Update 2: Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition – Sputnik Gen 4

February 23, 2015

Two weeks ago I posted an update on the XPS 13 developer edition mentioning that we were addressing a few issues before we felt the was ready to launch.  Now that we are a little further along, we SputnikScientist2wanted to provide more details.

The main issues that are delaying launch involves the touchpad and a repeating keystroke issue.

Status update around the issues:

  • Working on getting A01 BIOS out (fixes keyboard repeating keystroke issue)
  • We confirmed that A01–with acpi_osi and resetafter kernel parameters–is a workaround that makes the touchpad work smoothly
  • Sound works with above workaround
  • Mario Limonciello on the Sputnik team  submitted a patch upstream to have the resetafter workaround done automatically:  http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1502.2/02389.html

More details:

  • The acpi_osi kernel parameter: Adding acpi_osi=”!Windows 2013″ as a kernel boot parameter followed by two cold reboots switches the audio to HDA mode (which Linux currently supports) and puts the touchpad into PS/2 mode.
  • The resetafter kernel parameter: Adding psmouse.resetafter=0 as a kernel boot parameter when the touchpad is in PS/2 mode allows the touchpad to not reset (which is actually what happens with this touchpad in PS/2 mode on Windows 7).

Please visit the Dell TechCenter Project Sputnik forum for discussion.

Thanks everyone for your support and we appreciate your patience as we work with our partners to resolve these issues.

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now


Available in Europe: Precision M3800 developer edition

February 16, 2015

At the end of January we announced the launch of the Dell M3800-ubuntuPrecision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition.  This beefy complement to the existing XPS 13 developer edition is the direct result of feedback from the community who have been asking for a larger system.

Over the past few weeks we have been adding EMEA availability.   Here is the list of countries where the M3800 developer edition is available online.  For those countries that don’t appear here, the system is available offline by calling a sales representative.

M3800 developer edition — European online availability

We are currently working on rolling out the M3800 developer edition in the Asia Pacific/Japan region as well.  Stay tuned!

Extra-credit reading

  • Welcome the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition – Barton’s Blog
  • Update: Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition – Sputnik Gen 4 – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…


Update: Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition – Sputnik Gen 4

February 5, 2015

We have been getting a ton of questions around the 4th generation Sputnik (XPS13 Sputnik_Sticker_Finallaptop, developer edition) and when it will be available.  As you may have seen, last week at Sundance we broke the news of our brand new Dell Precision M3800, developer edition pre-loaded with Ubuntu.

The XPS 13 isn’t far behind. We’re getting close and will have more to share soon but ultimately are spending time making sure everything works to provide the best customer experience possible.  A word of caution, if you purchase the Windows version of the new XPS 13 and try to load Ubuntu on it you will run into a few issues that we are currently addressing.

Please realize this DOES NOT AFFECT the Windows version of the XPS 13 laptop that recently launched.

Stay tuned for more updates soon.

The Reviews are in

XPS 13:  For your reference here are just a handful of awesome reviews that the Windows version of the recently launched XPS 13 laptop has garnered.  (The developer edition is based off this.)

  • Dell’s New XPS 13 Laptop Makes Me Seriously Regret My MacBook Air Purchase – Forbes
  • The MacBook Air Meets its Match – Wall Street Journal
  • Stunning screen, compact design make XPS 13 the first great laptop of 2015 – CNET
  • Dell’s Gorgeous New Windows Laptop Has An Amazing Screen And Is Cheaper Than The MacBook Air – Business Insider
  • Dell puts Apple’s MacBook Air on notice at CES – FOX News
  • Dell XPS 13 Boasts Thinnest Screen Bezel Ever – LAPTOP Mag
  • Dell’s New XPS 13 Sounds Like The Laptop Of My Dreams – Gizmodo

M3800 developer edition: Also for your reference, here is a bit of the press coverage the M3800  developer edition received

Extra-credit reading

 

Pau for now…

 


Welcome the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition

January 27, 2015

Since the planning stages of project Sputnik over two years ago we wanted to offer two versions of our developer-focused systems.  The idea was to have both an ultra mobile laptop and a beefier workstation offering, a beauty and the beast line up if you will.  Due to the need to focus our resources however, we worked with the community to first build out the laptop, delivering the XPS 13 laptop, developer edition.Soyuz

Moving towards the beast

The first year after launching the XPS 13, we got a steady stream of requests for a bigger system.  This wasn’t lost on team member Jared Dominguez who decided to work on his own time with the Dell Precision M3800 mobile edition and put together instructions on how get Ubuntu running on the system.

A little over a year ago with the launch of the 3rd generation of the XPS13 developer edition we also announced its “unofficial big brother” and provided Jared’s instructions.  We received a lot of great feedback but there were also folks asking when we were going to deliver an officially supported version of the M3800.  What we told the community was — like the initial project Sputnik offering, if we got enough positive feedback — we might be able to offer it as an official pre-installed system.

A thread was started on the Sputnik Forum for people to express their interest in an official system.  We got a tremendous amount of positive feedback and as a result we listened to our customers and have added the M3800 to our developer edition lineup of Ubuntu-based systems.

Introducing the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, Developer Edition

One of the main features people were looking for in the Precision M3800 was 16 GB of RAM.  The new Ubuntu-based M3800 introduced today, has that and a whole lot more:

Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, dev edition – Key features

  • Preloaded Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Next generation of the world’s thinnest and lightest true 15-inch mobile workstation
  • Starting weight of just 4.15lbs (1.88kg) and a form factor that is less than 0.71 inches (18mm) thick
  • Fourth generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, professional grade NVIDIA Quadro K1100M graphics, and up to 16GB of memory
  • 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) screen option
  • Availability: worldwide

Unfortunately, one of the features that wont be available right out of the gate is thunderbolt support.  As Jared explains in his blog:

Because our factory Ubuntu installs only ship Ubuntu LTS releases, we were not able to ship with Thunderbolt support. However, thanks to the hardware-enablement stack in Ubuntu, starting with upcoming Ubuntu 14.04.2, you will be able to upgrade your kernel to add some Thunderbolt support. We plan to be working with Canonical to recertify the Precision M3800 with official Thunderbolt support.

How do I get one

You can get to the M3800 developer edition by going to the Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation page: www.dell.com/create and choosing the system labeled “Fully Customizable” on the far left.  Or you can go directly to configurator, where under “Operating System” you can select Ubuntu 14.04 SP1 and away you go!

M3800Menu

What about the additional software?

This time around we went with the vanilla image of the most recent LTS release (14.04).  A vanilla image was actually one of the top requests when we gathered input on our initial Storm session.

Since the original launch we have been working on a profile tool and Cloud launcher.  We are still working on these but it’s been a bit more difficult than we originally thought :).  Stay tuned for more news on this.

Will there be a new XPS 13 developer edition?

You bet!  The 4th generation of the XPS 13 laptop, developer edition will be available soon.  It will based on the the new XPS 13 laptop that debuted earlier this month.

A Big Thanks

Thanks to everyone in the community for the tremendous support of the Sputnik program.  Without your support, this program would not be possible!

 Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Installing Debian 8 on a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

January 3, 2015

Over the break, Eric Mill put together great step-by-step instructions showing how to install Debian 8 (Jessie) on a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition.  Eric also had some great things to say about the laptop and program themselves:

Dell calls their program Project Sputnik, and it is managed by a friendly team of Linux engineers inside Dell who partner with Ubuntu to ensure that your computer will Just Work with Linux.

The Dell XPS is also used by multiple Debian team members, so your pain points will be theirs, and they’re likely to quickly fix things.

Supporting Dell’s program is a wonderful thing to do, and it’s also just a great goddamned laptop.

Check out Eric’s Instructions and away you go!  Installing Debian 8 on a Dell XPS

Pau for now…


2014 in review – My Blog

January 2, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 42,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Nutanix and Dell’s Web-scale converged appliance

November 22, 2014

Here is my final post from Dell World.  Today’s interview is with Nikita Maheshwari, product marketing manager with Nutanix.

I caught up with Nikita on the show floor in front of their booth.   I got her to give a brief overview of the company and what they announced with Dell at the show.  Check it out.

Some of the ground Nikita covers

  • Describing Nutanix’s software-based converged infrastructure platform and where their IP lies
  • Who are some of the customers they’ve been working with and what use cases they are seeing
  • Announcing the shipping of the first of five Dell XC Web-Scale Converged Appliances with Nutanix preloaded
  • What Nutanix and Dell have up their sleeves for the upcoming year

Extra-credit reading

  • Dell Set To Ship OEM Nutanix-Based Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliances – CRN
  • Dell inks OEM deal with Nutanix to build mutant server, storage, networking beasts – The Register

Pau for now…


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