Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Laptop

Few days ago, i bought a new laptop, ASUS UL80vt. This is my second laptop after i bought the first one about four years ago. It was Acer Travelmate 4150NLCi. The old laptop is still working up to now, but there was some problem on the rotating pin which is used to rotate the lid. One of them is broken, so the lid is no longer stable even though it's still working.

On the afternoon, after finishing my class, i decided to find a new laptop and i found a good one. It come with a pre-installed Windows 7 Home Premium and with a quite high-end specifications. If you are curious, check the information on Amazon but my hard disk is 500 GB instead of 320 GB listed on the page.

At night, i removed all Windows 7 partition, including the recovery partition, as i have commited to fully using Slackware Linux on this laptop. The installation works normally, except for some problem post-installation, so i repeated the installation step and this time, it's working normally.

Everything is detected out of the box, except for VGA cards and wireless chipset. It uses Vidia G210M Graphics with 512MB DDR3 + Intel GMA 4500MHD (Switchable VGA), but the problem is that the switch button only works on Windows and not yet in Linux, since it hasn't been supported either by XOrg nor NVidia proprietary drivers.

It uses Intel WiFI Link 100 Series. When i looked at this page, it says that it has been supported, so i knew that the default kernel used in Slackware 13.0 (2.6.29.6) hasn't supported this chipset and the only solution is by upgrading the kernel, so i did compiled my kernel and using the latest one available (2.6.31.6). Luckily the latest NVidia driver 190.xx has supported this chipset and also this kernel version, so i had no problem with it. My effort was paid off, since right now, the wireless chipset is detected, but still, it doesn't support scanning. I even posted a post on LQ (it's marked as CLOSED now).

I browsed Google again and i realized that i haven't downloaded the microcode for this chipset, so i try to find it on Intel Wireless page and yes, it's there. The file i need is iwlwifi-1000-ucode-128.50.3.1.tgz. I only need to download, extract, and put the microcode in /lib/firmware and restart my laptop (or even better, only reload the module for this chipset) and now it's working greatYahoo

The only problem now is activating the NVidia chipset rather than using Intel GMA as the primary VGA card. Let's hope the switch button will be implemented as soon as possible in Linux.