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  • Ryan Earl
    Hello, I found this list a couple days ago--it s already been helpful--so I figured I d subscribe, hang around for awhile, and introduce myself. I was
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2003
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      I found this list a couple days ago--it's already been helpful--so I
      figured I'd subscribe, hang around for awhile, and introduce myself. I was
      recently given an Inspiron 5000. It came with Win2K, but I immediately
      replaced it with Gentoo Linux in order to investigate the viability of
      shifting completely away from Windows on my primary workstation. I've used
      Linux extensively in academic and work environments for development and
      production servers, but I've never used it as my desktop.

      At first, I wasn't quite sure if I had an I5000 or i5000e. The laptop I
      have is a P3-700Mhz (1390 Bogomips), 256MB RAM, and 20GB HD, which
      according to the Dell site is only available on the 5000e. I looked at the
      hardware in Win2K before installing Linux, but at the time I didn't think
      knowing the exact video chipset was important and promptly forgot it while
      waiting for Gentoo to do it's first major rsync update. I've since figured
      out it's a Mach64 with 4MB of RAM. Meh, not impressive but enough to run
      my screen at its max res of 1400x1050x24bit. I won't be doing any 3D, but
      I think it's gonna be a nice little laptop for development and what
      not. Oh, yea, I'm a software engineer, so I'm pretty much looking for a
      platform to develop on--PHP, MySQL, GCC, Python, Perl, Java, etc.

      So there are a couple of challenges I perceive ahead of me. One is getting
      a Linksys WPC54G 802.11g adapter working which I'm hitting the linux-wlan
      site up for support on, and the other is getting all the power management,
      fans, buttons, CPU throttling, ACPI, etc support working. I was pretty
      stoked when I saw support for Dell laptops in the kernel, but I was later
      let down when I realized it wasn't going to work with the i5000. I can't
      load the i8k.o modules unless I force load it. And when I do force load
      it, I get the following output from 'cat /proc/i8k'

      1.0 A08 123456789 -22 -22 -22 -22 -22 -1 -22

      ACPI seems to show some promise. I've cat'd through all the files in the
      /proc/acpi/ directory. It apparently detects the battery correctly and
      reads it current charge and voltage. It detects when AC power is connected
      or not as well. I'm not sure how well it detects the processor
      temperature, but it detects all sorts of throttling options for it, so I'm
      hopeful. ACPI always shows the fans as 'on' even when they're not spinning
      which is a bit dubious. I started getting gkrellm working with ACPI
      plugins, but then I started upgrading to KDE 3.1, so I'm gonna have to wait
      a for that to finish compiling before I mess around with it more. It took
      about 20 hours to install KDE 3.0.5a, but hey, it'll all be aggressively
      optimized for the box with SSE and MMX support in everything.

      Overall I'm pretty happy with my progress despite numerous hangups. It
      took me a day to realized I had to -disable- PCMCIA support in the kernel
      to get my CardBus Ethernet adapter working (pcmcia-cs installs it's own
      pcmcia driver). I really like the 15" screen. It's pretty sharp. I
      imagine that must have been one of the major selling points for this
      particular model.

      Anyway, I'm sure I'll have some questions soon.

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