First let me describe the specs on this machine, and then you'll see the unique issues this machine has, and the problems that arise when trying to install an OS on it.

The Libretto I have is the 50CT model. The default config is a p75, 16MB EDO RAM, & an 810MB Hard Drive. The screen is TFT, 6.1" diagonally. The video chip set is a C&T 65550 with 1 Mb of video RAM. It has one 16bit Type II PCMCIA slot, along with an infrared port that is IrDA 1.0. There is also a port replicator that gives you external VGA, DB25, & DB9 connections. I had upgraded the system to it's max of 32MB RAM, & a 3.0GB HDD. All in a package about the size of a VHS tape. The mouse is built into the side of the scree, with the 2 buttons on the other side.

One of the major issues is the external FDD. The problem being that it has a PCMCIA interface that is controlled via the BIOS. Say I wanna boot up with a slackware boot/root disk set. Works great until it asks me for the 2nd disk. After the 1st disk, the Linux kernel takes over & of course has no idea how to deal with this funky FDD.

My solution was a little extreme. I removed the hard drive, & installed it into another Toshiba notebook I had. I chose Slackware 7 for it's small footprint. I decided to go with the "install everything" option, being that if I needed anything, it wasn't really an option to get it off the CD.

After install, I removed the HDD threw it in the libretto & powered up. I recompiled the kernel for APM support; the entire compile & install, etc was 45 minutes or so.

The X config was pretty easy. It's running 3.3.5, with an SVGA server at 640x480 native, & also with an optional "800x600" virtual window at 16bit. I'm running it with KDE 1.1.2 which isn't too bad. I've been spoiled by 2.2.1, but I don't think it could handle the higher version too well. still a work in progress. needless to say, it is currently being a pain in the ass. But on a p75, you don't play too many MP3's, but I am working on it.

NIC: Now that works! The nic I have is a NetGear FA411 16bit which works rather nicely once it's set up right. I was having some issues, & threw a question out to #everything & Accipiter answered, & suggested I try the following: I logged in as root, typed: "cardmgr -o" I then rebooted, & saw the nic listed in dmesg where it previously was not listed. That solved the 1st part, now I had to do the other half: find out which modules to load. I did a search on google for "fa411 linux" & found this:

Netgear FA411 10/100 Ethernet

Worked on 0.5 (downloaded Nov 10, 2001) after a quick edit of /etc/pcmcia/config. Added the following after the entry for the FA410TXC and rebooted:

card "NetGear FA411 Fast Ethernet"
version "NETGEAR", "FA411"
bind "pcnet_cs"

So I tried it.And it worked.

On this page:

Ok, now the nic is set up mostly, I ran "netconfig" as root, named the host & set it to use DHCP. I did an init 6 & watched as it aquired an IP, & opened at a brisk pace.

Update: I added a new nic; a Xircom IIps 10mb. Auto-detected, works like a champ.

I also did some mods with hdparm. I added the following to my rc.local file:

hdparm -c 1 -k 1 /dev/hda

Which of course does the following:

setting 32-bit I/O support flag to 1
setting keep_settings to 1 (on)
I/O support = 1 (32-bit)
keep settings = 1 (on)

Doing this improved Hard Drive access speeds nicely.

I'll keep updating this as I get the sound to work, & any other cards I may throw into it.

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