Originally Posted by SalMichaels
About six months ago I switched from Vista to PCLinuxOS, and I loved it, absolutely loved it. But after a couple months, a couple problems that I couldn't solve forced me to go back to Vista. Now, I've learned a little more, and am considering going back, but I could use some advise and maybe some help.
For flawless performance, one must purchase hardware for the OS. Which is what you did when you purchased a Windows-only computer. You will also find that other non-Windows OSs will have problems.
(Interestingly, there have been problems
with vista on this machine too.)
The most effective first step is to try a range of live CD distros. Most variations have them now. Find out which ones run your machine and to what extent. The rest will be about deciding what level of inconvenience you want to put up with for the gains you get.
linux on laptops
only has one gateway in the series, and it isn't yours.
1) There was no power management whatsoever, and my notebook (Gateway MT6458) would get very, very hot, and basically never powered down unless I powered it down.
This is very common. Sadly, many hardware vendors choose to ship non-standard power management and fix the differences in software - for Windows only.
Interestingly, I have heard of power management issues (with gateway laptops) under Vista too.
Fixing ACPI usually means getting the latest kernel, and editing the DSDT. But your machine has been out long enough that the latest kernel may just be able to handle it now. Depends how many kernel hackers have one of these, and how many good beg reports the acpi team get.
If all else fails, running "noacpi" will switch the fan on all the time, so at least you won't overheat the cpu.
2) The wireless card (Marvell) would never work; The OS never talked to it, and so I never had wireless. I tried everything that was recommeneded, and it was a constant dead end.
We need to know the exact wireless card.
Looks like it is a Marvell TOPDOG PCI-Express 802.11n Wireless Adapter [EC85] ... please confirm.
Many cards do not work or require proprietary firmware in the post-install. The most effective workaround is to purchase a linux-compatible dongle.
Windows makes you jump through hoops
for this one too.
In linux you can use the madwifi drivers, or the latest windows one from gateway with ndiswrapper.
3) I couldn't use S-Video. Getting this damn thing to work on vista is hard enough, but I had very little luck getting it to work on Linux. I had to download ATI Catalyst Control center, which got me close - but no cigar.
So the laptop uses an ATI video card - which one?
You may yet need fglrx - and some xorg configuration, though most ATI features wll work with the free-software radeon driver these days. Some distros will autoconfigure the svideo output in cloned mode by default.
To make the most of TV outputs, you can try some of the media-center apps.
I really wanna get into linux and stay there, I just can't do it unless these problems are solved or, at least, solvable.
Ahhh, well, solveable
is a different kettle of piranas! It's all solveable, you have the source code - go for it
The manufacturers won't like you reverse engineering their stuff but.
The first step is to look for something fairly recent and main-stream, and install it.
Do a write-up for Linux on Laptops, and file bug reports down the appropriate channels. This sort of thing really helps.