[svlug] Question for the next Linux Conference on Oct, 15th.
rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Sep 21 13:53:59 PDT 2005
Hi, Joseph. I'm answering your message on the SVLUG main mailing list.
(You sent it to the SVLUG webmaster address.) If you want to reply
there, you'll want to join the mailing list first. Please see:
Quoting Joseph Liou (jliou0228 at hotmail.com):
> I am a college student who is trying to install Linux on my system to
> instead of Win32.
> My Lap Top information is:
Ah, I believe this is the one also known as the "Mercury Green320", that
is occasionally sold at Fry's Electronics. It's often branded as made
by "GQ" (aka "Great Quality"). Motherboard technical details, below.
> CPU VIA1.2GHz
That's the VIA (formerly Cyrix) C3 "Eden" EBGA CPU -- basically the same
as the preceding "Nehemiah" and "Ezra" versions of this chip, except
running at a faster clock speed. Known for running cool.
> RAM 128 MB
> LCD 14.1 "xGA
> Optical CD-Rom
> 4 cell batteries
That laptop's motherboard uses integrated video, sharing the 128 MB of
RAM that comes with the unit, leaving only 90 MB for OSes. You should
consider buying the 512MB upgrade, if you can justify the expense, then
go into the BIOS and up the "shared memory" and AGP aperture for best
video performance. Video speed makes a huge difference, typically, to
how zippy a desktop unit "feels". (Note: On the other hand, at least
your video circuitry has built-in MPEG-2 acceleration.)
You would need a PC2100 DDR266 (266MHZ) 200pin DDR SODIMM. There is one
SODIMM socket. I _think_ (but am unsure) that you currently have all
your RAM in that socket; thus, any SODIMM you put in there _is_ the
total RAM. Maximum RAM supported = 1GB.
SODIMM prices (approx.):
512 MB: $60
VIA model EPIA MII 10000 mini-ITX motherboard's chips:
VIA CLE266 north bridge chipset with UniChrome integrated AGP video chip
VT8623: You would probably end up using the framebuffer video driver,
with AGPgart support. There are also (open source?) drivers you can
download from VIA:
There are said to be better (faster) UniChrome drivers on SourceForge.
(Don't tackle that until you're comfortable with Linux on this system,
and are up for a new challenge.)
VIA 8235 south bridge: Two UDMA133 PATA connectors, 1 floppy, 2 PS/2,
1 RS232C serial, 2 USB, 1 VGA, 1 RCA for SPDIF or TV-Out, 1 S-Video,
1 IEEE 1394 Firewire, 3 audio minijacks, 1 CF slot
Ricoh R5C476 II / R5C485 CardBus Controller (PCMCIA), sup. Types I & II
VIA VT6103 10/100 Base-T Ethernet PHY
VIA VT1616 6 channel sound chip w/AC97 Codec
VIA VT6307S IEEE 1394 (Optional)
VIA VT1622A TV Out
One guy on Fedora Core 2 reported occasional lockups resulting from
heavy traffic on the PCI bus (large DMA transfers). Presumably, this was under
very heavy load. VIA have released a beta BIOS update to fix the problem:
The same guy reported that the PCMCIA socket may not adequately power
some cards, but that it's driver dependent.
There are distributions tailored specifically for VIA EPIA motherboards:
This wiki has a _lot_ more information about Linux on EPIA systems:
> Most people are using Intel's CPU, so I am worry about that my
> computer could be installed or not? I just hope to not to bring my
> computer there, then find out nothing is working on it.
Sure, it can.
Five years ago, most Linux distributions of the day had _some_ (not too
bad) problems with the VIA C3 "Ezra" series. I can't remember details,
but there was something about their floating point functions getting
misparsed by the installers as being from a different processor series,
and the wrong math libraries ended up getting installed by default.
Those problems are reportedly long gone, however,
You're of course very welcome to wait for SVLUG's next installfest on
Saturday, October 15 in Mountain View -- but that's almost a month from
now. You might prefer to come first to this Saturday's CABAL meeting
/ installfest (4 pm to midnight, Satuday, Sept. 24) at my and my wife's
house in Menlo Park. Details here: http://linuxmafia.com/cabal/
You'll need to pick a Linux distribution, at some point. Ones I have
on-hand (to use during your visit, and, if you like, duplicate) are
Cheers, Never criticize anybody until you have walked a mile
Rick Moen in their shoes, because by that time you will be a
rick at linuxmafia.com mile away and have their shoes. -- Brian Servis
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