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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 06-05-2006, 03:14 PM   #31
cayzar
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Anyone know of a good distro that will run on an etch a'sketch?
 
Old 06-05-2006, 08:12 PM   #32
wini_g
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hmmm ... you MUST be having hardware problems with your notebook/laptop

There is no way a fully working laptop with 384MB RAM & 600MHz processor should be anything but really fast under Vector or any of the other light distros or even heavier ones as well.

Well I lost track of what distro U have installed but what capacity hard disk do you have & what do you get for "hdparm -T /dev/hda" ?

Or else try something like Puppy-Linux or DSL which run purely from RAM - but that would be avoiding a problem & not fixing it IMO.

Sorry I cant find a Linux via Google for the etch-a-sketch but U can control one via Linux :

http://www.gadgetopia.com/post/3225

http://www.ale.org/archive/ale/ale-2.../msg00390.html

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS9257262400.html

What distro are you now using ?
 
Old 06-06-2006, 01:06 AM   #33
greauxe
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I use Suse 10 on a ridiculously slow laptop w/ a small harddrive. This is the only distro that I got to even boot on this laptop. I tried fedora, linspire, redhat, ubuntu, and slackware; suse is the only one that worked.

http://greauxpc.org
 
Old 06-06-2006, 08:32 AM   #34
cayzar
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No hardware issues. It's fine under windows and the diff linux distros - just slow.

The laptop is a cheapo ECS. I am beginning to think half the issue is the transmeta processor and or a cheap motherboard bus. Just speculating at this point. I need to read up on transmeta.

When I ran linux on my desktop it flew. As I mentioned before these 3 laptops were my first linux on laptop expirience, and all three were running fine hardware-wise.

Very busy last night, still need ot research services, so I can tell what it is that is running when I punch up the list.
I have done this once before, and am not looking foreward to having to do it and that is redo a kernal. Vector was small tight but still a bit slow, debian ran very well so all this leads me to think that the othe half of the issue has to be in the os. so maby a slimmed down kernal?

Any recomendations on kenral modification?
I definatly need dvd player/cd burner support, usb support, wireless nic and wired nic support, modem support, and pshycological support for having gone through all this. LOL!
 
Old 06-06-2006, 09:08 AM   #35
garfield1228
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believe me Suse 10.1 linux is the best distro ever wonderful hardware detection and support ... it detected every damn piece of my hardware and had automatically installed drivers for my latest intel 3945 abg card which no other distro could do and i had to struggle a lot to make it work ...
but since i installed Suse it workd like a charm and i didnt had to install anything else to make any thing work ...
 
Old 06-06-2006, 09:13 AM   #36
vees
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
These laptops have been my first laptop-linux expiriences and I am ready to give up and go back to windows.

No offense but win2k ran much better than any flavor I have tried.

I WOULD MUCH RATHER LINUX, for a number of reasons though.

question, why don't I need to shut down all the services and and recompile kernals on a desktop but but I do on a laptop? From everything I have read on the distros I tried and from the help here, all of them should run fine on this laptop, but none of them do. No fancy installing or heavy customizing, just put in the disk and take the defaults.

I just want to load it and run with it.
I understand. Now here is what you have to understand:

1) all 'easy and do everything' distos a la Mandrake are going to be bloated out of the box. By bloated I mean bloated by comparison with other GNU/Linux distros. A Mandrake out of the box with all the bells n whistles and eye candy is still FAR FAR FAR less bloated then Windows (and not to mention the hyper-bloatware champion of the world: OSX).

2) 'leaner and meaner' distros are going to be a touch harder to use just because instead of doing everything for you (a la Mandrake) they will let you mare more calls. That is in particular true during install. Even Debian will install more stuff by default if you choose the option to install in just a few clicks.

3) there is simply no way you can install bleeding-edge software out of the box on old hardware and get lightening fast performance. So here is the rule: any use of old hardware will be an exercices in compromises. For example, you actually install bleeding edge software on old hardware as long as you are willing to spend some time tweaking you machine. Or you can install older but rock-solid software without any tweaking (like Damn Small Linux does). Or you can install bleeding edge stuff out of the box, but you machine will runs much slower.

Also. in choosing between GNU/Linux and Windows you have to consider many issues such as:

1) the support you can get
2) security/stability
3) availabilty of software
4) legal limitations, or lack thereof, of the use of the software you install
5) costs

I urge you to carefully read the following article before making a decision:

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

Please come back if you have any questions!

Good luck and kind regards,

VS
 
Old 06-06-2006, 12:07 PM   #37
cayzar
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vees,
Excellent article. I have sent it to friends in the past. I do not agree with all the writers sentiments which are more subjective than objective but it was a good article. I apriciate the sentiment, especially since you've been helping me sort throught hte services, however I think there may be some confusion here between have performance issues as apposed to some culture shock after coming from windows. This is not a perception issue. It is a performance issue.
I used linux on the desktop for a few years (but am still very much a novice newbie, I admit), but never a laptop and it is a different world there, at least for me. All I can say or do is tell you what steps I went through and what hardware and distros I used.

The first laptop was a gateway 2500 series, 128 ram. I attempted to load mandriva which would not. knopmyth loaded but errored out on the tv tunor (big suprise there since there wasn't one loaded). red hat 9 loaded, but ran relatily smooth but slow.

The second was an asus s8600 with almost 200 ram, mandriva loaded but was so slow you moved the physical mouse then waited for the cursor to move to see where it landed. I loaded several other distros all of which ran very slow.

Put windows back on those two and got rid of them.

The third is the wifes ECS with 30gig hdd, 384 ram, transmeta 1gigapro(actually 600mhrz) processor.
All distros loaded, mandriva was painful. All others ran but with performance hits.
All the hardware worked fine.
All laptops were older admittadly but as atested by other users here, they have older ones working fine.
All distros installed without doing anything fancy or complicated, choosing defaults.

They issue is not one of perception but performance.
As I stated previously I am wondering if the issue could be between a transmeta processor and the the linux kernal? Becasue red hat 9 with an older kernal ran very well, a little bog, but not bad.
vector ran relativly smooth but still slow and as I understand it it is a minimalist distro. Debian ran very well. I am suprised by how much I like it. I had always avoided it thinking it to 'leet' for me. however from the install menu I choose nothing but the desktop enviros, so nothing else should be loaded. It ran pretty smooth. So this all leads me to think it is something like support for hardware and/or stuff in the newer distros and kernal.
Others are reporting excellent performance with older hardware but are using intel and amd, so I wonder if part os it could be the transmeta (maby not). So between the two I think lies the issue.
Hence looking at trimming down the kernal for stuff I do not need, and looking at the services as you have been helping with.

I may be getting a new laptop anyway (looking at an HP or HP Compaq becasue of the lower prices) which will alleaviate alot because of the better newer hardware. However I would still like to figure this out (with help of course otherwise all is lost) to get this running, for now, and if anything for the knowlegde of it for any future needs.
(I am a lousy typest and speller - sorry)

Again, Thank you to everyone for help on this. I am going to try to get to the services issue tonight and then later learn more on configuring and compiling kernals.

Thanks,
Cayzar

Last edited by cayzar; 06-06-2006 at 12:30 PM.
 
Old 06-06-2006, 01:04 PM   #38
vees
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
vees,
Excellent article. I have sent it to friends in the past. I do not agree with all the writers sentiments which are more subjective than objective but it was a good article. I apriciate the sentiment, especially since you've been helping me sort throught hte services, however I think there may be some confusion here between have performance issues as apposed to some culture shock after coming from windows. This is not a perception issue. It is a performance issue.
Ok. Sorry if I got sidetracked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
I used linux on the desktop for a few years (but am still very much a novice newbie, I admit), but never a laptop and it is a different world there, at least for me. All I can say or do is tell you what steps I went through and what hardware and distros I used.
Laptops are more of a pain, in particular the friggin Winmodems..

Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
The first laptop was (...) Debian ran very well. I am suprised by how much I like it. I had always avoided it thinking it to 'leet' for me.
I am sold on that. Nothing, nothing in GNU/Linux or BSD comes even close to Debian. Other distros all have their good points, and some are top notch, but none offer the cumulative array of Debian capabilites. However, this is a highly subjective opinion and others will, for sure, disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
however from the install menu I choose nothing but the desktop enviros, so nothing else should be loaded. It ran pretty smooth. So this all leads me to think it is something like support for hardware and/or stuff in the newer distros and kernal.
hardware support does depend on the kernel to a large extend but not exclusively. Comparing distro recognition capabilities does make sense and you should match ditro and hardware to see which workds best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
Others are reporting excellent performance with older hardware but are using intel and amd, so I wonder if part os it could be the transmeta (maby not). So between the two I think lies the issue.
Hence looking at trimming down the kernal for stuff I do not need, and looking at the services as you have been helping with. I may be getting a new laptop anyway
Don't. At least, not just yet. First, this is way to early for this, second you might have other problems with newer models and, last and but not least, all laptops are overpriced unless you really, REALLY, need the mobility.

I Run DSL on a 450MHz laptop which I carry around. All I need is word processing, web browsing and basic admin capabilities. My big n powerful laptop (which I got for 100 bucks) is a Dell 8200 inspiron with plenty of power. I use it as a mobile/substitute desktop. For any other stuff, Debian on old desktop computers is the most effective way to go.

I have long taken the decision not to EVER spend money on software and not to ever spend more than 100 bucks on hardware. The money I save with this goes to the Free Software Foundation and the Debian Project. I have never been happier with my 'IT budget' since.

This might be somewhat of a harder approach, but you learn plenty and there is nothing my money spending friends can do with their machines which I cannot do (usually better) on mines

I reccommend you try installing Debian Sarge on your laptops. Then see what happens and if you have problems, run 'hwinfo', 'alsaconf' and the other basic hardware detection applications and isolate the issue. Then come back here AND go to www.debianhelp.org and I can promise you that this will be worked out.

Am I making sense here?

Kind regards,

VS

Last edited by vees; 06-06-2006 at 01:09 PM.
 
Old 06-06-2006, 03:44 PM   #39
wini_g
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HINT hint from vess - DEBIAN ! - actually I have to look at Debian as well some time

<wait> Google-Transmeta Linux issue search in progress >>>

"The heart of Crusoe is what Transmeta calls code morphing, a technology that carries out certain chip-level instructions with software rather than hardware components. Transmeta claims that this unusual architecture makes its chips cheaper--they're not as complex, and require fewer transistors than Intel's Pentium family--and easier to develop and improve on. It's comparatively easy to fine-tune Crusoe's software layer, rather than redesigning the chip and having to produce new chips. "Our technology is fundamentally different (from Intel's)," says Ed McKernan, Transmeta's director of marketing.

To duplicate the functionality of Intel's Pentium chips, Crusoe's software emulates the x86 instruction set that drives the Windows and Linux operating systems. But emulation traditionally hurts performance, running programs slower than a chip that natively executes instructions. The ace up Transmeta's sleeve is dynamic optimization, a system that allows the chip to reprogram itself on the fly to deliver optimal performance. In theory, Transmeta's code-morphing technology could meet or even exceed the performance of Intel chips, because of the tangled legacy of the x86 instruction set."

( http://www.computeruser.com/articles...1,0201,01.html )

Linux on Sony Transmeta Laptop review : http://www-jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk/~mma29/c1/#cpu

Gentoo on 800MHz "Lifebook" : http://www.geocities.com/robm351/lifebook/

So Debian seems to be the easiest answer here

Last edited by wini_g; 06-06-2006 at 04:19 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2006, 09:42 AM   #40
cayzar
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Wini -g you are so freakin' awesome!! Thank You. I can only work on this at work since I do not have net at home and since I am working I have very limited windows of opertunity. I am still searching on how to deal with services and process's and have not even got to the transmeta search yet. You saved me a ton. Thanks!!!

I knew it! I thought I was loosing my mind but I new it had to be something with the transmeta! Now I wonder if there is a patch possibly to bridge that code translation gap a little better, or if it is a 'as is' situation.

Vees,
I will be taking your instructions to heart, trust me on this.

ONE THING THOUGH.
This is a small almost frivolous thing I admit however it drives me nuts. When I load debian it will only give me a vid max res of 800. So, as a test, I loaded ubuntu last night since it is debian based and it gave me 1024. I am trying ot find the way I can tell what it is using for a driver. I would assume (dangeous thing) that sarge would have all that ubuntu had so it would load my vid. BTW it is a SiS vid system on the laptop.
It is just that GIANT icons and windows are frustrating.

THANKS!!!
 
Old 06-07-2006, 10:23 AM   #41
cayzar
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Vees and wini -g,
I wanted ot personaly thank you for your help in all this. Well now I know what the issue hase been all along. I now need to get debian going.
I was wondering if you could give me some pointers on two things?

One: Getting the wireless recognised and working in sarge.

Two: Building a kernal optimised for a transmeta cpu The transmeta translates instructions to the x86 form factor which is what is killing my performance. One of the links mini -g posted said to recomile using a specific package for the kernal. What I need is to compile a kernal with all that I need for this model laptop.
OOpps... Three things. The third being the vid issue mentioned before.
 
Old 06-07-2006, 10:37 AM   #42
win32sux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
Building a kernal optimised for a transmeta cpu The transmeta translates instructions to the x86 form factor which is what is killing my performance.
i know the 2.4 kernel has transmeta crusoe as a cpu type option... i'm sure 2.6 has something like that, or better... is that what you need?? from my 2.4's menuconfig (section "processor type and family"):
Quote:
"Crusoe" for the Transmeta Crusoe series.

Last edited by win32sux; 06-07-2006 at 10:44 AM.
 
Old 06-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #43
cayzar
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Win32sux,
I have a kernal page in the control panel on KDS in sarge debian but it says sorry it wasn't configured. How do I get this option setup and will allow me to select the transmeta type?

Otherwise the hard way; are there any plain english how to's on putting a kernal together?

But I am glad to here that 2.4 and 2.6 have the support. That brightens the horizon. I will check out doc on linux.org se what I find.

Thanks,
 
Old 06-07-2006, 11:25 AM   #44
win32sux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzar
Otherwise the hard way; are there any plain english how to's on putting a kernal together?
this is the one i used the first time i compiled the kernel:

http://www.digitalhermit.com/linux/K...ild-HOWTO.html
 
Old 06-07-2006, 04:02 PM   #45
cayzar
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Very cool. Thanks. I printed a copy to take home. But first I will try to slim the services down to learn that then I will takele the kernal issue.

When compiling a kernal is it enough for the laptop to have a transmeta gigapro, 384 ram?
Will this have the ability to compile?

Any pointers on setting up a wireless nic in sarge?
 
  


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