Ok I'm sooo frustrated right now that I don't know if I want to cry or start smashing things so I'll just state my problem and ask for some advise.
I'm not new to Linux but I'm really having problems finding ANY distro that will work on this f----ing DELL!!!! *&^^%%$$$ piece of **&&^^%%^%$ laptop.
Model: Inspiron 5150 with GeForceGO (geforce stop is more like it its so underpowered due to its 32meg memory it boggles my mind why Dell wasted their time sticking it in this piece of &&^&). 512 RAM 30gig hdd. usb 2.0 firewire etc...
Linspire: installs flawlessly however a)attempts to install the nvidia driver fails catestrophically and b) it only boots up about 1:3 tries or worse.
Suse 9.1: won't install, completely freezes up.
Suse 9.2 LIVE - runs but I'm still scared to shell out that much $$$ since 9.1 didn't work and I've discovered with other distros that just because a LIVE works doesn't mean at all that the real thing will.
Xandros: runs the BEST, installs flawlessly, rock solid. Problem1: won't recognize my USB2.0 external harddrive this is a showstopper. This is a known problem with Xandros rapidly aging and decrepit foundation. Problem2: I need GRAMPS the latest version to run because I want it runable on both the laptop and the machine downstairs which runs Lindows (flawlessly I might add) and runs the latest GRAMPS (flawlessly as well). Well the only version I've been able to get to work in Xan is the old 0.9 version which will not read files from newer versions. Attempts to install the latest version of Gramps in Xan was a nightmare, I lost count at the dependencies to upgrade at around 15 and it was still going. I think xan would have started to bust at the seams had I continued to try to satisfy dependencies. And it looks like hell will freeze over before they finish upgrading it (at which point like Lycoris they'll be 2 versions at least behind again).
Mepis: installed (kind of) I get no mouse control unless I chose a failsafe kernal but that broke samba networking. Gramps did install though flawlessly and my USB drive was usable so it could have been a solution.
Slackware: I love slack but let's face it it's right up there with build your own linux not something I want to spend a week doing on a laptop.
Yoper: flawless on desktops locks up on this *&&^^^ dell.
there's plenty others I've tried with varying degrees of sucess and catestrophic failures.
I think Suse9.2 MIGHT work but gawd that's a hell of a lot of money to watch go down the tube if it doesn't and my experience with vendor support on pro linux distros to not be worth paying them a dime for so frankly I'm scared of wasting money, so far M$ has been absolutely correct when they site TCO at least for me.
I think MEPIS might work if I could figured how in the blazes to get samba working and not have to use safemode because it kills my nvidia graphics speed as well.
My primary uses are simple: Gramps, OpenOffice docs, 'net, email, light gaming nothing fancy but I would like my nvidia chip to work.
I've also discovered that Dell shipped at least two versions of the crapola 5150 because I've found others with some of the exact same problems while others don't have the problems (which also includes sound freaking out sometimes or flat out not working at all).
So far Dell is serious when they say "designed for WinXP" on this laptop cuz its the only thing that will run on this without a hitch.
Is taking the time to install and setup Slack the only real solution? I'd at least be free of the damn proprietary things these pro distros have in them which keeps them from being upgradable. All the features like suspend to disk or ram while nice aren't necessary anyway because thanks to college's being brainwashed by Mr. Gates it'll never be able to be a 100% 'nix laptop.
Help me Obi won Kenobi's you're my only hope.
edit: also tried Ubuntu but it wouldn't recognize my NIC even though the live version (Gnoppix) did but Gnoppix isn't installable so...