So, as frequent readers of my blog know I’ve recently purchased a laptop. Actually, I’ve recently purchased two. I originally purchased an HP dv6000z, but returned it because of some problems. I then purchased a Dell Inspiron 6400. I’ve been very pleased with the Dell. I have a two-year on-site warranty, which gives me some additional confidence. Beyond that, all the hardware “just works” under Ubuntu. I have the system set up to dual boot, Windows XP has a 40 gig partition, and Ubuntu has the rest of the 160GB hard drive. I’ve been having a great time with it, and I literally only boot into Windows to play games.
So, what do I still need to do on my laptop? Not too much actually. Everything I need for a functioning laptop I have. I even have basic Hebrew support. I can switch the keyboard and be typing in Hebrew. I actually have SBL Hebrew working now, so I can just type in that. This is a huge improvement over the default Hebrew unicode font.
The big issue is a Bible program. I own Libronix, but it only runs on Windows and I’ve had no luck running it under Wine. I can always boot into my Windows install to run it, but I’d rather be able to use it natively in Linux. There is no good Bible software for Linux. Gnomesword is cool, and a worthy replacement if you’re using something like eSword on Windows. But it doesn’t cut it for language study. I’ve looked at Accordance, because I’ve heard that it runs well under a Mac emulator for Linux, specifically BasiliskII. Of course, emulation is sort of a pain – and I’d want to try to use a demo before I spent the money on purchasing the whole thing. It is an option though. Of course, Libronix is supposed to be releasing a Mac version this year or next (per an email from one of their sales reps). Even so, a Linux version doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.
I guess another option would be to install Windows on a virtual machine and then use Libronix within that machine. I don’t know how well this would work, but it is potentially easier and cheaper than trying to emulate a Mac and buy Accordance. I obviously need to think through this a little more. If I can copy and paste out of the VM back into a document on Linux then I might be sold.
Aside from the Bible software related issues, Linux is my dream come true. No viruses, no malware, easy updates, hardware “just works.” I’m very impressed with Ubuntu 7.04. I’m having a blast. The computer runs at acceptable temperatures, unlike my HP dv6000z. So, I’m really pleased (/me knocks on wood) with my Dell, and I’d recommend them to others who are planning on running Linux. In fact, you can now purchase Dells with Ubuntu preinstalled.