[PD] Computing advice for Pd outreach project

Nicolas Lhommet nlhommet at gmail.com
Fri Jul 17 02:12:36 CEST 2015

2015-07-16 8:42 GMT+02:00 Kerry Hagan <klhagan at gmail.com>:

> ...I'm looking for the lowest-range laptop running a flavour of Linux to
> install Pd Vanilla....
> ...The more laptops I can afford (...) the better.

Hi Kerry. It seems like you need the most affordable "just enough for Pd"
Linux-friendly laptop; that you can purchase right away in "volume";
because i guess you would prefer to avoid the second hand market to save
you the burden of disparate equipment out of warranty.

Do they have to be laptops ? Because if they mostly remain fixed on a table
(with external speakers?) and connected to an outlet, a Raspberry Pi would
be just fine with a cheap usb audio interface, and it's easier to look for
a serie of refurbished LCD screens previously owned by some company.

There are tons a sub-300€ laptops these days, but most of them come with an
Intel Bay Trail chipset, Linux support is still experimental but much
better with latest kernel, and finallly efforts have led to a better
handling of those "tablet-like" hardware implementations....

The best candidates in this category could probably be the ACER Aspire ES1
/ E3 / E11  (and V3 too) line. They are just variants of the same hardware
(available in a number memory, storage and touchscreen options, and
different sizes) and some models sold in emergent countries come with
Linpus Linux installed. Most issues have now been adressed (Arch Linux wiki
provides all the techical details) and many report show that recent
versions of the main distributions work about flawlessly on models equiped
with mechanical drive, once EFI boot has been well tuned in bios. This blog
sums it up pretty well :

However, entry-level versions are equiped with eMMC flash storage (instead
of  HDD; and internal SATA connector is removed) which was not correctly
supported until a recent fix, so they should be safely avoid (but could
worth a try with newer releases, like recent arch isos).

Sure, these are low-cost laptops with limited cpu, battery life and quality
(some touchpad instability may occur), but there are still many units on
the market in Europe and you could find some deals around 250€ for 11.6
inch versions (have a look at "laptopsdirect.ie" website).
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