Update: Brain Stops Play

Hey folks, sorry it’s been a while I’ve been really busy and also not very well lately. I’ll spare you the details. Anyway, I’m running Wolvix 1.1.0 at the moment and I intend to write up review over the weekend or maybe early next week, apologies for the delay.

I’ve finally got some news regarding my new Dell XPS M1330 laptop. I received my machine last Friday but I was away and only had a chance to look at it on Tuesday. It came with Ubuntu 7.10 installed which was great and I’ve since seen that you can now order these machines with Ubuntu from the Dell website in Europe. It’s a great breakthrough I think, they look great and they’re ultra portable but still powerful enough for almost any task. I really think it could really be a MacBook killer πŸ™‚

Having said that I decided that I’d ordered the wrong spec for mine and I’ve sent it back while I wait for another new(new) one. I’m an idiot I know, I decided to save some money by using the regular screen instead of the WLED one and I also left the Nvidia graphics card out in favour of the on board Intel, which I realised was a mistake. My reasoning was that I wanted to use open source drivers if possible and I thought the Intel card had open source 3D drivers, I only really want to use Compiz as I’m not a gamer but it seems the new X3100 chip set has been blacklisted in Gutsy for some reason. Apparently it worked up until the 5th beta release and then it was removed, I’m not sure why. It would only work with the VESA driver and getting the right resolution was a pain as well. I found a work around in the Ubuntu forums but it seems this disables video playback, not very helpful.

So I decided to stump up the extra Β£100 as it will be better in the long run. I also upgraded the screen for the thinner White LED one. I’m not sure how long the new machine will take to arrive but the old one was collected today and Dell were very helpful I must say. I’ve heard nightmare stories about their customer service but I can’t fault them on this experience. Let’s hope there will be a lot more m1330’s loaded with Ubuntu around now that Dell have made this move. I would certainly recommend them to anyone, just don’t be an idiot like me and go for the highest spec, if not you’ll always regret it. I’ll give a full review when I get the new machine and let you all know how it works out.


I’ll see you soon for another review, health permitting, thanks for your patience everyone πŸ™‚



  1. Hi Dan. I subscribed your blog’s RSS Feeds since I found your reviews on several Linux distributions.

    I think that you made a good investment to re-upgrade your Dell XPS M1330 back with WLED display and NVidia video chipset.

    I hope that you can post your review on your Dell XPS m1330 and its bundled Dell’s customized Ubuntu (any difference with Ubuntu) soon.

  2. this is a joke, i just compared to exact same xps 1330, the price is exacly the same, who gets the vistas money? does canonical get the ammount MS get? maybe Dell are riding on the backs of open souce saving all this income to themself?

    i mean whats the point of buying a notebook without a microsoft license if you dont save money? i hate MS but what if i want to play games (we assume that i wont pirate my software :P)

    i would rather by whatever laptop i want and return the MS fee, its harder but its worth it.

    gommon exact same F price!! check it for yourself..

  3. @walter – Thanks for subscribing, I’ll give a full review of the Ubuntu set up when I get it.

    @leon – I haven’t had a chance to look at the prices yet but I suspect you’re right. The Windows machines are subsidised by MS, I don’t know if Canonical get any money from Dell but I reckon they must. I suspect Dell are pocketing some extra revenue here but it’s all speculation. My reason for buying this machine is that I absolutely don’t want Windows and I want to show that there is a market for Linux desktops. I hope they don’t pay anything from these machines to Microsoft and I can’t see why they would but only Dell knows that. For me it’s worth it just to try and support Ubuntu and Linux.

    I understand that’s not for everyone though, it’s a personal choice and I don’t know how much of a favour Dell is doing for us. We have to spread the word about Linux though and having a large manufacturer expanding their range has to be good I think.

  4. you see the point is that i would probably but their laptop as well, if ill need MS i will probably use a pirated version, and most likely i wont use MS on a laptop, i have it as s a secondary os on my main comp anyway.

    the thing is that is doesnt worth it, you get absolutly nothing for the laptop when you buy it with ubuntu.

    its the same price, and you could install ubuntu on a vista machine anyway.

    vista license is a costy thing, so the laptop is a ripoff, you get nothing for the same price you would get vista.

    now we both agree that vista is shit, but its a piece of crap thats worth a lot of money.

    and people that dont pirate would rather buy a vista laptop and put linux next to it or something, rather than get nothing.

  5. Yeah you’re right and I agree but you seem to miss the point of why I am doing this. I do not want Vista and further more I want that to show in the sales figures. I’m prepared to pay the same price to make my point, I’m an extremist in this matter I know.

    I have never used Vista on any system, never even seen it and I don’t want to. I have a legal copy of Windows XP Pro in the cupboard that I could use if I wanted. I will not be pirating Vista. It is wrong that we are paying the same amount for a machine without Vista but I don’t know where that money goes and I have to believe that someone in Dell keeps track of how many sales they get of Ubuntu machines. If I bought a Vista machine and wiped it I would not show up on those figures.

    I’m trying to make a point here and I’m prepared to pay to do it. Most people are not and I completely understand that view. This is my personal position though and I have to try and make a stand. That’s all.

  6. yes and i agree and didnt miss your point, i would possibly do the same.

    and im as you do not need vista, xp is more than enough for my rare windows needs.

    the point is that i want to buy a linux machine on one hand but on the other i dont want my money to be going to the wrong pockets, i assume it is not MS, i would be surprised, but it is not to realistic to think this way.

    so either canonical gets too much money, and im not happy with that possibility, linux should always cost less cos its riding on the backs of developers wich did it for free, canonical didnt have to pay enourmous amounts of money to developers to get the linux kernel etc.. this means that if canonical makes money (wich is ok) it should make it from stuf they made, and they didnt do enough to charge the bloathed prises MS charges (not that ms prices are ok but thats another story)

    if dell gets the money, than for what exacly? for giving as free linux for the cost of vista??

    ohh thanks dell you installed ubuntu on my machine altough its a lot easier to do then install vista on it i think its ok that ill pay you as much as my friend pays for a vista laptop…

    so again on one hand i want as you to show on the statistics, on the other i dont want neither canonical nor dell to get so much more than they deserve.

  7. Yes that makes sense. I can only assume that Dell are charging for installing Ubuntu and/or splitting it with Canonical. I don’t know, I will be interested to find out though.

    I would like to think that Dell or Canonical would donate some of this money to free software projects and kernel development but I’m not that naive. Basically, buying an Ubuntu machine like this helps me to sleep at night knowing I did my best, that’s all it comes down to really. I don’t think Dell is doing us a major favour but I also don’t think ranting at them will help Linux adoption in the long run. It’s very early days.

    I just hope they do the right thing, fingers crossed

  8. Sorry to have read that you’re under the weather/not feeling well Dan. Trust me—having Systemic Lupus and being in the N-Stage of it I _Know_ how you feel a lot of days my friend! So I hope that you get well soon.

    Get all the proper rest that you need. Play around with your computer if it helps you relax (I do, and the grandkids). We can wait for the Wolvix review for when you’re feeling better mate!

    Many of us out here would rather see you WELL than making yourself more ill just for a review. Remember that.

    Take care Dan!



  9. Thank you so much, everyone has been very kind and I really appreciate it. I am doing a little better now and I’m planning to try and write the review 2moro, not sure when I’ll publish. It’s given me plenty of time to assess Wolvix though and that’s good.

    I’m sorry to hear of your health problems and I wish you many good days. I know a little of Rheumatic diseases and I really wish you all the best in the future.

    Writing can be therapeutic I find, it takes your mind off things. Playing with computers is also good as you said πŸ™‚

    I will have something for you all to read this week I’m sure. Thanks for your patience.


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