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Old 04-11-2004, 05:36 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Libranet 8.1, Slackware 9
Posts: 107

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Hi, All! I'm back, need laptop support...

Hi, everybody. I was a Slacker up to the end of last summer, when I tried out Debian on my desktop machine. I'm now running Gentoo on my main box, and FreeBSD on my server. However, I just received an old laptop from a friend -- a Compaq Presario 1900. I have gotten Slackware up and running on it and am happy once again -- I can now have all 3 of my favorite *nixes installed at one time..

However, I am pretty new to the laptop world. I am trying to get the battery monitor to work under gnome. I tried loading the apm driver, and it spits it back at me saying:
/lib/modules/2.4.22/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/apm.o.gz: init_module: No such device
/lib/modules/2.4.22/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/apm.o.gz: Hint: insmod errors can be caused by incorrect module parameters, including invalid IO or IRQ parameters.
      You may find more information in syslog or the output from dmesg
/lib/modules/2.4.22/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/apm.o.gz: insmod /lib/modules/2.4.22/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/apm.o.gz failed
/lib/modules/2.4.22/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/apm.o.gz: insmod apm failed
Not sure what this means. I've tried to get some information on this from the CMOS setup tool, but it's rather cryptic. I guess Compaq never expected anybody to actually have to change anything. Kinda rankles me a bit, but I can't say I didn't expect it.

I'd also like to get the extra keys above the keyboard to work. I'm also trying to get some other things to work, like the TV out and the "fn" key on the bottom of the keyboard -- it's useful for getting the machine into sleep mode and such.

I'll very much appreciate any advice you guys can give me. It's good to be back.
Old 04-11-2004, 06:36 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Distribution: Ubuntu
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the error message you get is just like the one i got on an unrelated thread, so it might be caused cuz your laptop uses ACPI instead of APM... in that case, you could try using an acpi-enabled kernel (bareacpi.i) and running the acpi daemon (acpid)... just a thought...

here's the thread with my error message:
Old 04-12-2004, 03:51 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Libranet 8.1, Slackware 9
Posts: 107

Original Poster
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I actually compiled acpi into a kernel and tried that, to no avail. I think it's a stripped down version of the PhoenixBIOS (from 2000 - which means they had gone to ACPI by then, if I'm not mistaken) and I'm not sure if Compaq actually kept all of the original features of that BIOS. Pretty dumb if you ask me. However, I paid $0.00 for the laptop, so I guess I can't really complain.

If anybody else has had experience with this laptop and power management (or any other Compaq laptop for that matter) please let me know, as I'd really like to know how much battery power I have left while I'm working. And I'm not installing Windows. Ever.
Old 04-12-2004, 11:07 PM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Burke, VA
Distribution: RHEL, Slackware, Ubuntu, Fedora
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Have you tried a newer kernel?

I'd suggets compiling a 2.6.x series and compile apm and acpi both as modules. Try both.

modprobe apm
modprobe acpi

See what you get.

Have you looked at

Old 04-13-2004, 02:42 AM   #5
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Libranet 8.1, Slackware 9
Posts: 107

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I got ACPI working by using the bareacpi.i kernel from the cd. It loads ACPI up, but then it tells me the my ACPI BIOS is known to be bad, and it then shuts down ACPI. I even used acpi=force on the kernel command line. Oh well, I guess having an old Compaq machine is just not gonna make things easy.

Actually, the only big problem is that I have no idea how much battery power I have. It's always a good thing to know.

However, I am also wondering -- the alsa drivers have been installed by Slackware along with the alsa libs, etc. If I compile a new kernel, the correct driver modules are no longer in the modules directory I need. I was wondering -- should I just reinstall the package, or is there some easy way to recompile the drivers for my new kernel?

I know that 2.6 is good for this, and I plan to get it going. I've had it working along with udev since 2.6.1 on my Gentoo box. I just got this laptop, and I need a whole afternoon to really go through the 2.6 kernel options to get them working right. I don't guess I'll need udev, or will I?

Thanks for the quick responses.


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