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40

Interface (connectors): Parallel ATA a.k.a. IDE, ATA, ATAPI, UDMA and PATA — legacy, wide 40-pin connector for disks produced few years ago. In case of notebook drives pins are smaller, and there is also power supply in the same plug. Serial ATA (SATA) — modern connector. Most modern laptops use it. 6 data pins and 15 pins including power ...


26

I wouldn't recommend Netbooks personally for the following reasons: Small keyboard. Your programmers are most likely going to hate the small keyboard after a short time period. Productivity killer. Possibly slow speed. For running the software depending on which processor you get it may be quite slow compared to what they could use - this could be a big ...


24

I've gone pretty much 'USB everything' so all the extras stay in the bag until needed. USB serial port, USB ethernet adapter ( I hear you about sometimes needing two NICs! ), USB CD/DVD-RW. The weight still adds up on the shoulder, but the base machine then requires nothing more than a USB port (or two or three unless you also add a USB hub to the mix). ...


16

The biggest strike against netbooks for this type of work is the small screen. The screen on most if not all netbooks is too small for a modern IDE. You could get vim + a command window using 6x13 into 1024x600 but an IDE is not going to work. If your team is mobile your main compromise is between weight and screen real-estate. In essence, the more ...


14

My thoughts ... 1- Durability and serviceability -- the "business class" systems are designed and engineered to be standardized and easily serviced. 2- Standard components and designs -- a line of machines are similar, so the techs don't have to figure out a bunch of systems. This is reliably worth several hundred dollars per machine over it's life. 3- ...


10

Check out ThinkWiki; it has SOOO much information on thinkpads and good configurations, etc. And I'd personally suggest a T-series thinkpad, just cause a bunch of my friends (and myself) have them, and Linux works incredibly well with them (after a bit of tuning, of course).


9

My philosophy has always been to get the most powerful systems in the hands of the developers. I believed this as a developer, and as a system administrator, and still as a database administrator. I understand that they are running Python and MySQL, but if they are serious about their craft, they are going to need the power. Plus there is the issue of screen ...


8

The keyboard may be an issue. Many cut corners to get the size down and since you don't get a full keyboard, typing may be frustrating. System resources and screen size may be an issue for some as well. I know the Dell netbooks only come with XP, and with Windows 7 just around the corner, the netbook landscape could change shortly. I considered this a ...


8

In addition to the specific reasons, I find that drawing an analogy to a different business unit helps to put these scary technology concepts into a comfortable framework. Question - I can buy TurboTax for $50 to do my taxes, why do we need to pay an entire department to do the same thing for the company? Answer - because it's more complicated. IT ...


6

You asked how to shop for notebook hard drives. I prefer to hit my favorite review sites and look in their storage review sections. One of these always seems to have a good comparison review between hard drive vendors: TomsHardware storage section - most recent comparison is the 2.5" comparison charts. These are way too detailed, though. Anandtech ...


6

For me, the perfect SA notebook is something that you can carry everywhere and always be to hand. That means light and small. Notebooks are too big and seem often designed for people to use on tables. Netbooks are just too small. Subnote 12" is perfect. I have an HP 2510p presently, which they have just since released a new 2530p model of. Weighs less ...


5

(this is partially covered in The Practice of System and Network Administration's chapter on desktop machines) Basically, consumer laptops use the cheapest video chip, sound processor, etc. that the vendor can find that week. A business-class laptop changes chipsets once or twice a year, on a schedule that is predictable. This gives you the ability to ...


4

As a programmer, I'd be unhappy with a netbook. I have a netbook for light web browsing and for ease of portability. Even with the notebook my work provided me I am unhappy from a programming perspective. I much prefer desktops. I think overall, it is a personal decision, but I think for 90% of the population, netbooks will be too small.


4

There are, really, only two types of drive connections: Regular old IDE (PATA) and SATA. Each use their own connector, and more importantly data transport protocol. So you have to buy the correct interface for your laptop. That being said most laptops will have another, specialized, connector that actually hooks the drive into the controller. As a ...


4

I believe Jeff Atwood authored the definitative post on the subject: Coding Horror: The Programmer's Bill of Rights ...Jeff's post is the best outline for developer productivity (and morale) enhancement I've seen. And it's not just the what but the why, which helps make the business case for the investment required. Take this post to heart when selecting ...


4

No offense, but frankly if some IT guy was trying to impose netbooks on Information workers at work, I would try to have him fired asap. And I am an IT guy. Just multiply people salaries by the productivity loss to understand the problem.


4

15" Macbook Pro. Reasons: I don't have to mess with the OS to make hardware function. As a sysadmin, I spend enough time doing that on servers. OS X is a certified Unix, which speaks to my geekiness. It has a full complement of shell tools pre-installed, with thousands more a 'port install' away. The touchpad is the only one I've ever used (out of IBM, ...


3

The programmers are using mostly Python, and most of them running a small MySQL installation (developer installation). The rest of the guys are using mostly Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Netboooks would involve too much waste of developer time. In general netbooks are designed to use very little power = massive loss in processing power. The cost of ...


3

One thing would be "crapware" that comes on almost every home-class laptop or PC. This is used to subsidize the cost of consumer grade laptops, but most business class laptops would not include this stuff (since businesses don't want to put up with having to remove it all) and are subsequently going to cost a bit more.


3

I like to put it to the management like this. A laptop you buy at Best Buy or another store for home use is made to be used continuously for at most 2-3 hours, and on occasion, not everyday for 6-9 hours. The materials that a home-use laptop is made out of show its purpose is for home use, as they are made out of plastic, and cheap metal. A laptop made ...


3

I do a fair bit of network engineering in the industrial/engineering sector and needed a laptop with a COM port for both switches and PLCs. The only real options that we found were old Dell Latitude D820s (as of about a year ago you could still purchase these if you told dell you needed the com port) and the Panasonic business rugged Toughbooks. The ...


3

We've been buying HPs for a few years now and so that's what I have. Current model is a Compaq 6910p. It's not the smallest or lightest, but it's not too big or too heavy. I tried a first generation HP 2133 mini-note, but the screen size was too small on those (the first ones had speakers on either side of the screen, limiting the size). For most of my ...


3

Zoredache's suggestion of just using velcro cable ties is good, screw some strips of velcro (use washers so the screws don't tear through the velcro) to the underside of the table. If it was me, I'd be inclined to go for something more permanent. Get a second power supply for each laptop and mount them under the table with something like screw mount cable ...


2

The only reason why should you consider netbook for developers, is when they have to take it to some presentation (where they'll connect it to overhead projector). Netbooks are not apt for development, as generally they lack robustness (CPU, memory), have reduced size keyboard and small, low resolution and low quality screens. They use small and extremally ...


2

I would not use netbooks for any of the users you mention, except as secondary devices for checking email and doing the occasional support or bug fix when on the road. Even with come kind of monitor expansion and external keyboard, they simply don't have the horsepower. I would be surprised if modern IDEs will even load on a netbook. You might consider a ...


2

Its not a list maintained by the vendor, but there is a community driven hardware compatibility list maintained on Sun's website. You can find it at: http://www.oracle.com/webfolder/technetwork/hcl/index.html


2

Standardize equipment (that way you don't have to be supporting XYZ manufacturers and models). This would lower their support cost in the long run. This is a big one for our company. Warranty and service agreements These might end-up being cheaper with and enterprise solution (depending on the number of clients and sector). If you're in the Education ...


2

I would expect he's comparing the cheapest lowest spec machine at Best Buy, that is also on a limited time special offer to a higher spec'd machine that you require for the office. For the same machine you buy in the office, it's probably still going to be a similar price at Best Buy. This is on top of the other arguments such as support, standardization, ...



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