Installing Debian Etch on my laptop worked more smooth than this writer had expected. It replaced Ubuntu 7.04 beta.
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The installation process worked fast which meant that I was ready to go after about 30 minutes. There were two things which didn't work well on my system. The first was my wireless lan card. An intel 3945AGB card. After adding contrib non-free to my sources.list I could use aptitude to install the drivers. It worked instantly. Then I had to deal with my screen, it's an 1280×800 WXGA screen attached to my ati radeon mobility x1600 card, but (of course) I had only 1024×768. After fouling around with the standard fglrx drivers I switched to the drivers downloaded from the ATI site. This worked great and I have both my resolution and 3d operational.