Update: Re: [ale] eMachines AMD64 notebook

Jeff Hubbs hbbs at comcast.net
Tue Feb 3 23:56:12 EST 2004

Today I took Knoppix and Slax (http://slax.linux-live.org) CDs to Office
Depot and Best Buy to evaluate laptops.  I wasn't disturbed at Office
Depot but a succession of blue-shirted goons stopped me for questioning
at Best Buy.

I didn't have time to try Knoppix on the AMD64-based eMachines laptop
but the Slax one booted up only so far and froze.  

At Best Buy, concern was expressed that they have to keep their demo
software on the machines; once I assured them that I wasn't affecting
the hard drive, they were cool.  Actually, there was a blond fellow
(Mike?) who actually spoke with me with interest about what I was doing
and what I was having to deal with in selecting laptops.  He said he had
messed with Linux a tiny bit and he had a roommate who messed with Linux
some.  I gave him my CDs. :)  

Knoppix seems to ignore the "screen" parameter when you pass it at boot
time (I've had this happen on other machines too) but Slax believed me
when I told it to give me 1200x800 and it gave me a
properly-proportioned display on a Compaq at Office Depot, and
touchpad-tapping and touchpad-scrolling both Just Worked.  This at least
gives me hope.

It is SuSE that offers an AMD64 Linux distro that is anything like ready
to roll.  Gentoo support seems to be underway
(http://dev.gentoo.org/~brad_mssw/amd64-tech-notes.html).  None of htese
efforts, I believe, specifically address the eMachines M6807.  For the
time being, at least as far as the aforementioned Gentoo link says,
accelerated video for the built-in Radeon 9600 can't be had.  

On Mon, 2004-02-02 at 06:04, Geoffrey wrote:
> Jeff Hubbs wrote:
> > ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 - Linux-usable?  Closed driver?
> For laptops, ATI generally refers you to the manufacturer of the laptop, 
> but this link might provide some hope:
> http://www.ati.com/support/drivers/linux/radeon-linux.html?type=linux&prodType=graphic&prod=productsLINUXdriver&submit.x=11&submit.y=10&submit=GO%21
> It's long and ugly, but a link to ati closed driver for the non-mobility 
> 9600.  Also check out the gatos project.
> > 1280 x 800 screen - how sucky?  I can dig the aspect ratio, but not
> > because of DVD-watching - it's more a matter of having things like a
> > browser window up on one side and an OO window up in the other.
> > 
> > It says "Built-in high-speed wireless networking (802.11g/b-compliant);
> > integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN; V.92 high-speed modem" - can I expect
> > that none of these will necessarily work under Linux?  I do plan to use
> > the 802.11 part of the time, even if I need to buy a known good PCMCIA
> > 802.11 card.
> the nic and modem could well work, the wireless is more likely going to 
> be an issue.  It all depends on the chipsets.
> > "Pointing Device:  Touchpad with vertical scroll zone" - I'm likely to
> > pick up a real mouse (awesome if there's a way to do that wirelessly)
> > for my laptop but it'd sure be nice if this functioned, especially the
> > scroll pad and the tap/double-tap for mouse clicks.
> I've seen a couple of different wireless mice designed for laptops, 
> haven't tried one yet though.
> > 
> > Related questions:
> > 
> > Would I be happier if I got one of the hyperthreading P4s instead, to
> > include one with better screen resolution even if it's 4:3 ratio?
> Can't help you with that one. :(  Although I think the need for a 64 bit 
> processor is still questionable.
Jeff Hubbs <hbbs at comcast.net>

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