IPC TopNote H 14,1'

[1 Dec 2002] Sorry about this page been so outdated, but I had no time to write more in the last years. There is some good news: the modem works, and I manage to get 3D working (with the newer kernels and the patches from Thomas Winischhofer)


So I finally managed to configure this low cost Notebook under Linux with almost all Hardware supported. I got a lot of trouble with this machine (after 1,5 months it was send back to the manufacturer, they needed to change the motherboard. Now I'm getting some hangs when I open the lid, and the only way to recover from this is to unplug it, this means I need to remove the battery). [1st Dec 2002] I got a lot of trouble with my machine. I send it two more times to the suport, and they changed the mainboard twice again. Now it doesn't hang anymore, but sometimes (if I move the lid) the display turns off (you can still see something like shadows). I need to tune, move the lid till the display turn on again. So I would like to tell you to AVOID THIS LAPTOP, spend more money in a better one. But if you really have such a laptop, here are some useful information. At first lets describe the Hardware configuration.

Hardware:

PIII 700 Mhz, 128 MB Ram, 12 Gb HD, Floppy & 24× CD-ROM, 14'1 TFT Display, SiS900 100Mbits Ethernet Adapter, HAMR5600 Voicemodem (Winmodem), 2 USB-Controler (that's what Windows says, but I can only see one slot at the backside), SiS 7018 Audio Device, 1 serial Port, 1 parallel Port, 1 IrDA Port, 1 PCMCIA Slot, PS/2 Touchpad, 1 PS/2 jack, 1 Monitor connector, 1 mic & 1 headphone jack, SiS 630 Graphics chip.

Hardware in detail:

Everything should work under Linux. There are some things I didn't try, like the PCMCIA slot (don't have any such Card), the IrDA device, and USB. Things that may also work are the advanced touchpad support and using an Y-connector to connect a keyboard and a mouse simultaneously.

Sound:

The sound card SiS 7018 is supported by the Kernel and I recommend using that driver. You can use ALSA instead if you want. For Kernel 2.2.x you should select "Code maturity level options" -> "[*] Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers". For sound just select Sound Card Support, and support for "Trident 4DWave DX/NX or SiS 7018 PCI Audio Core or ALi 5451" card. Nothing more. I use both as modules. If so you need to edit /etc/modules.conf and add/edit the following line:

alias char-major-14 trident

Ethernet:

This is also supported by the Kernel. Select "Network device support" -> "Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)" -> "[*] Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)"; "EISA, VLB, PCI and on board controllers" and "SiS 900/7016 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter support". Add/edit in /etc/modules.conf:

alias eth0 sis900

RAM:

Don't forget to add in LILO parameters

append="mem=120m"

APM:

The BIOS seems to be broken, and a Suspend or a Sleep always drive the console crazy. So be careful. If you manage to get APM work OK, let me know.

X/Display:

Problem:

This was the greatest Problem. Xfree Supports the SiS630 graphics chip with the SVGA Server. So you probably tried to use this in your configuration. XF86Setup and SaX (SuSE) don't work very good, because the lowest edge of the display is hidden. The image dances also. With some blind clicking you could manage to use these tool to configure X. But the best I got was 640×400 resolution, because when I select a greater resolution, like 1024×768 only the first 640×400 pixels are shown. When you move to the right or down, it simply disappears, as the display is actually bigger. Setting a virtual resolution helps, but you get only 640×400 pixel. If you connect an external monitor, you don't have such a problem. The configuration with XF86Setup works great. And you can use SVGA.

Solution:

But you probably want to use X on the road, don't you? So I manage to get 1024×768 for X. You need to use the Frame Buffer device support in the kernel for this to work. So recompile the Kernel (again with "Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers" support). Under "Console drivers", select:

[*] VGA text console
[*] Video mode selection support
[*] Support for frame buffer devices (EXPERIMENTAL)
[*] VESA VGA graphics console
[*] Advanced low level driver options
<*> 8 bpp packed pixels support
<*> 16 bpp packed pixels support
<*> 24 bpp packed pixels support
< > 32 bpp packed pixels support   --- You can activate this
<M> VGA characters/attributes support

You must also tell LILO to turn it on at boot time (I don't know if you can turn it on later, let me know if it is possible). I use vga=0x317 to get 1024×768×16. The console will be very big (128×48), Bit I can still read the small letters. I don't know also how to get bigger letters and a smaller console. Almost done... Now the only thing you need to do is use SaX (sax -s XF86_FBDev) to configure X. I don't know if XF86Setup works also (let me know). If you can't configure with your tools, get my XF86Config, and link XF86_FBDev to X. You should also take a look in the documentation of Frame Buffer in /usr/src/linux/Documentation/fb.

Now X works!!!



If you have any comment or want to add some information here just send an e-mail to E-Mail do
	    Claudio Clemens.

This page was written with the bests intentions to help the Linux Community. I can't be done responsible for any damage done by the use of the information in this page. If your laptop burns, your electricity bill is too high or your cat runs away, that's NOT MY FAULT. There is no warranty that this information could help you. All rights reserved © 2000.

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