Linux on the Best 1100 laptop computer
This laptop was sold in Sweden by Best Technology. The price was
25495 SEK, which is approximately 3200USD.
Intel Pentium MMX, 233MHz, 64Mb SDRAM, 4.0Gb hard disk
S3 ViRGE/MX graphics chip with 4Mb SGRAM
13.3" TFT XGA display (1024*768 pixels)
Sound blaster compatible sound card (ESS ES1688 AudioDrive), built-in microphone
Built-in trackpad (PS/2)
3.5" floppy disk drive
USB, serial, parallel, CRT, PS/2 ports
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
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
I also installed LILO on the master boot record. Here is my /etc/lilo.conf
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.
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.
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.
If you are in X when you "suspend to disk", the keyboard doesn't work when
restarting the computer. When you press a key the X server locks up. A
workaround is to switch to a text console before suspending to disk. Another
workaround is to hack apmd to automatically do the switch when a suspend
request is received.
When you resume after a "suspend to disk" operation, the keyboard repeat
rate is set to a slow value. I worked around this problem by hacking apmd
to reset the repeat rate when a resume event is detected.
When resuming after a "standby" operation, the display doesn't activate.
The workaround is to manually activate the display with the special Fn-F6
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.
I don't have any USB devices, so I have no idea if they work on this computer.
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