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Old 05-02-2008, 08:53 AM   #16
Simon Bridge
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@rsw65: you are udoubtably correct. thanks.

Note: the mic has gone again. I need to test this with an external mic.

You'll recall that installing the linuxant drivers totally bunta'd the sound while rendering the lappy unbootable. Reinstalling, and all I can record with the internal mic are clicks!

Anyone heard of this before?
 
Old 05-06-2008, 02:54 AM   #17
Flymo
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Thumbs up Acer 4315

That's right folks, our focus here is indeed the excellent 4315 - bought primarily as an online TV guide 'spare' lappy but it has rapidly taken up 90% of my time due to the fascination of fixing all the stuff that Acer could not be bothered to do! And now it 'just works'.

Using NDISwrapper the WiFi switch does indeed kill/re-enable the Wifi, but no LED yet.

Largely thanks to you, Simon, we now have a most elegant Hardy Heron installation on the 4315 that blows away machines at three times the price if they are encumbered by Vista.

We like visiting unsuspecting retailers and asking for 'another one like this please'.
'Doing the Cube' can attract a crowd in any PC store, and then they ask the price! Bwahahahaha!<LOL>

FYI the 5684 is good with Gutsy - WiFi and all. Hardy Heron will be installed some day soon, but we need some more backup space on the external drive before attempting that.

All the best, Ben
 
Old 06-01-2008, 03:44 PM   #18
chibiace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsw65 View Post
I think Flymo is actually using the Acer 4315 - but is talking about the 5211.sys windows wifi driver used in ndiswrapper to drive the 5007EG wifi card. At least that is what I have as the driver on an as yet unchanged 4315 with the orginal Acer linux install.

regards

Robert
forget ndiswrapper its so much easier to install the madwifi driver
copy&paste from the hbclinux.net.nz page.

this laptop sorta works with OSX too. i wish suspend worked the same way on linux, at least we have a working wifi driver.
 
Old 06-13-2008, 05:07 PM   #19
Srz0rz
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Hi, I bought the Aspire 4315 in March from Dick Smith and I only just found this thread. Here's my original review of the laptop. It's good to see work is being done to get Ubuntu 8.04 working on this machine. I was quite disappointed when the wireless didn't work with a clean install of Hardy, I had thought that Atheros Wireless cards were quite well supported. I'm going to try out the fixes on the HBC Linux page and hopefully have a fully working 8.04 install soon. Thanks for all the work diagnosing and fixing the bugs Simon, keep up the good work.

Last edited by Srz0rz; 06-13-2008 at 05:11 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2008, 06:08 PM   #20
Srz0rz
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Holy Crap! I just realised my swapspace had been disable all this time! The laptop runs so much faster/smoother now. I can't believe it, why would anyone at Acer cripple their product like that??
 
Old 06-14-2008, 03:31 AM   #21
Flymo
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Talking Heheheh.....

....please see my earlier remarks concerning Acer support! <grin>

The swap file makes such a difference - but the lack might not be obvious to an Acer employee expecting Windoze performance.

Acer must have some engineers hidden somewhere - because the hardware is pretty darn good, and I'm a fan of their extensive supplementary software (installed under XP MCE on the Aspire 5684, eg) that adds good things like system backup to XP.

This installation on the 4315 has all the signs of a hasty job. The PXE boot left enabled - why? Probably because that's how they installed the OS? Then forgot to turn it off. Ditto they forgot to turn on the swap. Some of the other omissions are small but annoying - I can hear the voice of 'Management' saying:-
"It boots up, the screensaver works, what more does it need to do?"
(translation: damn the quality, just finish it)

The 4315 is so nearly a world-leading machine. All they had to do is finish it off - and with Ubuntu Hardy it is brilliant. Just look at the Asus Eee to see just how successful it could have been. This laptop was cheaper than the basic Eee! Amazing!

BTW - searches suggest that a T7100 might drop into the motherboard, any thoughts?

All the best, Ben



If there is an engineer at Acer reading this, please join in, we know what management can do to ruin the best projects.
Seriously, if Acer were to harness the support of the Linux community they could make out like bandits.
 
Old 06-16-2008, 09:27 PM   #22
Simon Bridge
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Managed to get in to see the Acer bigwigs in NZ... on demonstrating the machine, the mic suddenly started working. It seems the sliders need to be carefully tweaked.

The NZ people have expressed keenness in having a good relationship with the Free Software community here. So the moral is - keep at them.

I have heard rumors that everything will be working out of the box (except modem) in Intrepid... can't wait. Already the intrepid kernel will fix the acpi issues. The acer support modules are getting attention too.
 
Old 06-16-2008, 09:46 PM   #23
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
....please see my earlier remarks concerning Acer support! <grin>

The swap file makes such a difference - but the lack might not be obvious to an Acer employee expecting Windoze performance.
ditto Compared to windows on the same machine - it's super slick. The trouble windows users have is with unexpectedly missing functionality.

Quote:
Acer must have some engineers hidden somewhere - because the hardware is pretty darn good, and I'm a fan of their extensive supplementary software (installed under XP MCE on the Aspire 5684, eg) that adds good things like system backup to XP.
I've seen as many people who hate all that. But they do make some effort to support Windows (prop it up).

Mentioning Vista at the meeting got heartfelt groans One of the reason vendors are experimenting with linux is the way they feel let down by MS. They need an alternative and these are HW people - they actually don't care what the software is.

Quote:
This installation on the 4315 has all the signs of a hasty job. The PXE boot left enabled - why? Probably because that's how they installed the OS? Then forgot to turn it off. Ditto they forgot to turn on the swap.
You cannot just forget to turn swap on - it's enabled by default. You have to expressly switch it off.

Unless something they did disabled it and nobody noticed.

Similarly, the drive had to be deliberately formatted ext2 to drop journalling. Not done by default - so the drive was probably pre-formatted before install. (Perhaps they used their fav partitioner a-la windows, and it only listed ext2 as "linux"?)

They probably tried to install the linuxant driver too... found it didn't work, uninstalled it, found the mic didn't go, left it at that.
Quote:
Some of the other omissions are small but annoying - I can hear the voice of 'Management' saying:-
"It boots up, the screensaver works, what more does it need to do?"
(translation: damn the quality, just finish it)
This product was not a priority. The install folk were told to do the simplest "vanilla" install to get it going and they had a deadline.

Quote:
The 4315 is so nearly a world-leading machine. All they had to do is finish it off - and with Ubuntu Hardy it is brilliant. Just look at the Asus Eee to see just how successful it could have been. This laptop was cheaper than the basic Eee! Amazing!
This was stressed at the meeting. Issues with this machine - and returns - were leading the NZ team to cancel their linux plans. The demo I gave them and the discussion has lead to more thought going in to the next offering.

Quote:

If there is an engineer at Acer reading this, please join in, we know what management can do to ruin the best projects.
Seriously, if Acer were to harness the support of the Linux community they could make out like bandits.
Looks like NZLUG, at least, will get a heads-up on the next release - I've pushed for a preview and they have been receptive to the idea that they can get the HW and presentation set up properly before they hit the market.

BTW: the word you want there is "leverage" ... they can "leverage pre-existing community-based support infrastructure". Market speak is like writing perl - when you don't want others to understand you.
 
Old 06-22-2008, 12:33 AM   #24
Srz0rz
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The swap was probably disabled unintentionally because all the models had the same UUID, so they probably created an image which they installed on all the models, not realising that each partition on each laptop would have a unique UUID.

The file system *may* have been formatted to ext2 because of performance considerations. That's the only reason I can think of that you might use ext2 instead of ext3.
 
Old 06-23-2008, 03:57 AM   #25
Flymo
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Thumbs up That's right....

...I recall having to patch something in order to enable the swap, Srz0rz. It did have a UUID to the swap partition iirc. Which would be 'unique' to the source machine. Universally Unique IDentifier, I believe?

Simon - sorry - thought I had already posted a reply to your careful post, for which many thanks. Must have failed to hit the right button at the right time. I agree with all you say, and offer deep respect to your establishing contact with Acer.

Thought there must have been a deadline or similar constraint on Acer, since there were so many little loose ends.

As for marketingspeak:-

"We can leverage our core competencies in order to increase customer focus"
(with thanks to Scott Adams and Dilbert)

Does that help? <grin>

Seriously - Acer is dead good at making what turns out to be a tough little notebook with stunning ability when Ubuntu is sorted out - the notebook is their area of core ability, and Ubuntu (with community support) is something they can use to devastating effect.

If I can help the effort by contacting Acer guys here in the UK please let me know. We're only 45 minutes outside London by fast train, and a chance to see a full-on compositing desktop with spinning translucent cubes all the gears and fancy bits might help. Bling is no 'use', but it sure convinces people, imho. It has a value.

A cheeky tag line just came to me :-

"It's the software, stupid"

(with acknowlegements to previous users of similar phrases)

Profound respect is due to all developers and supporters in the Gnu/Linux community.

Best regards, Ben
 
Old 06-24-2008, 08:05 PM   #26
Srz0rz
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Hi Flymo, in order to enable the swap on my machine, i just followed the instructions found here. What really struck me as interesting was that the UUID in my /etc/fstab file was exactly the same as the one on that page i.e. e616....145c, which made me think that they used the same /etc/fstab file for all the machines, logically I thought it should be unique to each machine.
 
Old 06-28-2008, 03:24 AM   #27
Flymo
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Thumbs up Indeed!

....that sounds like the smoking gun! Well spotted.

Beginning to lose what little anger we felt towards Acer, the problems found do indeed have all the hallmarks of haste rather than incompetence.

The problem solutions to be found on the web are a vindication of FOSS and the concept of community support. May Acer management truly see the real benefit of working closely with the community.

All the best, Ben

Last edited by Flymo; 06-28-2008 at 03:29 AM. Reason: DŽoh!
 
Old 08-09-2008, 04:03 AM   #28
samjam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Srz0rz View Post
The swap was probably disabled unintentionally because all the models had the same UUID, so they probably created an image which they installed on all the models, not realising that each partition on each laptop would have a unique UUID.

The file system *may* have been formatted to ext2 because of performance considerations. That's the only reason I can think of that you might use ext2 instead of ext3.
I have no idea what device you are talking about :-) but if it uses flash as storage then ext2 will be used to avoid the journal wearing out the flash; likewise swap will be turned off for the same reason.
 
  


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