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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Good laptop for GR/USRP

From: Michael Dickens
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Good laptop for GR/USRP
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 20:39:10 -0400

Probably won't come as a surprise to those who know me, but we have used MacBook Pro's with good results. While I've never tried, in theory a MacBook (not Pro) could also suffice, since internally it's about the same as the Intel iMac, of which we also have a number running GNU Radio at full USB speeds.

Various benefits of either a MacBook or MB Pro (or iMac):

* You can run OSX, WIndows, Linux / *BSD, or combinations of these via Virtual Machine(s). My preference is OSX with a Linux (Ubuntu for now) VM. Very handy for checking correct functionality of my GR programming.

* Intel Core-2 Duo w/ good L1/L2/L3 cache. Get 2 GB of DRAM (as 2x 1 GB). Comes with a decent hard drive, but if speed is what you need then adding a FireWire 800 drive or array will get you plenty more than 32 MBps of sustained r/w throughput.

* "reasonable" cost given the expected life-span and versatility of the computer.

* Doubles (easily) as a desktop machine in power, portable for presentations and demos. This is especially true for the MacBook (not Pro), at a mere roughly 5 pounds.

If you can wait another month or so, you can probably get the next generation laptop, which will likely come with the "hybrid" hard drive which includes a large flash cache to speed things up much further. My US$0.02. - MLD

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