My Dev Setup

December 08, 2014

My work setup right now is a Thinkpad W530 running Debian Wheezy. I’ve been pretty happy with it. I’m using chroots with Debian Unstable and the latest Ubuntu to install any newer userspace programs I need. I’m using VirtualBox to run Windows 7 and Microsoft Office(under duress).

Thinkpad running Debian Wheezy

The machine is pretty reliable. My current uptime is 47 days.

tubaman@cuisine:~$ uptime
13:35:32 up 47 days, 2:44, 9 users, load average: 0.57, 0.72, 0.63

I have had a few issues though.

Hardware Issues

Overall the W530 is a good machine. However, the ribbon cable that connects the web cam keeps coming loose. That means that the web cam just stops working. I guess the repeated opening and closing of the laptop causes the cable to work free. To fix it I had our resident hardware hacker crack it open and hot glue the cable into place. Disappointing but nonetheless fixable.

The other issue I have with the hardware is that the plastic case has developed a crack in the corner. I had a similar problem with my old Thinkpad T40p. This is where I get a little jealous of my Mac friends with their all-aluminum case.

Software Issues

The W530 comes with an on-board Intel graphics chip plus a discrete NVidia graphics card. The NVidia guys call this Optimus. It allows you to run on the lower-power on-board graphics until you’re playing a game or something. That’s when it switches on the discrete graphics. The drivers for Linux are not quite as seamless as the Windows drivers yet. However the Bumblebee Project has a tool called bbswitch that works pretty well. I use that to enable the external monitor. Oh yeah, did I mention that the external monitor port is connected to the discrete graphics chip?