[linux-elitists] CFD and CAD and USB3 laptops...

Tony Godshall togo at of.net
Wed Sep 11 13:17:09 PDT 2013

I've been a reasonably happy Core2duo user for a while, a dell with
4GB RAM and a hybrid SSD/HD serving me pretty well.  1920x1200 display
was hard to give up.

Switched to a Chromebook Pixel for a bit but finally got fed up with
the keyboard and touchpad F'ing with my muscle memory, the signed-OS
and Dev-mode hassles (it just proved itself totally unreliable by
switching itself back out of dev-mode to
Google-signed-OS-required-mode - maybe someone turned it on and hit
the space bar, maybe something else, but

So now I have a computational fluid dynamics project to undertake
(openfoam, probably, based on the vespalabs motorbike tutorial,
combined with a longterm interest in evolved algorithms) .  I'll run a
little CAD to design the .STL files for this project, and also for the
ultimaker (3-D printer), probably pythonCAD since I'll probably be
doing some parameterized designs.

I do need to run Windows (VMs, not dual-boot) occasionally, and find
hassling through the which Intel cpus have virtualization a pain, so
have been sticking to AMD64 CPUs lately.  Have had occasional
videochip hassles with them and haven't needed high-performance video,
just high-rez.  At least in the AMD64 family, there aren't as many
models, and they always have virtualization, and when you solve the
video issue for one manufacturer, you generally solve it for all who
use the same CPU, since the videochip is integrated.

So, anyone have any suggestions for what laptop to buy next?  I'm
enjoying USB3 memory sticks (esp. the Sansa Extreme) so that's a
requirement, and I want to keep the price down to about $1K or less.
I'm going to keep my models small, so I don't imagine I need tens of
gigs of RAM.  Hard drive is not required- I've already got a perfectly
good 1TB SSD hybrid- so whatever is bundled is fine, or none at all.
Small screen is OK if it has DisplayPort or dual-DVI-D.  Large screen
with low resolution is not OK.  I generally run Debian but can
tolerate Ubuntu or other APT-based distros...  what do you guys think?

Best Regards.
This is unedited.

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