Its been over a month since I acquired a high performance mobile workstation: The Dell Precision M4500 which came with a Quad-Core Intel i7-940XM (with 8GB RAM) processor and a NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M (1GB dedicated memory) graphics card.
As a whimsical believer of, “Opportunities don’t knock twice, .a.k.a. Now or never”, I resolved to switch over to an open source working environment by installing the Ubuntu 10.10 distro (Maverick Meerkat). Now this ran into some serious difficulties given the non-standard graphics card and the initial set of proprietary drivers supplied by Ubuntu, but a Google search soon provided a non-elegant but effective solution. Initially, the internal microphone and touchpad (detected as a PS2 mouse) were not working as they should be but a recent update (Ubuntu 11.04) seems to have solved these problems. I still have to check if the large screen monitor plugged on my docking station works seamlessly as the 10.10 distro seemed buggy (one needs to define the Xorg.conf…).