Talked to my dad some more tonight about the laptop situation. I'm getting increasingly frustrated, because all he'll tell me is he's "working on it" with my mom, and he won't give me a time estimate. I suppose such things don't lend themselves well to time estimates...any more than debugging does. But still, it's frustrating.
I've been sorely tempted lately to tell him, "OK, I'm buying it on Friday, whether or not Mom agrees". But that would create even more friction in the family (as if there isn't enough already), and plus, I still need to spend the time thinking/researching/whatever to make sure spending a metric assload of money on a new laptop is really what I want to do.
I did some more research tonight, and it looks like the Inspiron 8500 isn't going to work for me...there's no APM support, ACPI support under linux for that model is buggy at best, and the NIC requires a 3rd party driver which is still in beta. Hmm. No.
So now I'm looking at the Latitude C840, which is apparently the businessified version of the Inspiron 8200, before it was discontinued. I know people who have the 8200, and from what I've heard, it's a good laptop. The C840 has a very similar hardware configuration to the 8200, so I'm sure it's probably pretty good too.
Anyway, I should have gone to bed a few hours ago...except I let the allergy meds wear off, and now I'm miserable again (oops). I took 'em again a half hour ago, but it usually takes at least an hour for me to actually start noticing any effects. Time to try and sleep...