Tag Archives: Dell

Minorities in cartoons: Lobo

LoboThis week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Lobo. No, not the more familiar DC Comics alien bounty hunter, but a Western hero published by Dell during the 1960s. Lobo’s significance is being comics’ first recurring African-American character to headline his own comic book series. While there are preceding comics starring Black characters, they tended to either be one-shot stories (such as “Negro Romance“) or about Black Africans. Lobo was created by Dell writer Don Arneson and artist Tony Tallarico.

“Series” might be a technicality, as only two issues of “Lobo” were published, one in December 1965 and the second in September 1966. The premise was that Lobo (a nickname given to him by his adversaries; his real name’s unknown) was a former Civil War Union soldier who’d moved out west to start a new life. Unfortunately, he was framed for a robbery/murder he didn’t commit, and found himself at odds with others, including law enforcement. Similar to the Lone Ranger, Lobo then decided to become a heroic gunslinger, righting various wrongs in the Old West. Lobo’s signature “calling card” was leaving a gold coin with an “L” stamped on it on the foreheads of those he’d defeated. Lobo had gained the gold via a prospector he’d rescued leaving Lobo his gold mine.

According to Toonopedia, the reason for the short run was that many newsstands of the time refused to carry a comic starring a non-stereotypical Black character, and thus many issues were returned to Dell unsold. Like most Western characters in comics, Lobo’s been in comic book limbo since his second and final issue. However, there’s still at least one happy outcome: his co-creator Tallarico was honored by the East Coast Black Age of Comics convention in 2006 for his work in creating Lobo.

 

Laptop Search 2012 continues (now with more Ivy Bridge!)

Picture of my HP laptopTo keep up the tech side of things on the blog, I thought I’d post my progress on looking for a newer laptop.

Now that Ivy Bridge-powered gear is finally being released, I’m ready to actually buy a replacement for this one (a three-year-old HP laptop that’s worked well, but I want something newer). So far, the main brands I’m considering are: Lenovo, particularly the IdeaPad line; HP; and Dell. The last one I’m more skittish about, given my negative experience with a refurbished Dell laptop several years ago (and Dell’s tech support).

The main models I’m considering, based on articles I’ve read on various tech sites (Engadget, etc.):

  • HP: HP plans to release in mid-June or so various Ivy Bridge updates across the line, plus redesigns to their existing models. Since the current HP laptop’s worked fine, HP’s in the running for consideration.
  • Lenovo: While initially announced last winter, the IdeaPad U310 (14″) and U410 (15″) ultrabooks were once more announced several days ago. The pictures and specs (and pricing) sound right, even if the screen’s 1366×768. While I know the resolution (despite being the only one offered for most non-high end laptops) is now considered low end, I’m not up in arms about it like others online. Lenovo’s website lists the models as “coming soon,” with no availability date yet.
  • Dell: Dell seems to be rolling out its Ivy Bridge updates across its laptop line. While I didn’t want to leave Dell out of the running this time around, I admit I’m favoring HP or Lenovo more. Also, I’m still haunted by the negative Dell experience from 2009. (Ironically, my Dell desktop from 2007 still works well, currently as my mother’s computer.)

As noted before, my main uses will be running Linux, writing, online stuff (including updating/maintaining this blog), and general multimedia, including ripping my own DVDs.

Which model will I (or should I) go with? If anyone has any input, feel free to let me know.

More new laptop stuff, plus Ubuntu 9.04 (AMD64)

Updating my previous post on my new laptop: after noticing the default Ubuntu 8.10 install didn’t recognize all 4GB of RAM, I decided to upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04′s 64-bit version (8.10 and 8.04 ‘s 64-bit versions failed to work properly when trying out the live CDs: they both hard-froze when I tried to play any videos). Since upgrading, everything worked smoothly (much morso than when I tried the 32-bit version of 9.04 on my old computers), though I did have to fix two issues: reinstalling Flash (which didn’t take much effort) and there being no audio (which was much more complicated to fix, requiring the command line; these instructions were how I fixed things, but this certainly isn’t keeping with Ubuntu’s goal of being user-friendly, as any casual computer user’s eyes would probably glaze over at the prospect of using the terminal).

With those major issues fixed, I’m now fully enjoying my new laptop. As for the old laptop, I finally sold it for parts earlier today for $50 (had tried selling it for $150, then $100). That’s probably last time I’ll ever buy refurbished electronics and/or anything from Dell…

New computer: an HP laptop

After looking for weeks at various models, I’ve finally bought a new computer, a 15.6″ Hewlett-Packard laptop (model dvp-1230us, bought on sale at Office Depot):

Amazon.com: HP Pavilion DV6-1230US 15.6-Inch Entertainment Laptop: Electronics

While it came with Vista, I wiped the default install and installed Ubuntu 8.10 over it. However, since it has 4GB of RAM, apparently I’ll have to install a 64-bit version of Ubuntu so I can make sure it’s reading/displaying it all. The only other issues so far I’ve run into:
- The laptop screen doesn’t brighten fully when opening the lid, thus my having to raise the brightness level manually.
- The speakers continue to play sound after plugging in headphones. Not good for playing media in public.

I assume both might just be issues with Ubuntu and/or something adjustable.

As for the old laptop, the refurbished Dell I bought last December, it’s proven to pretty much be a lemon. After it broke around the Fourth of July (it wouldn’t turn on, no matter what I did), and sending it back to Dell *twice* for repairs (the first time, they did nothing, claiming nothing was wrong; the second time, they replaced the motherboard) and dealing with their lackluster phone tech support, I decided to give up and just sell it on Craigslist as-is for cheap. I then decided to buy a new computer, one more powerful than the old laptop and the even older desktop, but one that wasn’t a Dell. I also decided this time around to buy it from a brick-and-mortar store, so I can see what I’m buying in person.

New acquisition: a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop computer

DELL Inspiron 1525

Photo from itBox24 (though originally from a Dell ad…).

As of several days ago, I became the proud owner of a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop computer, running with 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, a Pentium dual-core processor (at 1.86Ghz), and wifi. No webcam or built-in microphone, battery life so-so (2.5 hours on average, far as I can tell), a jet black case, and integrated graphics (not that I play games or anything).

Since my trip to Montreal, I’d been interested in finding some sort of portable computing device to save me the effort of hunting down computer labs or kiosks on future trips. After considering the iPod Touch (which didn’t seem very Linux-friendly) and netbooks (the keys on all the ones I tried were way too cramped for my use), I went with the option of a cheap regular laptop. Given my mostly-positive experience with my current Dell desktop, I looked on Dell’s site for a cheap option, and found that they offer a “factory outlet” page with refurbished models on sale for a discount. After various attempts, I found the Inspiron 1525 above for a cost of $485 (with tax and free shipping). A brand-new model with a similar configuration would cost at least $100-$150 more than what I paid.

While the laptop came with Vista Premium preinstalled, I wiped it and installed Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) instead, which Dell offers on some versions of this model. So far, everything’s running smoothly, and even wireless Internet access works (after testing it at the mall today, when I went to buy a slipcase/bag for this computer). The keyboard’s comfortable to type on, and I transferred a few video/mp3 files to it from the desktop computer.

Overall, the laptop should serve well for my basic uses… or at least save me from feeling cut off from my own computer when visiting relatives or friends for the holidays.

Dude, you’ve got a Dell… with Ubuntu!

Apparently Dell plans to start offering models with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled

While great news for Linux (a major computer vendor offering a popular Linux version preinstalled, which might make compatibility issues smoother in the future), it almost makes me wish I’d waited a few more months before buying my current Dell—an n-series model with no OS preinstalled, on which I’m running Ubuntu. Oh, well… maybe my purchase of the n-series model helped spur the decision in some way.

New computer update

Update on the new computer: it arrived a lot sooner than I thought—namely, yesterday.

Everything with the machine seems to be OK, and it’s nice to finally have an LCD monitor. It also feels faster than the old machine, including startup time. Can’t say much for the included keyboard and mouse, though, so I’m still using the old ones. The PC itself is also very quiet, with the only noise coming from running the CD/DVD drive.

Ubuntu’s installed without too many hitches, though far as I can tell, the included GeForce video card doesn’t seem to support the maximum monitor resolution (mucking a bit in xorg.conf, 1152×854 is the maximum resolution listed, while 1280×1084 is the monitor’s default resolution…). Might have to play a bit more with this one, though I usually leave my screen resolution at 1024×768 anyway (so not sure how much difference it makes)…

Sure I’ll have more to comment on in the future…

Anthony’s new computer

After much thought and listening to various remarks from others (ranging from “buy a Mac” to “build your own PC” to ” is a piece of junk”), I’ve finally decided to buy (and ordered yesterday morning)… a mid-range Dell. Specifically, the Dell Dimension E521 without Windows preinstalled (from their operating system-less “n-series” line).

Specifications on the system I ordered include: 1 GB RAM; 250 GB hard drive; a keyboard and optical mouse; nVidia GeForce 7300LE video card (256 MB); an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor; and a 17″ LCD monitor, all running for $700 total (before sales tax). A similarly configured system with Windows preinstalled would’ve ran $30 extra (when I compared their regular systems to this one).

Supposedly, the system will ship this Friday, and I’ll get it sometime next week…