COMPAQ Presario 1200-XL205
Configurations for running Linux
Andika Triwidada:


I installed Debian Potato (Debian stable 2.2r3), dual booted with Windows 98 SE on my 12XL205. Linux runs much more reliably, never stucks on boot. One thing I miss is serial port. I really need it on my machine, but I can't afford to buy serial-to-USB converter :-(
Some of info here taken and adopted from Tom Hunt's Installing and Running Redhat Linux 6.2 on the Compaq Presario 1200-XL125 Laptop after some verification.
I have upgraded Debian installation on my machine into Woody (Debian unstable). No problem!


Interfaces Detailed Setup

X Setup
SVGA XServer supports CyberBlade. The key is to use cyberblade chipset, and 32 bpp. I can't activate SVGA's lower color depths yet. My XF86Setup is here. VGA16 XServer can be used too, to run display on 4 bpp.

Sound Setup
I prefer ALSA than sound drivers included in stock kernel. I use ALSA driver version 0.5.9d, configured this way:

  ./configure --with-cards=via686a
Then modules.conf should be modified to contains:
# ALSA native device support
alias char-major-116 snd
options snd snd_major=116 snd_cards_limit=1
alias snd-card-0 snd-card-via686a
options snd-card-via686a snd_index=0 snd_id="VIA"

# OSS/Free setup
alias char-major-14 soundcore
alias sound-slot-0 snd-card-0
alias sound-service-0-0 snd-mixer-oss
alias sound-service-0-1 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-3 snd-pcm-ossalias sound-service-0-8 snd-seq-oss
alias sound-service-0-12 snd-pcm-oss
On Debian, you should put lines above on /etc/modutils/alsa, instead of directly modifying /etc/modules.conf. I used mp3blaster to test sound, because it comes with its own mixer (easier to setup and use than other command-line mixer).
If you can't compile ALSA, sound driver module in standard kernel can be used, too. But unlike ALSA driver, I got 'clicks' on every transition between MP3 songs. /etc/modules should contain these lines:
You can ignore via82cxxx: timeout while reading AC97 codec message.
Another difference between ALSA and kernel sound driver is mixer setting. ALSA set all default mixer values to zero, while kernel set it to 2/3 of max.

Internal Modem Setup
There is Linux driver for the internal modem now. Check this page which contains driver and documentation.

Default Debian kernel does not support APM, you don't have to recompile kernel to activate APM, but add append="apm=on" on your /etc/lilo.conf. It's a pity that this Presario battery - APM interface only tells battery charge percentage. Anyone knows any application which will calculate / extrapolate battery time from that percentage info?
After experimenting with ACPI, I can successfully turn-off notebook power using poweroff command, while using APM, I still have to press power button for more than 4 seconds after poweroff to really power-off this box.

PC Card
Nothing special must be done to make Debian knows PC Card. I use DLink DMF-560TXD (10/100 Mbps ethernet + 56kbps data/fax modem) which flawlessly recognized by Linux, and enable me to connect again to Internet without having to use Windows.

Road Warrior
A little package on Debian, divine, is very helpful if you have to change network often, but you have to use fixed IP address. It works by checking whether a specific machine with known IP address is exist, by sending an ARP request. I found that we can't choose any Windows NT or Windows 9x machine for that ARP interrogation, because they won't answer such a request (???).

USB ports are recognized by kernel 2.2.18pre21. Testing using serial-to-USB converter was success. Kernel used was 2.2.20 and 2.4.18. USB mouse also works.

Software detailed info

Bad news
Battery is effectively dead :-( It will only last less than 5 minutes, so I take it out and left it at home.

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