Dell XPS M1530 and Ubuntu: first impressions

2008-03-29 / jpoesen

The new Dell XPS laptop for the lady of the house arrived a few days ago. It was high time we got her a replacement for the old one: missing keys, fan roaring continuously, bad contact in the power socket, dead battery, dead pixels and buggy pcmcia wifi card. To name but a few slight discomforts.

First impression: very slick, light machine. Reasonably well designed and minimalistic, though not even by far a competitor to the macbook and macbook pro lines.

Too bad the nice experience was immediately ruined by the ginormous load of crap that is Vista. Unreal how many warning pop-ups and information balloons and plopping sounds you must endure before you can actually manage to load google.com.

Anyhow, it took me all of 45 minutes to download a Ubuntu ISO, prepare a usb stick to install it from and blast Vista back to one of the deeper circles of Hell. I don’t hate Windows, mind you. I’ve worked with XP for years and if you’re careful what you install and set its appearance to the Windows 2000, it’s a pretty solid platform to work on. Of course it’s no match for a penguin machine, but still.

So Ubuntu installed from the usb stick in a snap. Everything seems to work out of the box, except for the WIFI card. However, all I needed to do was apt-get update and apt-get upgrade and all was well. Praise the FSM.

More to come later, I’m sure.