Am I missing something? Are (some of) the Fujitsu Lifebooks and IBM Thinkpads the only (relatively recent) machines that have something other than a trackpad for a pointing device? You might think this is extreme, but I won't buy any machine where I have to use the trackpad. I can't work those things. I rarely use the pointer anyway, but when I do, I want to be able to use my finger and not my telepathic energy to move it, and I don't want the fact that I just ate a potato chip or just finished a heated argument with Verizon customer support or just experienced a slight shift in the planetary magnetic field to mean that I can no longer operate my computer. And I don't want to have to elbow the person next to me on the train to move my hand down to attempt to use it. Also, my pointing device should never click itself. Ever. Even if I twitch. Ever. At best, these things are wasted real estate, but I think more likely they are the work of the devil.
Yes, I'm crotchety.
I'm thinking a Lifebook at the moment, because my primary criteria are battery life and portability (light and small). I suppose price is an issue too, but since I can't afford anything, that leaves about everything as an option. Processor power is a nonissue, my hard drive and RAM needs are modest (anything over 10GB / 256MB --- maybe even 128MB --- will do just fine). Quiet is important. In fact, the noise of my current laptop is driving me absolutely apeshit, and that's part of my motive here. Onboard wireless would be a big plus, but isn't a necessity, as I have card already. I'm currently working with a P150/192MB RAM/1.5GB HD (desktop) and a P3/700/128MB RAM/10GB HD (laptop), so you can see I don't need much. The plan is to retire the desktop and run the old laptop as my server.
Looks like it'll be either a Lifebook P-1110ish or a P-2120ish. Do I need a CD/DVD drive? That's the question. I'm leaning toward yes, which would rule out the 1110. I probably do need the CD-RW, since retiring the desktop will mean not having one of those available otherwise. Plus, I still have a lot of music on CD, and ripping to the hard drive over the network, or transferring to a USB drive, are steps I don't need in my life. I suppose the external drive is an option though...
Or, there's always this one, on sale on Craig's List for $160. ROM programs written by Gates himself.
The other question is whether I can live with the Lifebook keyboards. Problem with that is, at least via the web, I haven't been able to find any stores around here that sell Fujitsu. That's kind of issue because I'm pretty judgmental about keyboards and probably ought to try before buying.
I wrote this mainly to hash out what I need/want, but if you have any opinions (including experiences running Debian on a Lifebook), speak up.
I sure would like to buy a computer with no OS, but that doesn't seem very possible for what I want. Other than getting it used, which I probably will do.