Compaq EVO N1015V is a fine laptop, but ...
It was an educational experience to play with my latest purchase, a Compaq EVO N1015V. The machine worked fine with its pre-installed Windows XP Professional. However, I have no intention of getting hooked to yet another MS upgrade.
My troubles started when I decided to install RedHat Linux 8.0 on this. Initial few steps went fine but then the CD drive stopped responding. This happened a couple of times. A seach on the web came up with this writeup explianing troubles in installing linux on evo N1015v. I, for one, am not a real Linux guru and hence, decided to limit my experimentation to only latest available RedHat Linux, RH Linix 9.0. Downloaded RH Linux 9.0, burnt the CD and put in in the CD-drive. No luck. I got the same behavior -- the CD drive would become unresponsive after initial few steps.
This happened around 6 weeks ago. Today, as I write this entry, I came across this brief guide by Robert Toole that describes step-by-step process to install RH Linux 9.0 on a evo N1015v. Good to know that I am not the only one facing this problem. However, execution of these steps is certainly beyond my time budget for installing a bare-bones OS. May be some day later I will try these steps.
Yesterday night I decided to turn my laptop into a Windows 2000 machine. But even this turned out to be challenging. Initial install will allow the display to be only 16 color and the screen resolution to be 480 by 640 and with no sound capability. A search on the Web turned up this page with all the info. I needed about the Windows 2000 drivers. The rest turned out to be a fairly smooth operation.
Well, all this may not be much for a pro, but as greehorn, I found the experience educational.
BTW, I have nothing against evo N1015v itself. It is a fine piece of hardware and a very good value for money, at least for me -- I paid only $629.0 for a refurbished piece (discounted for HP employees) plus another 31.50 for Shipping and Handling and 54.51 on taxes. Even with all this, the total is just around $716. And I got 1.4MHz AMD Athlon processor, 30GB of hard disk, 256 MB of RAM, CD drive, 14 inches TFT, inbuilt 10/100 NIC, 56 Kbps modem and Windows XP Professional. Can't really complain.