wiki access

oldcpu oldcpu at
Sun Feb 8 02:04:34 CST 2009

I have had a different experience with Dell computers, in that I am

I first purchased a Dell Inspiron 2100 for my mother in December 2001. 
The computer originally came with a 40GB hard drive, 256MB of RAM, and
winME as the operating system.  A year later my brother purchased WinXP
which I installed for him in a dual boot with winME, and then later
installed openSUSE-10.2 in a triboot with winME, winXP, and
openSUSE-10.2.  I have also upgraded the RAM to 512MB (which was
relatively easy due to the well designed PC construction by Dell) and
replaced the 40 GB hard drive with a 160 GB hard drive (cloning the 40GB
to the 160GB with linux program "dd" and then exanding selected
partitions with gParted and openSUSE-11.1, which is now installed in
place of openSUSE-10.2).  That PC is reliable, it still works great, and
it still looks like new.

Recently in Nov 2008 I purchased a Dell Studio 15 laptop with winVista
with a 250 GB hard drive.  I reduced the winVista partition in size to
70GB with gParted live CD, installed openSUSE-11.1 on the laptop, and
openSUSE-11.1 works well.  There are a few minor hiccups with
openSUSE-11.1 (hdmi audio does not function, internal mics do not
function, external VGA mode (for use with projectors) is random and
needs some work), but overall, the laptop runs well.  I've read of many
other manufactuer's laptops having significantly worse problems than
these minor hiccups with this Dell Studio 15.

Getting the headset functionality to function properly on the Dell
Studio 15 did require the direct help from a Linux alsa developer, as
the headset mute  functionality under Linux either (1) also did not work
under Ubuntu, or (2) if it did work under Ubuntu, then the Ubuntu
developers had not migrated their updates/fixes upstream to alsa (ie did
not share their solution).  Still for openSUSE, the alsa dev did produce
a fix in the end, he also migrated the fix he came up with upstream to
alsa (sharing his solution), and the headset and speaker functionality
now works fine.

I think it is far to say that my experience with Dell PCs under Linux is
completely different from those who have had problems.  Overall I am
happy with my Dell experience.

Eric Shattow wrote:
> I would add that I'm not particularly satisfied (nor displeased) with
> the support of Ubuntu on Dell laptop hardware. My future decisions to
> buy (or not to buy) Dell computers will not weigh heavily on the "no
> holds barred" support for Linux community concepts:
> - Community-maintained wikis
> - Task/ticket tracker
> - Dell support being aware that the laptop I purchased is a real
> product and not me trying to waste everyone's time
> In fact, I would like to make it known that the Dell product I
> purchased has been a great learning tool. I have learned that
> relatively inexpensive Dell laptop computers are something I will
> avoid in the future.
> Recently I have installed my copy of Microsoft Windows XP on the 1420n
> laptop, and found that my experience was even worse than that of the
> Ubuntu installation. What are all these god damned drivers I have to
> install? The Dell support website lists no less than 10 different
> files that I am required to retrieve, unpack, install, and install
> again. I had to reboot after each additional support file completed
> installation. That's a nightmare for the user.
> If Dell company can get at least one side (Windows or Ubuntu) working,
> maybe they can attract me to buy another product in the future. I
> think the Windows experience is completely hosed and requires a lot of
> man power to fix. The Ubuntu side bears hope: Users are more than
> willing to provide code, help, and documentation for a better experience.
> Plus "one" for Tom's suggestion - Get somebody on task, maybe once
> every month or so, to update the Wiki with community input from the
> mailing list.
> On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 8:23 AM, David Fraser <davidf at
> <mailto:davidf at>> wrote:
>     ----- "Tom Chiverton" <tom.chiverton at
>     <mailto:tom.chiverton at>> wrote:
>     > 2009/2/6 David Fraser <davidf at
>     <mailto:davidf at>>:
>     > > So is it time to set up an unofficial wiki that at least
>     > we-on-the-mailing-list-who-want-to-collaborate can
>     >
>     > I think Dell should step up and either explain why we can't edit it,
>     > or give at least someone outside their team access because they're
>     > obviously too busy.
>     Agreed.
>     **Attention Dell**
>     Dell, I am an enthusiast of running Linux on your products, as are
>     many others on these lists.
>     I would like to know whether the lack of edit access is due to:
>     * Lack of sysadmin resources to enable such access (as implied by
>     * Unresolved issues around policy of access
>     * Lack of resources to deal with spamming of a wiki
>     * Something else
>     When I encounter or solve issues I would like to use some of my
>     time to keep information on the wiki up to date, to benefit your
>     other customers. I understand that there are things called wikis
>     under, but they're nothing
>     like MediaWiki and don't provide the same facility.
>     Would you prefer us to use our constructive energy to:
>     * Debate the lack of access on the lists, and try and persuade you
>     to give us access
>     * Temporarily set up our own wiki, whose contents can be
>     contributed back to the main wiki when access is available
>     In addition, if the community set up a wiki, it would be useful to
>     incorporate contents from the
>     <> wiki. However the site doesn't seem to
>     specify a license for the contents...
>     I would prefer not to set up such a wiki, and simply edit the Dell
>     wiki. If you have plans to allow such access (even if limited to
>     regular contributors to the mailing list) your customers would
>     appreciate it and it would help to support them.
>     I can understand that requests like this can seem an additional
>     burden; please understand that I am wanting to help.
>     Regards
>     David
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