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Thread: Hardware to stay away from.

  1. #1

    Hardware to stay away from.

    Well, I made my decision! I threw away the Sound Blaster card that came with my Dell 8250 system, and replaced it with an in-expensive MADDOG sound card. Now, when I am using Linux, I can hear the voices when I play DVD movies. I can hear systems warning sounds, and I can play music from my CDROM drive. It is DELL's fault that I had no sound in my system. Bad product design.

    What a shame that Dell has designed that board to only be capable of running under Win**, and no other OS. This typifies the Dell attitude towards Linux. They deny it's existence. And they go out of their way to cripple their products so other operating systems will have difficulty to operate in them.

    The consession that I had to make, is to forsake the capability of being able to plug in my headphones into the front panel of the computer case. Now I have to reach into the rear of the case to activate my headphone plug. Commercial cards don't have that feature designed into them.

    Looking for a new computer? Unless you are determined to only operate in Win**, stay away from DELL systems. You have other better choices out there. It has also been documented that Dell laptops are the most Linux resistant systems on the market. The author clearly described all the hoops that he had to jump through to be able to install Linux into his laptop computer. Dell will not lift a finger or make a single effort to help you if you tell them that you are using Linux in one of their machines. Hope that this information will prevent you from making the same mistake that I made. Dell from HEll, and I will never have another Dell moment.

    If you have other hardware experiences that made it difficult to install Linux in your system, please feel free to share it with us.


  2. #2

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.


    Dell has an alliance with Red Hat Linux...

    I have a Dimension 8100 and a Latitude C840, and all my hardware is supported by Linux. We have a multitude of PowerEdge servers at work, and I have loaded Linux on them with no problems. Same thing with some Optiplex machines...

    I think most soundblaster cards are supported under linux (except maybe the newest, fancy ones.) However, I don't think this is Dell's fault. Most hardware drivers are developed by the linux community, and if the manufacturer (Creative) does not release info on it, it may be some time until someone reverse engineer/hacks a driver.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.

    I've never had a problem (that wasn't fixed by newer versions of software, like X) putting Linux on various Dells. All business line stuff (optiplex, lattitude) not that crap they pawn off on home users (dimension, inspiron)

  4. #4

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.

    I believe that before my model 8250 Dimension, Dell was using a standard sound card, same as bought off the store shelf. And that's probably what you ended up with. But this card, were I to continue using it with Linux, would have cost me $40 for a special driver from 4FrontTechnologies, to be able to operate it. Three different versions of Linux was tried to make sure that it wasn't just a flaw with Mandrake 9.2. Creative Labs also wrote that Dell cards were non-standard, and to go to OSS for a remedy, and 4FrontTech also validated that Creative Labs statement.

    I have to disagree with you about this not being Dell's fault. When a company goes out of it's way to produce a proprietary sound card, that is designed to only operate in a molopolistic OS environment, that is poison for the end user. I found that I could not get any help from Sound Blaster (they build them to Dell's specs.), and as soon as I told Dell support that I was using Linux in one of their machines, that was it! They wouldn't make any effort to make things right. They reacted as if I was making a sin to have the gall to use a different operating system in their machine.

    My cure was to just get rid of the problem card. I reserve the right to be able to use Win** and Linux in the system that I purchased. By replacing the original card with an inexpensive MADDOG sound card, my problems were solved!

    Yes, Linux supports standard off the shelf SB cards, but not the variety that was pawned off on me. I have no intention of purchasing a license every so many years to buy a driver to run that trash card that they included in my system


  5. #5

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.

    Not to cause any trouble, but I have a 3+ year-old Dell Inspiron 7500 and I haven't had too much trouble with Linux. The trouble I have has much more to do with my lack of understanding Linux than it does with my machine. So far, my only hardware problem is related to my external USB devices. For the most part, RedHat 8 and Fedora Core 1 have had absolutly no difficulty detecting and running my built in devices...

    However, I have noticed this irritating quirk in my laptop display.. there are certain "breaks" in the screen... I't hard to describe, but basically, the best way to put it is like this:

    Imagine you are looking at the 15-inch display. Now picture someone taking very fine a razor blade and running a straint line right across the the screen.. then overlapping the image by a 1 pixel, or shitfing the two halves by 1 pixel. It's a bit annoying when trying to work in Gimp or even while word processes. This happens from the log in screen to the CLI.... seems to be a glitch in the screen rendering... If I lower the resolution it doesn't appear to be a problem, but I want the high-res screen (I only have 15 inches after all!)

    Other than that, I haven't had hardware issues with Dell. I'll build my next system specifically for Linux though.. I think...... :

  6. #6

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.

    I'm glad to read that you are having good results with your computer. However, a laptop doesn't provide the same computing experience than a deskptop machine.

    Also, based on what I've read so far (this is why I consider you very lucky), Dell makes the most Linux resistant laptops on the market. The author installed Linux in his laptop, and he described all the hoops that he had to jump through just to get it installed. I have to assume that he had way more knowledge than I, considering that he had to write scripts and other tweaks in order to succeed.

    As far as your USB problems, USB to Linux in many aspects is still considered "experimental". There are many items that Linux still will not support via the USB port. As time goes on this will continue to improve.

    And for your screen display, that sounds like a timing problem. There are utilities in Linux that you can use to probably correct that problem. It is possible that your refresh rate is a bit too fast, and the scan sync, is having a hard time keeping up with it. You might try to reduce your refresh rate, to see if that would cure the problem. You can bring down the refresh rate to the point just above where you may start to see your screen flickering.

    Based on my experience, I just think that it is a shame that Dell couldn't at least provide a standard "REAL" Sound Blaster card. Had that been the fact, it would have saved me a lot of grief, and research, only to find that they had given me a half-breed kluge of a card.

    Also, all points of view are welcomed here.



  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.

    Everything on my dell latitude CPX works great. Well, suspend to disk I haven't managed to get working but hardly anyone uses that feature anyway, generally people use suspend to ram. Sound works, tv-out works, makes me happy. Of course, that's a p3 650, which is an older laptop.

  8. #8
    Good Guru
    Schotty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Milwaukee, WI

    Re:Hardware to stay away from.

    [quote author=ONEderer link=board=3;threadid=8636;start=0#msg77996 date=1075852019]
    As far as your USB problems, USB to Linux in many aspects is still considered "experimental". There are many items that Linux still will not support via the USB port. As time goes on this will continue to improve.

    Big disagreement here. USB for any machine (with a 2.4.9 + kernel) will run USB MUCH more smoothly than Windows XP. The one problem that I see with any USB device on linux is that some USB devices are not standard, and require specialty drivers to even talk correctly, much less work as intended.

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