linux and hardware that doesn't. When I brought my system76 Gazelle my assumption was that System76 would make a laptop which worked really good with Ubuntu. That assumption was wrong. I have had endless sound issues and sadly learned to live with them. I just recently tried out the card reader (surprise surprise) and it does doesn't work. I think to have a company which only produces linux PCs is a great idea but the execution is poor (no offense to the support people who answer these forums, you seem to want to help but your product just sucks).
    You must have some really odd-ball setup as I own a new Gazelle Value - everything works fine - wireless to sound. What does not work however, is not fully grasping the way PulseAudio works, which has been the single biggest issue I have seen with most people using Ubuntu 8.04. I am among the first to say the way Ubuntu released Pulse was poorly done as needed control panel offerings still needed to be downloaded as to fully enjoy the benefits provided by this sound server.

    As for the card reader, this could happen, be it something I have never ever had a problem with. Anything brand name generally works fine, I own four from different time periods - 4 years old to less than a month - all of them work just fine.

    As for bad mouthing a company's product, I think you will find yourself collectively alone (generally speaking) on your feelings I am afraid. This is the second computer I have purchased from System76. The biggest problem I witness in most cases is the lack of grasping how things work or do not, often assuming when something fails, then it certainly must be the OS or the hardware. When you have a problem, the company will provide a list of possible solutions. Unfortunately, short of offering an exchange, I fail to see how anyone can expect them to hand-hold users to the extent I see in the ubuntu forums some days. Seriously, it is frustrating but I have a news flash for you - the computer is also capable of running Windows, too. Hence why the driver Cd is provided....

    My guess is that your hardware works fine.

    You, the end user, are in the drivers seat. If you and you alone have a problem that the rest of us seem to be able to surf by with little issue, then perhaps it is time to move onto using Windows again? Not ripping on anyone, but this thread is getting on my nerves as it is completely bogus. Here's the skinny - if the hardware works on a Windows box - guess who is responsible for the software related problems? You guessed it.
    Last edited by ctsdownloads; May 24th, 2008 at 01:01 AM.

  7. #17
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Dell or System 76?

    I got my grandfather (who has never used a computer before in his life), a ubuntu dell, installed gutsy for him with no problems, and he has had no problems with it.

    He had a problem with his cable modem once though, and it was something that the cable company had to come to his house to repair... it's kinda funny to hear about the reactions people give when they find out he's running linux.

  8. #18
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdb View Post
    I put a new motherboard with all the latest & greatest stuff in one of them a few years ago & had a heck of a time getting it to work right, it works perfectly now.
    Must have been some motherboard. Either that or it has something to do with using Linux some years ago vs today - big difference in hardware support and update frequency.

    Desktops generally do not have these problems anymore. Unless you perhaps had issues with some ATI video card that was giving the impression that it was to do with the motherboard.
    Last edited by ctsdownloads; May 24th, 2008 at 12:48 AM.

  9. #19
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve413z View Post
    I got my grandfather (who has never used a computer before in his life), a ubuntu dell, installed gutsy for him with no problems, and he has had no problems with it.

    He had a problem with his cable modem once though, and it was something that the cable company had to come to his house to repair... it's kinda funny to hear about the reactions people give when they find out he's running linux.
    Yeah, especially when they hand you a Windows only install CD - man I hate that...

  10. #20
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    Re: Dell or System 76?

    Quote Originally Posted by savantelite View Post
    Go to each website.
    Dell recommends Windows Vista® Home Premium.

    If you are ok with that buy dell

    Just keep in mind that you are reading this in System76 Ubuntu forum.

    as my last note System 76 has been ubuntu users freind for a long time. Dell is just looking for market share. You can't even find anything ubuntu on dell.com home page.
    Well said, better put than anything I came up with.

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