April 24, 2019

Pavilion, SUSE Make for Great Portable 64-Bit Computing - page 4

Why Put a Year-Old Distro on a Brand New 64-bit Notebook?

  • May 12, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

These minor adjustments were done to bring the notebook up to near perfect functionality.

  • The nVidia driver was upgraded using YaST's on-line update.
  • As a quick fix, I changed permissions on the sound device files to allow regular users to use various CD players and XMMS. The hint was that root could make sound work, but regular users had no access to the mixers. As I recall, I've had this difficulty in past versions. I think I could have added rreilly to the audio group, but didn't test that theory.
  • The Broadcom chip needed the 64-bit Windows driver, along with ndiswrapper, to function properly. You recall that I downloaded and unzipped the driver file while still logged into XP. Quite a few gyrations were required to get the wifi chip to work, but nothing very difficult.

The result of all these adjustments was no less than stunning.

After upgrading the video driver, I could run the wide-screen LCD screen at 1280x1024 using 24-bit color. It also allow 3D Acceleration. There was a noticeable difference in rendering the scenes in Tuxracer, running with and without acceleration on. Gamers may not be satisfied, because the video chip does only have 64MB of dedicated memory. My understanding is that it's kind of a mid-range graphics chip. I'm happy, because the screens are crisp and clear, with no noticeable ghosting. The combination would be very satisfactory for non-game users.

Sound worked fine after the tweaking as well. I was able to crank up the built-in Harman-Kardon speakers to slightly uncomfortable listening levels without trouble. The microphone input and earphone outputs worked correctly. It was a welcome change, seeing as I had fried my mic input on my old laptop and could no longer record any audio. I tried Audacity and was able to record and edit my voice, without difficulty. Now I can get back to my Icecast/Shoutcast streaming projects.

As for the Broadcom wifi chip? Worked like a dream. I was able to connect to my Samba server at home and cruise the Web while sipping a coffee at Panera Bread. Throughput on an 802.11b network was great. Linux Today took about a quarter of a second to render. I don't have any 802.11g equipment, so was unable to evaluate the chip's performance at 54 Mb/s.

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