So I have been on the look out for something that was light and a smaller form factor than "normal" laptops. Palm tops were getting there but they run this scaled down Windows OS called "CE". Brain dead...
When the Toshiba Libretto came out I thought that was the perfect form. Who cares that the keyboard is useless for touch typing and the 800x480 screen is so tiny you need to be 6 inches away to see it. I wanted it. But I wanted it to do something that it doesn't come shipped to do, run Linux.
Every once in a while I get this "impulse buy" jones and it happened at a store called "T-Zone" in Sunnyvale. First mistake. Seems that T-Zone was to go out of biz three days later and shift over to "on-line commerence". Which means the store is gone and they just have a web site up now. Let just say that since I don't have anything good to say...
To make a long shopping experience short, I bought the Toshiba Libretto 100CT. They system itself ran about $1400 but all the other accessories ran it up to about $2000. Since I have visions of running Linux and wanting ethernet, a modem, and a CD-ROM the sales droid made up his commission there.
I walked out with the Libretto, a combo Ethernet/33.6 modem card, extra battery (for some other model) and a SCSI cdrom (of which the card ends up not being supported with the Linux drivers.)
Next step is to load up " Zipslack". This is a very nice version of Slackware in a zip format that you unzip on a MSDOS FAT-16 formated drive. The advantage is you don't need to have two partitions for each OS (Win95 and Linux). Running Linux on top of a MS-DOS file system is slower, but as I don't see myself thrashing the file system with indexes or running a news server this isn't an issue.
Installing Zipslack is a breeze, you just unzip it in the root directory of your drive under Win95 and then reboot the machine into MS-DOS by hitting the "F8" key on reboot and selecting "7" or "Safe mode command prompt only". Once you are in MS-DOS, change into the "linux" directory and edit the linux.bat file and find the right boot commands to boot off of your paticular drive (put examples here). Of course you can edit this under Windows. For the Libretto I used the line:
\linux\loadlin \linux\vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 rw
Once you have edited the batch file you can just run it and after some lenghty file system checking on the "UMSDOS" file system it should show you a "login:" prompt.
I found three problems. One that I had some bogus multifunction card that was not supported by the PCMCIA drivers. It would work with the modem but not the ethernet. The solution there was to purchase a "Xircom CreditCard Ethernet 10/100+ / Modem 56" card.
The second was that Zipslack does not start up the pcmcia services. You need to change the line in /etc/rc.c/rc.M and rc.S to run /etc/rc.d/rc.pcmcia and not /etc/rc.d/rc.pcmcia.N. I would have make the file name "rc.pcmcia.N" and not have the rc.* files run the wrong file name for the default. This way if the pcmcia moudules are recompiled and installed it will come up running the pcmcia package.
The third problem took me on a bit of a wild goose chase. It seems I didn't have all of the different card support I needed so downloaded the pcmcia module package by David Hinds. A recompile and install later I was seeing my ethernet and modem card.
You can download my XF86Config.
I ended up installing the "Generic Yamaha OPL3-SAx (YMF715/YMF719) non-PnP" driver that came with OSS. I did have to modify the "devices.cfg" in the oss directory to match the IRQ and DMA settings for the Libretto. The following is my "devices.cfg" file...
/SECUREAUDIO OFF /IRQEXCLUDE 3 4 /DMAEXCLUDE 2 -opl3sax #Generic Yamaha OPL3-SAx (YMF715/YMF719) non-PnP OPL3SAX ON P530 I5 D0 d1 OPL3SAMPU ON P330 I9 OPL3 ON P388On FreeBSD I found that the line above that describes the DMA channels would not work as shown. It would lock the computer in a horrible death. Everything was groove once I changed the line to swap the main and secondary DMA channels to:
OPL3SAX ON P530 I5 D1 d0One other note about the sound hardware on the Libretto. Everywhere else in the world has standardized on a 3.5mm (1/8") stereo jack for smaller than 1/4" headphone connections. For some unknown reason Toshiba figured it needed to shave 1/32 of an inch more off so they installed 2.5mm (3/32") jacks in this machine. Don't bother trying to find stereo 2.5mm to 3.5mm or 1/4" adapters at Radio Shack. You need to build them. You can find the parts at Mouser. Pick up a nice metal shielded plug and a jack and wire up your own adapter.
You will want to download The Linux APM Daemon.
My APM section of /usr/src/linux/.config follows:
CONFIG_APM=y # CONFIG_APM_IGNORE_USER_SUSPEND is not set CONFIG_APM_DO_ENABLE=y CONFIG_APM_CPU_IDLE=y CONFIG_APM_DISPLAY_BLANK=y CONFIG_APM_POWER_OFF=y # CONFIG_APM_IGNORE_MULTIPLE_SUSPEND is not setDo not set CONFIG_APM_IGNORE_USER_SUSPEND and CONFIG_APM_IGNORE_MULTIPLE_SUSPEND as these are for laptops other than the Libretto and can cause problems if they are set.
My whole "/usr/src/linux/.config" file can be downloaded here.
This Libretto Webring website is owned
Want to join the Libretto Webring?
Last update: Sun Mar 19 10:53:11 PST 2000 Cleaned up broken links and update text. - Tim