Computer Specifications

Eleni Vamvakari

In another mesage, I mentioned that I was considering buying a
computer. A few months ago, I wrote specifications for both a desktop
and a laptop, because I wanted to know how much it would cost to have
each custom-made. While I am still curious, I now wonder if similar
machines already exist. If so, and if anyone here has one, I am
willing to discuss a price, provided that it's reasonable. This post
will be long, so please feel free to cut it in your response. I will
include some general notes at the end for clarity. In the meantime,
does anyone know if Windows XP or Linux can successfully be installed
on a Fujitsu Lifebook UH900 or an Acer Aspire One D270? What would be
the average cost to just switch the Japanese keyboard in the Lifebook
with a U.S. one that I already own?

Thank you,


Desktop Specifications

Form Factor:
mini tower (preferred) or slim line

Case Material:

Hard Drive:
traditional or solid state (depending on cost )may be fixed or swappable

Hard drive Capacity:
60GB to 160GB


dual core Duo (minimum)

Processor Speed:
2-ghz (minimum, higher preferred)

1 LS240 3.5 in. IBM Superdisk
1 5.25 in. high density floppy
1 cd/dvrw
slot (able to read compact flash cards)

1 RS-232 9-pin male serial port
1 bidirectional female parallel port (2 if possible)
1 ps/2 port (for keyboard)
1 ps/2 port for mouse
1 VGA port for monitor
1 modem jack with internal 56k modem
1 Ethernet jack
wireless a/b/g/n
1 line-in jack
1 3.5mm microphone jack
1 3.5mm headphone/speaker jack
2 usb 2.0 (or 3.0 if backwards-compatible) ports (preferably 4)

IBM Model M (already owned) or more modern Windows keyboard (already owned)

regular (not flat or excessively large)

internal PC speaker
external speakers (already owned)

Operating System:
Windows XP 32-Bit SP3 with updates (main drive)
Linux (possibly, main drive)
DOS (possibly, separate drive)
Windows 7 (possibly, separate drive, perhaps on same as 7)

on disks or as separate partition in drive


Laptop Specifications

Form Factor:

Screen Size:
5 in. to 8.9 in. (10.1 if necessary, but no larger, see Lifebook UH900
for UMPC form factor)

regular, not touchscreen

3.5 lbs. maximum (with battery, lighter preferred)

Hard Drive:
traditional or solid state (depending on cost)

Hard Drive Capacity:
60 to 160GB

2GB (minimum) 4GB (preferred)

dual core (minimum)

Processor Speed:
1.6ghz minimum (2ghz or higher if possible)

as cool as possible, without sacrificing important features

Battery type:
lithium ion, or anything that lacks memory issues and lasts long

Battery Life:
5+ hours (minimum)

US. must have page up-down, home, end, and delete (either separately
or via function key), two alts, Windows, and Applications keys

1 pcmcia or compact flash card slot
1 SD card reader

2 usb 2.0 (or 3.0 if backwards-compatible) ports (minimum)
wireless b/g/n, and (on-off switch
1 microphone jack
1 headphone jack

built-in speaker (can be mono or stereo)
built-in microphone (high quality)

if included, should either have easy-to-feel/cover lens (Aspire One
D270 good example, UH900 bad) or sliding cover,)

Operating System:
Windows XP 32-Bit SP3 with updates
Linux (possibly)

on disks or as separate partition in drive


General Notes

If you are selling me your computer and not building one, feel free to
ignore the sections about partitioning drives, installing an operating
system, and XP compatibility unrelated to drivers. While I don't mind
a hard drive with more than 160GB, I really don't need it, and 120GB
should be sufficient for my needs. Likewise, I don't need more than
4GB of ram. I also don't technically require the 5.25 Superdisk drive,
the 56K modem, the line-in jack, or Wireless A (B/G/N are all
required) in the desktop, but I included everything for the sake of
completeness. When referring to a swappable hard drive, I mean one
with a handle that can easily be removed and replaced by the user, and
whose bay can be used for another drive or device. While I already
own a keyboard and speakers, I will accept them if they come with the
unit. As far as the laptop/umpc, my goal is to get something as small
and light as possible, with good battery life. In the UMPC size, the
media section can be ignored, and I am aware that certain processors
cannot be used. I am including them for a slightly larger model.
Regardless of the computer I choose, I will be using Windows XP as the
main operating system, so please ensure that the motherboard,
processor, peripherals, and drivers are compatible. If a main drive
under 160GB cannot be found, I would be interested in partitioning the
drive and installing Linux (Vinux, Sonar Mate, or Ubuntu Mate). I
have had very little experience with this operating system, but know
that Orca (the built-in screen reader) will not start automatically in
Ubuntu Mate 32-Bit. I have not tried it on 64-Bit. On at least one
computer, the volume of speech on Sonar was extremely quiet. Vinux
starts without difficulties in Gnome, Mate, and Unity. ====== If
using a swappable drive, I may install MSDOS or Enhanced DR-DOS on a
separate one to try them out, and while I don't love Windows 7, I may
install it as well, in case I really need it. In all cases,
regardless of the machine, please set the boot sequence in the bios as
follows: usb, SD (wear applicable), cd (unless external cd rom drives
count as usb), , hard drive.

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