Linux on the Best 1100 laptop computer

(1998-12-29)

This laptop was sold in Sweden by Best Technology. The price was 25495 SEK, which is approximately 3200USD.

Hardware

Installation

The machine shipped with a pre-installed version of Windows 95. The first partition was a special "suspend-to-disk" partition, and the rest of the disk was reserved for Windows. I removed the Windows partition and created a new 700Mb partition for Windows, one 100Mb swap partition and one large partition for Linux. I then re-installed Windows from the provided installation CDs.

Next I installed Red Hat linux version 4.2 from a local CD-rom image. The installation went smoothly, no special problems were found.

Next I upgraded the kernel to version 2.0.34. Here is my /usr/src/linux/.config file.

I also installed LILO on the master boot record. Here is my /etc/lilo.conf file.

XFree86

The XFree86 server shipped with Red Hat doesn't support the ViRGE/MX chip. But fortunately, the new version 3.3.2 of the SVGA server does support the ViRGE/MX. I was lazy and just copied the new binary to /usr/X11R6/bin/XF86_SVGA.

The server works well in 8, 16 and 24 bpp modes at 1024x768 pixels resolution. The server seems to be quite well accelerated.

Here is the XF86Config file I used. I started with the file generated by xf86config and hacked it until it worked.
I use US keyboard mapping, so in order to be able type swedish characters, I use this ~/.xkeymap file.

Sound

The sound works as expected with the above mentioned kernel config file, but you cannot expect too much from the tiny speakers of a laptop. I have not yet tried the external connectors or the microphone.

APM

The computer supports Advanced Power Management (APM 1.2) to reduce power consumption. This works pretty well, except for the following problems: Also the battery doesn't seem to be a "smart battery", but I guess you can't blame Linux for that.

PCMCIA

I don't own any PCMCIA cards, but another user reported that the pcmcia-cs v3.0.0 package together with kernel 2.0.34 and Debian 2.0 works perfectly on his computer. He owns a 3com Etherlink III card which works both as a modem and as a network card. Hot swapping also works. He says he has tested approximately 10 cards in his computer, and so far the only card that didn't work was some kind of "Dell fast ethernet" card, sold together with expensive Dell laptops. Unfortunately he didn't have a complete list of the cards he tested, but he thinks the tested cards included some goldcard modems, some 3com cards and a xircom ethernet card.

Miscellaneous

I don't have any USB devices, so I have no idea if they work on this computer.



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