Hardware stories to share

The following are either my personal opinions or stories from people I trust.

Notice that for me the ability to run Linux and control my hardware and software is essential, which motivates most of what follows. Also note that a large part of it is hearsay, which may be obsolete by the time you read it.

Vendors I like:

I found three basic pieces of advice to be very useful:

As usual, it's a good idea to check your indended Linux distro's hardware compatibility list first, and then look in the newsgroups (Google is your friend).

As time passes, I feel less likely to buy from major vendors. Partly this is due to Microsoft's pressure on OEMs to provide "recovery" CDs tied to a particular brand of BIOS, not a full distribution of Windows. Apart from being tied to a particular machine, these "recovery" CDs likely start their "recovery" with formatting the hard drive to restore the pristine partition table, which is not acceptable for someone who does most of his work in an active Linux partition on the very same disk.