Overview: Need new laptop+mouse+printer, with working: XP/Mdk dual boot; graphics and sound; CDRW; DVD and BB.
Basically I've got about 4 weeks to pick out and set up a laptop+printer for my gf. She's not exactly computer litterate, and I'm at a different uni to her so it needs to just work between almost monthly visits, or updating should be a few clicks guided over the phone, hense linux.
Having used Mandrake 9.x for over a year, and previously used Windows98SE, I'm dreading having to figure out XP on a normal laptop. She needs it to:
- Write Biochem notes (an easy one to start with).
- Browse online (apparent BB connection to her room-I've only ever had 56k dialup).
- Burn CDs (never got it working in linux yet, use dual boot+Nero).
- View DVDs (never had a DVD drive-got home cinema).
- Last 4 years.
We've discussed getting an iBook but the lack of compatability with x86 apps and difference from any uni library machines might be too much hastle. So I'm shopping for a good deal on a normal laptop which is compatable with linux+graphics acceleration+modem drivers+sound, etc. I'm thinking specs as being:
Required network card
. I'm almost certain it's ethernet/LAN BB.
My plan is to buy it asap (sales atm, bit short notice I know), and then set up a dual boot with WinXP and Mandrake 9.2 (PowerPack). I'm planning to dual boot XP just in case she needs it, so I dont have to reformat and repartition later down the line. A major problem with this might be vendors which supply those crappy 'rescue/restore' disks that just wipe the machine and re-install Windows. I really really just want a normal XP disk (I'd side-stepped the whole Home/Pro issue, but now it might be raised again) so I can do this without 'customer support'. An all linux install is not out of the question.
Also, as I've never had a laptop, I dunno about support for the battery power saving features they come with.
So by the end of this week I would like to have found a decent speced machine that's 100% compatable, and also find some hints about DVD playing, CD RWs, BB and XP+linux on only 1 drive (unless you can get laptops with 2). So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Oh and printer suggestions are welcome too. Mdk+CUPS has served me well so far, but recommendations for which printer brand to (not) get would be great too.
I'm going to need AV+Firewall+AntiSpyware app suggestions too (*kicks Windows*). Would a Norton Internet Security bundle in the deal be good to look for?