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Would anyone like to see a guide on setting up a Linux laptop?

This is an interest check post. I am planning on fully retiring my E7440 from main production as soon as I can get the programs I use matched between the replacement machine due due to a multitude of issues:

  • The rubber trim is beginning to fail - this is cosmetic, but I’ve already had to Super Glue it twice - no, this isn’t E7X40 specific either.
  • 64% health OEM battery - clones barely work right on the E series Dells, and I already had a bad experience with copies once. Not an issue on the D Series, but those are not in production due to HW age - my D630 included.
  • Cost of upgrading the SSD is $55 on a machine worth $120-150 in Covid Zoom school money; I expect it to sink back to $100-125-30 once the vaccines become common, schools reopen and masks go away. My 256GB SSD (240GB raw capacity) is almost full :(. It’s beat up as-is, so I’d probably not even see the money some of these sellers are with the same CPU even now!
  • TPM 1.2 - no Win11 here. CPU kills me too.
  • HSW CPU - it’s over past 10 due to the security requirements Microsoft set for 11 and TPM 1.2 limit I can’t fix due to a lack of upgradeable FW like the HP laptops. No, Dell didn’t offer 2.0 firmware for the Lat 7480 either AFAIK - had to order with 7th gen, or if you got a 6th gen it’s 1.2 spec.

As much as I tried to push it (in addition to the SSD upgrade cost, plus a new battery), I don’t think it’ll make it to the end goal of 2025 unless I sink a ton of money into a aged platform and plan on finding a 3rd party battery that isn’t junk, or a genuinely new discount OEM Dell pack which didn’t have a cycle and wear reset. Yes, the E7440 is tired especially considering 6/7th gen is becoming accessible (with the caveat you need to check the TPM 1.2/2.0 status, in case we can risk it on anything pre 8th gen with TPM 2.0), and 8th gen being viable for anyone with the right budget along with 9th, 10th and 11th and I AM AWARE I can do better, but I originally gave up on the concept as I didn’t have a machine I can set aside for the project - I now do even though it’s older.

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It is sad to retire an E7440 a laptop that got better ratings in notebookcheck.net but Yes, please make some techniques for the not-so-things-that-everyone-setting-linux things an major guides for mainstream things. I am planning on setting up one in ‘22.

Yeah.

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The time to transition will take a little bit as I need to split time between reconfiguring things like browsers, setting up my programs and getting everything split properly (I went NVMe boot+ SATA storage around, not SATA/dead end mSATA port). Don't expect an overnight switch. I'm not too worried, since anything pre-Skylake is probably soon to be offloaded on eBay/Craigslist/Mercari by its original owner to replace it.

Right now, I'm focusing on HW Microsoft left behind with no reasonable chance like HSW/TPM 1.2 era. Once we know anything without 8th gen (even TPM 2.0) is out, I'll focus on those - even if it's an "at your risk" upgrade to please people as some people won't take the chance.

Don't take it personally - look at what I'm up against to keep a E7440 alive. Also, blame Microsoft for the spec bump nonsense.

UPDATE: Yep, we're boned on anything without 2.0 :/. Add it to the list.

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@nick

look at what I'm up against to keep a E7440 alive

If I understood you correctly, you are saying that I am saying to trow the E7440 and get a new laptop, Right?

no it isn't.

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@nick yeah Microsoft always get some "This is the cloud, protected for you" OS version with a behemoth of Dev summits and announce it thru alongside with some $@$*!& dummy-gadgets and create a sitty version, nowdays.

The result of this is software creators aim for that $@$*!& OS and remove support for earlier versions; which will make us throw that old laptop that won't handle the new Win 10/11 work even if on God-order but definitely can do something else.

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@thesimpleguy The issue is ongoing cost vs. residual value here - not my tolerance window for risk. Yes, I can keep going and feed it batteries and SSDs as needed but at what point do you call it a economic loss?

If it wasn't for how beaten up HSW will be by these new security features, I'd throw !&&* at it and transition to a newer machine for reliable production use. I'm willing to roll the dice on 6/7th gen Intel and equivalent AMD since the only thing that's different with 8th is really the under the hood security improvements (oh no so scary that you have to take anything pre 8th off the table *officially*...), but HSW/Broadwell will not fare well. 8th gen ULV has 2 extra physical cores as well so you have 15W 4C/8T chips vs 2C/4T, but why stop people from running 6/7th gen officially? If you have an NVMe SSD/6th or 7th gen Intel CPU you will never notice in most applications if it has pain points.

My 840 G3 has pain points as-is on Win10, especially under a hard load. Oh no it's so scary I let the laptop catch up lol. It will be no different.

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@nick Ok. make the guide.... cheers for all the work!!!

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