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Preface

There already exists a report about the T41 at geekster.org(http://www.geekster.org/ibmt41/ibmt41.php). This document describes some issues not to be found in that report, as for instance a focus on Debian and a kernel issues.

Specs

Intel Pentium M 1.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM DDR, Hitachi DK23FB 60 GB HDD, Matsushita UJDA745 DVD-ROM/CD-RW, 14" XGA TFT, ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 Graphics, WinModem Intel ICH4, Intel e1000 1 GBit/s LAN, Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 802.11b, 2x Intel USB 2.0, Intel 855PM Mainboard, Analog Devices AD1981B Sound, Parallel Port, IrDA, S-Video out. The small keyboard light is a nifty feature.

Installation

This system is installed with Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2 by the means of a KNOPPIX-CD(http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/), plus a lot stuff from testing and kernel 2.4.(22|23). The base installation itself was quite painless. Both kernels run fine, though the 2.4.23 lacks support for swsusp(http://swsusp.sf.net), but includes the fix for the do_brk() security issue which led to the compromise of a Gentoo and several Debian servers some weeks ago. An attempt to port swsusp 2.0-rc2 from 2.4.22 to 2.4.23 failed: when suspending, there is an error message about not-matching-pages and the machine is returned to its normal state. A new version of swsusp has recently been announced, so it should work now for 2.4.23. Fortunately, the homegrown port for cpufreq(ftp://ftp.linux.org.uk/pub/linux/cpufreq/) from 2.4.22 to 2.4.23 works. By the time you read this, cpufreq should be updated, too.

Power Management

When idle, the machine is relatively quiet, though the fan is running slowly. The machine never got any louder than that, even when putting it under high load (kernel compile).
In contrast to other laptops, APM seems to be a good choice for that machine. Standby and Suspend-To-RAM work fine and there are no IRQ-Routing problems which prevent sound/modem/other devices from working when using APM. Alas, one caveat exists: the laptop does not turn off when you halt the system without having started XFree86 once somewhen before (yes, you read right). But ACPI works, too, so you might trade Suspend-To-RAM for more information about / control of your hardware + proper shutdown.

Console

The framebuffer support for radeonfb does not work very well. Either while booting or after switching between different consoles or from/to XFree86for a couple of times, the screen becomes garbled or the whole machine freezes. The vesafb works better.

XFree86

A strange problem occurrs when using XFree86 4.3.0-ds4 shipped with Knoppix: When logging out of a running session, the machine freezes every time. It gets slightly better by using the latest DRI-trunk from deb http://dri.freedesktop.org/~daenzer/debian/dri-trunk-sid ./, but it still happens quite often. There seems to be a problem with the session manager (regardless of kdm or xdm), because everyhting runs smooth when starting the XServer from the command-line.

Touchpad

Well, the Synaptics driver(http://w1.894.telia.com/~u89404340/touchpad/) actually works with it, but it disables the "klit" and the upper mouse buttons. Yes, the laptop comes with two sets of mouse-steering-gear: a "klit" plus three buttons _and_ a touchpad plus two buttons. So using the protocol GlidePointPS/2 enables both sets and also gives you the possibility to run gpm in the console.

Hard Disk

To improve the settings of the hard disk or check an IBM hard disk you may try the IBM Hard Disk Utils(http://www.storage.ibm.com/hdd/support/download.htm). Parts work even with non IBM hard disks.

Other Resources

Credits



TuxMobil: Linux with Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs, Mobile Phones and Portable Computers


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