[colug-432] Laptop Review: HP Pavillion

Edward Dunagin edunagin at gmail.com
Fri Mar 30 14:34:09 EDT 2012

On 3/29/12, Steve Roggenkamp <roggenkamps at acm.org> wrote:
> Thanks for the description.  I'm in the market for a new laptop.
> Right now I have an MSI Wind netbook that I like, but I'm wanting
> something with a little more performance and has some portability.
> Sounds like an HP Pavillion might fit the ticket.  I'm always
> concerned about running Linux with laptops/notebooks/netbooks since
> they seem to be highly engineered and tightly coupled to Windows.

I purchased a HP Pavilion g 7 about a month ago. I have run Debian and
Ubuntu1.4 with no trouble, Except I have been unable to get wireless
set up with either one.My ISP Mediahome
does not recognise Linux so they were no help . I am moving tomorrow
so will have a different set up, but same IP, bjut have different
plans for set up. I will note later.

> I've been thinking about revamping my desktop machine as it's running
> Debian Lenny as its base with a number of virtual machines running on
> top.  It's been a great workhorse for over three years, but Lenny is
> getting a bit long in the tooth, as they say.  I'd like to go to
> Centos 6 as my base, to have the latest KVM/libvirt, or whatever the
> latest virtualization layer is, but I don't want to tear down my
> desktop without some assurance that I can get a working machine in a
> reasonable amount of time.  It sounds like a Pavilion dm4 might allow
> me to set up Centos 6 with virutalization and get everything working
> before reworking the desktop.
> Thanks,
> Steve
> On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Joshua Kramer <joskra42.list at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I recently nuked the second of three USB ports on my netbook by plugging
>> something in at an odd angle.  Seeing that I was woefully under-equipped
>> equipment wise, and fearing that a USB catastrophe would nuke the one
>> remaining good port, I set out looking for a new notebook.
>> MicroCenter had a Lenovo Ideapad, an i5 with 4G of RAM and 500G disk, that
>> I
>> was interested in.  Unfortunately, upon booting the CentOS 6.2 live DVD, I
>> noted that wireless and bluetooth did not work out of the box.  With a
>> price
>> range on the lower end of the scale, I set out to find a notebook that did
>> work.
>> An HP Pavillion dm4 caught my eye.  It's a dual core i3 with 4G of RAM and
>> 640G of 5,400 RPM disk.  The display is an Intel 3000 chipset, and the
>> resolution is 1366x768.  You won't be playing Skyrim on this machine, but
>> I
>> wasn't looking to spend a lot of money, either.  It is a refurbished unit
>> with a 90 day warranty, but a 2-year extended warranty is available for
>> $99.  It is relatively lightweight, just on the heavy side of
>> "ultraportable".
>> After verifying that CentOS worked with it, I added another 4G of RAM and
>> walked out the door for a hair over $512 (not including extended
>> warranty).
>> After creating recovery media (it has Windows 7 Home Premium installed) I
>> wiped it and first installed CentOS 6.2, leaving about 150G free.  I then
>> installed the Ubuntu-based DreamStudio in a dual-boot configuration.
>> DreamStudio boots up lightning-quick - less than 20 seconds - but when it
>> reaches the login screen, the backlight is out.  I have to manually adjust
>> the backlight at that time.  I haven't had the chance to try any of the
>> multimedia apps (I installed it to do some light video editing) so there
>> isn't much to report here.
>> C6 boots up a bit more slowly... but at least I can see the login screen!
>> :)  For the gigabit ethernet, I had to install an EPEL-based driver [1].
>> The touchpad is sensitive, so if my hand brushes against it while typing,
>> the cursor jumps around.  And, even when I connect it to a TV with
>> 1920x1080
>> resolution, it under-drives the TV at 1366x768.  Aside from those quirks,
>> I
>> am pleased with the performance of this machine, given that it's only an
>> i3.  Linux-based KVM virtual guests are also snappy; Windows, not so much,
>> but I haven't yet had a chance to install the KVM guest drivers.
>> You can find this laptop elsewhere, but so far, MicroCenter has the least
>> expensive price.
>> http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0380343
>> [1]: kmod-atl1e-
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Edward Dunagin-Dunigan
mobile 406-570-0992

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