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March 14, 2007

openSUSE, XGL, Beryl and $400

by @ 6:53 am. Filed under beryl, General SUSE, sweet deals

Last Friday, my good buddy Steve popped on IM and said, “Hey, you know anyone who wants to sell their laptop?” My response, “Heh, how much you looking to spend?” See, I had one that I really liked, but with which I would part for a decent price. I sent him the YAST dump of hwinfo (all 300k of it) so that he’d stop asking me what kind of transistors were on the wifi card and how many CPU fans it had, and whether it had an external firewire port. I was all, “Dude, if you can find out something about that laptop that is not in this text file, I will buy you lunch for a week.” Apparently, he never did.

He ended up coming by my house RIGHT after work with the, “Can I pick it up, yet?” look on his face. I did a quick transfer of my /home directory over to my external 100 Gig and reformatted it so he couldn’t get my porn. Dude, go get your own.

Well, at that point, I was without a laptop, but I did have a little handful of money. I thought to myself, “Hmmm… I wonder what kind of laptop I should get.” I remembered that my friend Jason is a hardware wizard. I gave him a ring and we built me a nice fat Dell Inspiron E1705. Humbly, I will list the specs here:

Intel Core Duo T2250 (1.73GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 533 MHz FSB)
17 inch UltraSharp Wide Screen UXGA Display with TrueLife
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS
120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

And it came with a wireless card, ethernet, 8x DVD burner (w/double-layer +R capability), etc.

So, as I was checking out, I noticed that Dell was kind enough to give me a $250 discount because the machine’s cost was over $999. I also didn’t want to have to pay for Vista. So, I hopped on the little live chat thing with one of their reps. I asked repeatedly but nicely if there was any possible way I could get $100 off for the Vista license. The rep was very nice, but couldn’t do anything for me. I was about to just check out when I had an idea.

You know when you check out online, and it has the little box that says, “Enter Coupon Code Here”? I threw a quick search into Google : “Dell coupon code” and the first link on the first page showed me a coupon code (9C12FJVBKTKPV$) that would take $400 off Inspirons that were over $1499, which mine was at that point ($1577). I slapped that bad boy into the coupon code box, and lo and behold, it took the $250 discount up to $400! That one search got me the $150 off for Vista, but I still had to have it come with the laptop. (If anyone wants a Vista license for a Dell, let me know. I will give it to you for $100.) List price for that laptop: $1,827.00. Take off the $400, and my final price was $1,427.00. Out the door, I was at $1,512.64 for shipping, handling, and tax. So, if you want $400 off, do what I did. Use that code and save yourself the price of Vista. Then sell it anyway to someone else when it comes on the machine. That’ll get you another $100 towards your laptop.

Well, that bad boy finally came. I was at work when my wife popped onto IM and said, “You’ll never guess what just came!” I said, “I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

Immediately, I booted off the openSUSE 10.2 install CD, and blew away the Vista partition. The next few days were then spent getting it all set up with openSUSE 10.2 (which runs on it quite nicely). I got acceleration working on it the other day, and spent most of last night getting Beryl set up on it. If you want to take a look at a slick demo video of it, I posted one right here that I made with my laptop. It is 40MB, but the freakin’ windows BURN UP when you close them. And all the transparency… If you have some bandwith, a few minutes, and some popcorn, check it out.

There’s a free “Intro to Linux” course available from my blog home page for anyone who might benefit. It’s designed to be a super gentle intro for people who want to take a look at Linux. As always, feedback is appreciated (smorris — at — suseblog — dot — com). Let anyone know who may find it useful. I will be expanding it out, but I’m doing it in a way such that no one will miss out on anything. As soon as I add new material, I’ll make sure it gets to you.

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