Well, looks like I won’t have to lug my heavy MacBook Pro 15″ to work anymore. I work with computers a lot, and it’s generally helpful to have a laptop with me on my commute in and out of work. It’s also nice to have a laptop at work in case I need to do some emergency work outside of the office. It’s also nice to be able to have a full size laptop at home to sit on the couch and catch up on tech news, newsgroups, mailing lists and chat with my friends who are scattered around the world.
I have two laptops, my old good friend the Sharp MM20 ultralight I bought new 3 years ago, and a nice MacBook Pro issued to me by work. Though I love the Sharp, it has a small screen and limited power for relaxing and playing on the net at home, hence I use the MacBook at home. I love the MacBook (Core Duo 2Ghz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD), but the thing weights a ton (though it’s not much heavier than the smaller 13″ MacBooks) and is not much fun to lug around in a bag on my commute in and out of work. Ok, you might say that I should just leave the MacBook at home, catch is I need some of the admin tools and gui provide by the MacBook to manage Apple specific resources at work. So for the past year I’ve lugged the MacBook into work every day. It’s nice having the power, but it’s just too heavy (why did Apple not develop a 12″ MacBook Pro? The 13″ is just not a replacement for that).
Well, things have changed. My work replacement cycle computer has arrived and I now have a Mac Pro desktop at work. A nice one at that: Two Dual Core 2Ghz Xeon Chips, 4GB of Ram, Two GeForce cards for dual 1600×1200 displays, and a 250GB HD). Coupled with VMWare Fusion and it’s a great workstation for my needs. I can easily manage Mac and Linux resources from one machine, do development work, testing work, and I’ve got my trusty command line when I need it.
So out of retirement comes my old Sharp MM20 laptop (1Ghz Transmetta Efficeon CPU, 512MB RAM, 20GB HD, Ati Radeon Graphics 16MB Ram, 10.4″ LCD). It’s not a screamer but it’s very light, think 1.9lbs! That’s with the normal battery! Barely even feel it in my bag. I decided it was time that I see what Fedora 7 had to offer. All my personal machines currently have Fedora Core 6 installed and since I was bringing this back to active service I wiped it and started fresh with Fedora 7. The install went smooth (I’ll do a write up later) and, with some minor tweaks, looks and runs well. Now this laptop doesn’t have incredible 3D acceleration ability, but I couldn’t help giving the “Enhanced Desktop” ie compiz a try. Wow, it’s perfect. That is what this little laptop need to make it more effective. Though it’s not perfectly smooth on transitions, I think it’s smoother than without compiz enabled. Also, the small screen isn’t as limited with access to the mac expose like affects. A quick mouse pointer to the upright corner brings a collage of all open windows, allowing easy and quick selection and navigation. With a refreshed standard battery, this should be a great travel companion as I commute or walk around work outside of office. Not to mention, even though it is three years old, people are amazed at how small, light, and slick looking the Sharp is. Too bad they don’t make them like they used to.