Friday, March 15, 2013

Newegg, I'm done.

Twice in two weeks you dropped the price on the big ticket item I just bought.  Last week, it was a laptop I bought for 749, that dropped to 659 the day it shipped. Today, I was bragging to a buddy how I got a good deal on a 23" monitor for 169, and you drop it to 149.00.  I get it, your'e trying to treat your products like commodities  which is dumb to begin with, but then you have no price guarantee.  You'd quit pissing people like me off if within 48 hours, you give a refund if your product goes on sale.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sigh - PC hardware Manufacturers and Linux


Dear Nik,
Thanks for your reply fast.
We don’t provide the command protocol to individual user because of company’s policy.
Hope you can understanding.
BRs,
Draco

From: Nik Martin [mailto:xxx@yyyy]
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 10:13 PM
To: draco_wu
Cc: 
陳怡穎 Ivy; Darren Chen(陳德榮)
Subject: Re: Linux driver support.

Draco,

Thank you for your response.  Do you have any technical documentation regarding the command protocol of your touchpads so that a Linux kernel developer may write a driver without having to reverse-engineer the protocols?

Regards,

Nik


On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 7:33 AM, draco_wu wrote:
Dear Nik,
We are sorry for that we don’t provide Linux driver for the touchpad product.
BRs,
Draco Wu / EMC

From: 陳怡穎 Ivy [mailto:xxx@emc.com.tw]
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 2:58 PM
To: 
吳登炎資深經理
Cc: 
鍾炳榮處長 ; 翁清雄資深經理
Subject: FW: Linux driver support.

F.Y.I.  

From: Nik Martin [mailto:xxx@yyyy]
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 2:15 PM
To: xxx@emc.com.tw; xxx@emc.com.tw
Subject: Linux driver support.


Hello,

Your touch pads have no support in Linux. Would you please consider releasing drivers for your touch pads for Linux? Your latest multi touch devices almost don't work at all in Linux.

Regards,
Nik Martin

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My new Mockbook Air

I got a new Ultrabook from Newegg the other day, and I am impressed.  Avatar is a total unknown Chinese laptop and tablet maker, and they sell exclusively on Newegg.  This thing is NICE!  Very good quality, all metal body, nice sharp edges, just like a Macbook Air, hence my nickname of "Mockbook".  It has very good specs, including:


  • Intel Core i5 3317U(1.70GHz)
  • 8GB Memory 500GB HDD + 32GB SSD HDD (Sweet!)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 1366 x 768 display
  • Windows 8 64-bit (Ok, that one's not so great)

So, I immediately did a smoke test, then burned a Mint DVD and installed it.  Everything works fine, except the touchpad.  It's a never-seen-in-the-wild Elan touchpad with all kinds of swipey gestures and multi-touch features for Windows 8.  Don't worry, I've already filed a bug report against the Linux kernel.

Also, Mint just felt too "heavy", and if there's anything I hate, it's a computer that feels bloated or mis-configured.  So, I downloaded Debian Wheezy on my trusty 10 year old 1 GB USB Key and loaded up.  Much better!   Wheezy+Gnome is so clean and easy to use, it's the desktop OS I've looked for for years.

I still needed to tweak the kernel for the hardware and for laptop/battery use, so I fetched the latest stable kernel, which as of this post, is 3.8.2. I hacked on the config for two days, and can safely say I have a very nicely optimized kernel for this laptop now.  I've linked it to this post if you decide to build a kernel for this Ultrabook.

Newegg's Real Time pricing can be a bit annoying.  I had it in my cart at $659, woke up the next morning to order it, and it had jumped to $729! I ordered anyway, and when I shipped, I logged in to track it and it had dropped back to $659!  That kind of ticked me off, so I went to Newegg Customer Service, and CSR Heidy had empathy for my plight and gave me a $25 credit to soften the blow a bit Newegg's still on top!