Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shiny new laptop

I did it again: I fell for another new toy. This time the winner was the inexpensive Acer 3002 WTMi that packs quite a decent feature set into a small size and weight. I won't bore you with the details, but have a look a it if you're planning to buy a light small form laptop .
It comes with WinXP Home Edition installed and, as usual, you'll have a hard time if you try to get a refund on it. Microsoft's tax seems to be a burden if you buy a laptop either you like it or not. Although I've installed SuSE Linux 10.0 I'm not very happy with the results for the moment. First of all you need not to use APIC for the installation to start. The system installed very quickly and it did one of my FAT32 partitions to shrink without any problem. It took less than 15 minutes to get the install finished.
What I've got working are graphics, WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, DVD-RW and synaptics mouse (the latter even better than with Windows) but sound is missing (it looks like an IRQ routing problem). Power management seems to be missing too, as the laptop gets warmer than when using Windows and battery life seems to be quite poor when running GNU/Linux. The cause of the problems seems to be the improper dsdt file on the kernel. Other people report better results when building a customer kernel with a patched dsdt file. I'll give this approach a try one of these days, but till then, I'll keep myself using WinXP on this cute laptop but please don't tell anybody about this evil behaviour :-)
In the mean time, I'll be working on an magazine article about the practical use of RFC2217 with Rabbit microcontrollers.
Update: I downloaded a fixed dsdt file from this project. Unfortunately my BIOS version (S3B12) was not included there. I've tried the 3B09 one and I recompiled the kernel. Now I can boot the system and acpi seems to work better than before. My sound card is now working, although I had to use alsaconf to get it working. WiFi and Bluetooth are working too, and so is the Gigabit Ethernet port. Synaptics touchpad and keys are working too. I still have to test how good the battery management is. (I have read about some kernel patches to support Smart Battery Systems and I might be trying this out if I do not get a decent running time).


  • At 2:50 pm, Blogger Hiroshi Ikeda said…

    Seems you have a hot wallet!!! I would do the same if I had enought money, LOL.
    Well, I hope you explore the new toy as well others previously. Your guides are useful for others as me. Thank you and good job. See ya!!!


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