Hardware: Setting Up A New Laptop

My autistic adult son finally killed his 5 years old Dell laptop, so for Christmas, it’s time to get him a new one. His old machine was Windows 7, and because of the WiFi port not being compatible with Linux I’d left Win7 on the machine. The new machine however, does not have that problem.

The laptop we chose is the Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK which was at the time of purchase, only $219 for a dual core Intel Celeron processor.

 Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK

Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK

The Amazon reviews of the unit clearly show a lack of power to run the included Windows 8.1 software, but since Linux is our OS of choice, I went ahead and got the unit, planning on installing Mint 17 MATE on the unit.

Installation was a breeze! At first boot-up, you want to hit F-12 to bring up the boot menu. From the boot menu, select the option to enable Legacy booting.

After that’s done, (and it will complain!) then insert your thumb drive witha Mint 17 disk image and reboot again, once again pressing F-12 to access the boot menu. Once there, tell the machine to boot to the thumb drive.

Once booted into Linux, setup your WiFi network and then select the Install Linux Mint shortcut on the desktop.

The install took only about 10 minutes, then another 30 to do the software updates and install my son’s favorite programs that he uses on his Mint desktop computer.

Of course I setup Caja with shortcuts to his desktop home folder so he can share files back and forth.

The Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK is screaming fast with Mint installed, and I’m sure it will give him another 5 years of dependable service.

So don’t overlook the lower end laptops by Dell or other companies. With Linux, they will be first class machines!