Red Hat Linux on a Compaq Presario 2538cl Notebook
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Tried today to do some power optimization. I've noticed that when leaving the laptop in Linux for some, after opening it it feels pretty warm, suggesting that even though the system is idle, a lot of power has been consumed. I guess the major one is the hard drive. So I downloaded hdparm and compiled it with make, make install. You can set all kinds of parameters, I just chose to spin down the hard drive after 5 minutes of inactivity. That should cut out the heat problem.

Also did some streamlining at start-up. I chkconfig'ed off the following deamons and services that I don't need:

  1. apmd: Have acpid instead.
  2. atd: This is the "at" deamon, which allows execution of commands at a later time. Not necessary.
  3. crond: Don't have anything in cron, and can't imagine needing it on a machine that's not constantly on.
  4. sendmail: Don't need to send mail from the system...

As far as my todo list is concerned, I now stand at:

  1. Get the ACPI-patched kernel compiled to have battery status displayed in Gnome.
  2. Get the winmodem to work.
  3. Try to resolve the hang issues whenever firewire comes into the picture in Linux. (Latest kernel resolved that)
  4. Resolve pcmcia issues. (Latest kernel resolved hang issues as well - haven't tested it yet though, don't have a pcmcia card).
  5. Get the one-touch buttons to work, such as the Internet, e-mail etc. shortcut buttons.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Quick report - the touchpad functioned normally after the reboot. Also, kudzu sucessfully starts up now. Have not tested the linmodem on the new kernel yet, but there shouldn't be any problems there.
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Installed the latest Red Hat kernel today. Followed the steps I laid out in the post on May 26th to apply the acpi patch. Also had to reinstall the linmodem drivers:

  1. rpm -e hsflinmodem-5.03.27lnxtbeta03042700-1
  2. rpm -i hsflinmodem-5.03.27lnxtbeta03042700-1.i386.rpm
  3. /usr/sbin/hsfconfig

Haven't checked whether the modem functions, but one thing that I have noticed, is that I can now open the hardware browser! I suspect that the firewire issue has been resolved in this kernel. Doing a /etc/init.d/kudzu start results in a successful new hardware check. This is very promising of course, except that after running it, the touchpad started to act a little loony. Hopefully this will not persist over a reboot.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Installed the acpid utility, which looks for power events and issue commands that you specify. You can get this utility at the acpid event daemon website. Right now, I only have one event, which basically shuts down the computer when you press the power button. I'd like more creative options here, but haven't really thought of any. Let me know if you come up with something useful.

I have a file called power in /etc/acpid/events that contains:

event=button[ /]power
action=shutdown -t 15 -h now "%e"

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