COVID-19 quarantine, day... who knows anymore.

I have no idea how long I've been in quarantine.  I've stopped counting because the numbers were just making me twitchy.  Life is going about as well as one could reasonably expect.  We're all save and sound in northern California, as much as we can be during a pandemic.  Working from home is working from home.  To minimize risk we're getting as much stuff delivered as we can, modulo periodic trips to the local pharmacy to pick up filled prescriptions and suchlike. I wish I could say the same of things back home in Pennsylvania, but I'd be lying and …

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Linux on the Dell XPS 15 Touch (9570)

UPDATED: 18 March 2019 - External display adapters that actually work with this model (and Arch Linux) added.

For various reasons, I found that I had a need to upgrade Windbringer's hardware very recently.  This might be the first time that a catastrophic failure of some kind was not involved, so it's kind of a weird feeling to have two laptops side by side, one in process and one to do research as snags cropped up.  This time around I bought a Dell XPS 15 Touch (9570) - I was expecting things to be substantially the same, but this did not seem …

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Linux on the Dell XPS 15 (9530)

Midway through December of 2014 Windbringer suffered a catastrophic hardware failure following several months of what I've come to term the Dell Death Spiral (nontrivial CPU overheating even while in single user mode, flaky wireless, USB3 ports fail, USB2 ports fail, complete system collapse). Consequently I was in a bit of a scramble to get new hardware, and after researching my options (as much as I love my Inspiron at work they don't let you finance purchases) I spec'd out a brand new Dell XPS 15.

Behind the cut I'll list Windbringer's new hardware specs and everything I did to …

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Linux on the Dell Inspiron 17R (N7010)

As I mentioned a couple of days ago I had to buy a new laptop because Windbringer's old hardware became unstable due to cumulative heat damage. I drive my machines pretty hard (doubly so when programming because I test in several virtual machines) so after five years of steady use it was time to upgrade. So, I upgraded with software design in mind... I purchased a Dell Inspiron 17R (under the hood it's called the N7010) and customized it online.

To save everyone's eyes I'll put the nitty-gritty behind the cut, starting with a component inventory.

Distribution: Arch Linux, 64-bit …

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Just a bit late: Jill's wedding.

About two weeks ago Lyssa and I took a couple of days off from work to drive in the direction of Princeton, New Jersey to attend the wedding of her sister/my future sister in law. Lyssa was Jill's maid of honor, so it was essential that she attend; for a change, I didn't have anything official to do so I was sort of at loose ends much of the time. So, we packed our stuff, loaded up the TARDIS, and steeled ourselves for a cross-country drive to the Garden State. Before we had a chance to depart, we heard …

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Linux on the Dell Inspiron 1520

Linux distribution successfully used: Gentoo Linux 2007.0

Currently running kernel: sys-kernel/vanilla-sources v2.6.24.1

I'll put everything else behind the cut because it'll take up a few pages... Hardware assay


  • CPU: Intel Centrino Duo T7500 running at 2.20GHz x2

  • Memory: 2GB

  • Chipset: Intel ICH8M

  • Video: nVidia GeForce 8400M GS, 256MB video memory on-board. Using the closed-source nVidia drivers from Portage (x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers) with full acceleration. Haven't tried VGA or TV-out yet.

  • SATA: Intel 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M) chipset, using in-kernel drivers (CONFIG_ATA_PIIX)

  • IDE: Intel 82801HBM/HEM (ICH8M) chipset, using in-kernel drivers (CONFIG_BLK_DEV_PIIX)

  • Ethernet: Broadcom BCM4401-B0, using in-kernel …

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State of the Time Lord: I never could stay put for very long...

I'm writing this update from Lyssa's parents' house once again - the holiday is here once again (however you happen to celebrate it), and this year we've gone back to visit our families. We left around 1200 EST5EDT yesterday in an attempt to beat the traffic rush headed to points north, west, east, and everywhere but the southern half of the compass rose. Traffic, weather, and being worn out from staying up far too late the night before being what they are, we pulled in around 1730 EST5EDT, a respectable timetable for leaving at noon.

The fairest thing you can say …

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Sometimes I hate being right.

It seems that Dell Computers is putting the brakes on their new lines of Linux-equipped computers. They've changed their minds, and instead of selling machines with SUSE Linux preinstalled they are actually certifying three models (the Optiplex desktops, Latitude notebooks, and Precision workstations) for use with Linux. If they are going to sell machines running Linux, it's not going to be anytime soon.

I hate to tell Dell spokescritter Jeremy Bolen, but the Linux community has already certified Dell's hardware under Linux - we've been doing it for years and posting our results.

Read our lips: We want to buy Dell …

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Dell finally caves to customer pressure and offers systems with Linux pre-installed on them.

Back in the late 90's, Dell offered computers for sale with Linux installed on them instead of Microsoft Windows, a move which got them sued and pressured to stop this practice. On 16 February 2007 they set up a website called Dell Ideastorm to gather suggestions from their users and customers so that they could better work within the marketplace.

Well, guess what the thousands of requests they recieved included - I'll give you a hint, the site got flattened by the influx of traffic and is still getting hammered.

In response to these requests they started adding lines of desktops …

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