Anything goes - my son wants to build a laptop

ryancw - 20.10.2008, 01:48 Uhr
Titel: my son wants to build a laptop
My son will be going off to college soon, and of course he will want/need a computer. He wants to run Linux on it, and I presume it will be Kanotix, because that's what we run at home.

He wants to build his own from a "barebones" laptop kit, and components. He knows a bit about computers. He is good with his hands and with machines and electronics. He's dissected some of our old computers, but he's never built one computer before.

Is this a viable plan? Do people build from these barebones kits and end up with functional, durable computers? What are the hardware issues, vis-a-vis drivers?

pi - 23.10.2008, 07:16 Uhr
Well, it depends.

The advantages of assembling his own device are:
* he can select part that are known to work well under Linux,
* he can select exactly the parts he needs (i.e no FireWire when there is no need for, harddisk big enough but not too expensive etc.)
* he can learn a lot.

But the disadvantages are:
* pieces are MUCH smaller than those of a regular PC, so he needs different tools (screwdrivers, ...) for assembly and very calm hands,
* a self-taylored computer is usually more expensive than a standard device, especially is something gets screwed up during assembly,
* and usually there is no warranty.

I built several PCs (>50) for myself and my family, but never a laptop.
And I don't think I wil do that any more since our local stores assemble them for me for a small fee (~15$).

Best regards,
Daniele - 07.12.2008, 04:51 Uhr
Here in Italy is taken for granted that you'll (have) build a desktop but you'll buy a laptop built by some well known company (Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony...)
Prices vary, but nowadays you can have very good value for money when you buy a laptop.
For Linux compatibility check in advance.
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