The Mighty DeskNote The Mighty DeskNote

Posted by smokris on 2002.05.24 @ 18:31

Filed under:

There doesn’t seem to be much info around regarding these things… i’ll do what i can to help resolve this situation.

My machine is the DeskNote A-928, also (apparently) known as the i-buddie 4. Official docs:

Currently I’ve installed Linux Slackware and Windows 2000 as dualboot, and have logged my experiences with each below.

See also Gustavo Sverzut Barbieri’s Desknote A928/Linux Page.

Good Stuff

<ul>
    <li>Excellent price/performance ratio for a laptop</li>
    <li>Windows 2000's "hibernate" (write all memory to harddrive and turn off) feature works nicely so far. Takes less than 30 seconds to write 512mb of ram to harddrive. Boots in somewhere around 45 seconds.</li>
</ul>

Bad Stuff

<ul>
    <li>In Windows 2000, it doesn't recover properly from suspend (but I've never seen a computer that has). I've suspended 3 times. one of those times it would never come out of suspend, so I had to pull the plug. The other two times, it came out, but sound, network, and usb all were disabled. I could figure out how to restart the network in win2k, but didn't get the others working, and had to reboot.</li>
    <li>Haven't yet figured out how to suspend in linux. It's ok because when linux isn't in use, it doesn't throttle the processor, so heat (and thus the temperature-controlled cpu fan) goes down.</li>
    <li>Haven't yet figured out how to get sound to work in linux.</li>
    <li>Odd placement of the insert key, just left of the spacebar. I'll live.</li>
    <li>Harddrive is just under where one would typically rest one's left hand, and thus it gets rather hot. Not uncomfortably so, just slightly annoying.</li> 
    <li>Odd placement of the cover-open latch: in the center. The previous laptop I used had two latches, positioned where one could open it with both one's thumbs.</li>
    <li>The CD drive easily pops out (you can't easily rest the laptop on your lap), and often ejects a few times when trying to insert a cd.</li>
    <li>I haven't yet been able to get the s-video output to work (seems to output no signal, and i don't see any configuration options for it).</li>
</ul>

Hardware

<ul>
    <li>Network port
        <ul>
            <li>"SiS PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter"</li>
            <li>SiS 900 - <a href="http://lhd.datapower.com/db/dispproduct.php3?DISP?2877">http://lhd.datapower.com/db/dispproduct.php3?DISP?2877</a></li>
            <li>works in linux using driver sis900</li>
        </ul></li>
    <li>Sound 
        <ul>
            <li>SiS 7012</li>
            <li><a href="http://203.66.2.110/linux/7012/">http://203.66.2.110/linux/7012/</a> - sis's linux drivers</li>
            <li><a href="http://www.sis.com/support/driver/linux.htm">http://www.sis.com/support/driver/linux.htm</a></li>
            <li>It's not a soundblaster pro as they advertise, and this is a good thing (sbp was only 8bit).</li>
            <li>Doesn't yet work in linux: drivers load (using alsa's snd-intel8x0), and i don't see any errors. i turn up the mixer all the way, and, if i put headphones on, and play some highly compressed and normalized music, i can just slightly hear something. so i imagine there are some flags that need to be adjusted for this revision. i'll check this out sometime</li>
            <li>Hmm...  Actually, sound input in linux seems to work, but is rather noisy.  In windows, the sound is plagued with loud, roughly sinusoidial noise at about 5hz, plus typical computer noise (rapid clicking when moving the mouse, high noise floor, etc).  Therefore it's effectively useless except for the most undemanding recordings.</li>
        </ul></li>
    <li>IR 
        <ul>
            <li>Winbond FIR - haven't tried it </li>
        </ul></li>
    <li>Video
        <ul>
            <li>works nicely with the vesafb module and fbdev for x. i've currently set it to 1024x768x64k.  also works with other vesa modes: add 0x200 to the mode number, convert the mode number to decimal, and stick in as a kernel parameter, as per the vesafb documentation.</li>
        </ul></li>
    <li>USB 
        <ul>
            <li>Works nicely in linux. easy to get working, and usb support/reliability now exceeds win2k ! (at least for a usb mouse). yay devfs. </li>
            <li>todo: post xf86config for how to use both usb and internal mouse at the same time </li>
        </ul></li>
</ul>

Other

<ul>
    <li><a href="http://www.amptron.com/html/a900faq.html">http://www.amptron.com/html/a900faq.html</a> - seems to be similar in some ways to the desknote series (is it just another branding of the desknote a900?)</li>
</ul>