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Specs

Mobile Pentium 4-M 1.8GHz, 256MB RAM DDR, 40GB HDD, DVD/CD-RW Combo, 14" XGA, 2xUSB (1.1), Modem (Conexant), SiS900 10/100 LAN, IEEE1394 (FireWire), SiS650 UMA-GFX, SiS7012 Sound (i810). ASUS also packages a mouse for USB.



Installation

This system was installed with Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r1. The installation was rather painless, due to the optical drive being an internal IDE-drive. A custom kernel 2.4.20 and OpenOffice 1.0.2 were installed, too. Due to a problem between OpenOffice and libfreetype, the Debian packages currently do not allow the installation of Gnome2 _and_ OpenOffice, so in installed the tarball from OpenOffice.org.

BIOS

You may reach the Award BIOS with F2. When hitting ESC you can choose between the HD and CD-ROM to boot.

IDE

The IDE-controller is directly suppported by the kernel. Choose the SiS driver for SiS5513 at configuration.

CD-R

Burning CD-Rs works as usual, designate hdc to ide-scsi by appending "hdc=ide-scsi" to the kernel start and loading the module ide-scsi. Burning CD-RW and playing DVD was not tested.

APM/ACPI

Suspending with APM froze the machine, it did not wake up. ACPI works mostly:

SoftWareSuspend

Mark J. Wielaard reported: " I took the latest Kernel 2.4.20, applied the 2.1.21-pre5 patch, applied latest acpi patch for pre4 (applied cleanly). The applied the swsup patch for pre5+acpi patch. I [..] disabled framebuffer and DRI support since I don't use them. Also had to disable ieee34 since it wouldn't compile anymore. Haven't recompiled ALSA and PCMCIA yet. I now have a setup that seems to work for software suspend more or less. Together with the script that disables services and unloads modules before doing the actual suspend from here(http://fchabaud.free.fr/English/default.php3?COUNT=3&FILE0=Tricks&FILE1=Laptop&FILE2=Swsusp). The script needs a bit of hacking to get it working (somehow the LOGCMD is set incorrectly) and eth0 doesn't get resumed. But this is fixable by hand.

But Software Suspend doesn't work 100%. I have been using it a bit now and I guess that one in six times it fails generating a kernel oops. And the network card seems to not cleanly shutdown and come up again. Even when reenabling it by hand later it sometimes goes down again and you have to do a ifdown/ifup once again to reenable network. "

PCMCIA

The current version (3.2.3) of PCMCIA-CS was installed and everything worked at once. The driver for the controller is i82365.

USB

The controllers are driven by usb-ohci and that is it. An attached USB-mouse worked well.

IEEE1394

FireWire works as well, load ohci1394 and off you go.

Ethernet

Piece of cake, take the driver sis900.

Sound (ALSA)

Version 0.9.0rc6 of Advanced Linux Sound Architecture - ALSA was installed and the driver snd-intel8x0 does well, although lspci gives you "SiS7012".

Console

Framebuffer support for VESA works, 1280x1024@16. The framebuffer driver for SiS (sisfb) seems to work, but only if you do not specify any video modes. If you do so with sisfb you get characters that look like red-green-3D characters. "Augenkrebs" (eye cancer) was the first thing I thought about it.
Two months ago, i had severe problems with VESA framebuffer and X. But with the current driver for X, the problems seem to have vanished. Back then, the VESA framebuffer driver and the X driver overwrote each others' memory and the system freezed or simple programs like mv or rm segfaulted.

XFree86

Welcome to the world of UMA or shared memory with the SiS650 chip. After using the sisfb, XFree86 4.2.1 went smooth with the current driver from Thomas Winnischofer(http://www.winischhofer.net). Version 4.3 will include this one. Of course, there is no real 3D-acceleration with that chip. Sometimes with this driver the machine crashed comletely. But since I have enabled 64MB for the shared graphics memory in the BIOS this behavious seems to have gone.

Mark J. Wielaard reported: "One fun thing that I noticed although for example gtv or plaympeg displays a big blue window on the LCD screen itself when playing movies the movies do show up correctly on the external monitor. I also updated the machine to Debian unstable to try out Gnome2, and it works nicely. Even the Battery Applet reports correctly the state of the battery. Except for the oopses and network troubles during Software Suspend/Resume the machine does work perfectly though (no freezes). "

Touchpad

It is a Synaptics touchpad (though the driver did not seem to work first) and the scroll buttons work as soon as you install the appropriate driver.

Extra Keys

To make the hotkeys at the top available, you should install a recent ACPI-patch and activate the option CONFIG_ACPI_ASUS, which leads to the built of asus_acpi. You can grab the patch alternatively from sf.net(http://sourceforge.net/projects/acpi4asus).
The patch also makes the control-keys for CD available, which can be found at the front of the laptop. You have to configure acpid accordingly to use them, otherwise they are just dead meat (except when starting the machine in CD-Player mode).

Modem

The modem driver for Conexant(http://www.mbsi.ca/cnxtlindrv/) seems to work. I can talk to it with minicom.

IrDA

The serial driver via IrTTY works, did not try FastIrDA - FIR.

Other Resources

Credits



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