Buying from eBay
In researching Linux, I came across the suggestion somewhere (where exactly escapes me at the moment) that a cheap solution to exploring Linux OSes would be to buy a used PC on eBay and work with that. While looking at eBay, the idea struck me to do the same with a laptop (not extrordinarily out-of-the-box thinking, I know). I already have an old PC with which I have done this "experimenting", if you will. The possibility of having a laptop is one that is interesting to me. So the issue is not whether I can get an "experimental" laptop, but whether I could find a low-priced, used laptop online that I could reformat with Linux to serve as a general use laptop or even one on which I could do programming. If the answer is yes, an explanation of what exactly I am looking for concerning hardware would be helpful. If I am misplacing this thread in the wrong forum or have missed information already available, feel free to inform me. I would appreciate any comments or opinions from more experienced users. Thank you.
I've never owned a laptop and have never purchased a computer off of Ebay, but I'm sure there are some good deals to be found there. Of course, you are always taking a chance buying from individuals rather than commercial outlets.
If you should find a good deal and you do take the plunge, I'd be interested in hearing how it goes, because I might be interested in doing the same. You should be aware that some laptops are tempermental when it comes to installing Linux, but maybe someone that has experience with them can give more details.
Good luck with your venture, and be sure to let us know how it goes... :)
Easy trick would be go for something that is all Intel based - the graphics, the wifi etc. That way you may not have to configure anything at all.
Linus himself makes the same recommendation. There will be no proprietary software drivers required to get to work.
Saying that, im using a laptop that is mainly all intel based. Only fifference is that i now use a Belkin wireless stick because the intel wireless range isn't as good. The Intel Wireless drivers did seem to be installed and ready when i had Ubuntu working, but i never got it working. I tried everything. Eventually got drivers for my Belkin dongle, installed using nDiswrapper and never got connection then either.
Just thought i'd mention that. :S