I don’t have much more to report about the new family member, except perhaps to show some minor details before I add them to the hardware page. The guts of this system are not terrifically different from the other, but there seem to be a few “improvements,” if I can call them that.
- 120Mhz Pentium: A minor setup up from the other machine, I suppose this what you got if you waited a few months after the 100Mhz system became available … way back in 1996.
- 16Mb PC66: I am seriously considering tearing the other 16Mb out of the older machine and doubling the memory available to this one. It would make a big difference. It’s interesting to note that the 32Mb stick I got a long time ago, that didn’t work in the older Pentium … doesn’t work in this one either.
- Chips and Technologies F65550 video card: Like the processor, this seems to be mostly an aesthetic improvement over the F65548. I believe this also has 1Mb of memory, but still stands on the VESA1.2 extensions that make the Linux framebuffer more or less impossible. It does seem a little more forgiving when I get X started, though. Slitaz 2.0 goes straight to SLiM, without even blinking.
- Intel 430MX chipset: Not much to say there, except that everything seems to be connected properly, and that’s always good.
- Texas Instruments PCI1130 CardBus Bridge: In other words, a PCMCIA port that uses yenta support over the unusual PD6729 (or whatever) that the other laptop uses. Also nicer because the divider that kept me from using my Type III network card is not blocking this one. Back to the xircom_cs module. …
- 106-key Japanese keyboard: One of the reasons I kept the other laptop around so long was that I liked the feel of the keyboard, even if the PageUp key was a little loose. This one, if you can believe it, is even nicer. Two screws hold it in place, with rather discrete swinging doors over each, and it lifts up to expose the memory expansion slot. Very convenient.
- Samsung MP0402H 40Gb 5400rpm hard drive: Shamelessly stolen from the older machine, and not likely to go back any time soon.
- Xircom RealPort CardBus Ethernet 10/100+Modem 56: The aforementioned network card, which doesn’t get fantastic speeds but is more or less reliable and hasn’t given me any issues yet.
- 800×600 LCD: Small, but big things come in small packages. Not a scratch on it. No dead pixels. It’s a beauty.
- SoundBlaster 16-compatible audio: I think. Sound is ISA-based, and I’m not afraid to admit my ignorance when it comes to ISA hardware. I wrangle with it from time to time and I would like very much to get this working fully on this machine, but I have my doubts. I’ll have to go looking for information about ISA sound cards. …
So far I’m thrilled with this. I have to get everything in place and get a working system together in Crux, but for the most part, it’s a winner. My preliminary graphic systems have worked fine, but X would crash with backtrace codes, presumably because it ran out of memory. That was off the Crux 2.4 base packages though, with a few updated I’ll have to give the newer versions a try too.
Either way, I will have my hands full for the next few weeks. Which is a good thing.