Thought I’d update my experiences with the Averatec 3250 laptop I purchased and Linux. I’m currently using Gentoo Linux on the machine, the 2005.0 release, with a 2.6.11 kernel. I was having trouble with the USB going south when left idle for more than a few hours, I eventually managed to trace it back to the Local APIC (lapic) that I was enabling on the kernel command line in grub. Removing “lapic” from the command line solved the problem and seems to make the machine more stable in general.
I’m using SoftwareSuspend2 on the system to handle hibernation as the ACPI sleep doesn’t work correctly under Linux. SoftwareSuspend2 works a treat, but I do have to tell it to switch to text mode before suspending or the X server gets dazed and confused and won’t wake back up properly on occasion.
On the wireless front, I was finally able to get the native linux drivers for the RaLink WiFi card to work. They don’t play well with the standard Gentoo network stuff though, so I had to write some basic scripts to configure them and start networking. Nothing too complicated, just running the RaConfig utility to set the ESSID, etc. before actually starting the network. Performance seems reasonably good, but I don’t use it full time. I’ve noticed an apparent slowdown after transferring large amounts of data, then things pick up again after a few minutes, however, that may be an artifact of the lousy wireless conditions at my house.
On the X front, I finally got accelerated X working. Most of the problem was a “D’OH” issue on my part. I kept trying to install the x11-drm ebuild in Gentoo, but it wouldn’t compile on recent kernels. As it turns out, I don’t need it *sigh*. After setting the video driver to “via” and enabling dri and whatnot in the x config, 3d acceleration is working. It’s not great (I wouldn’t try to use it for games!), but it is better than the unaccelerated video.
In general, I’m quite happy with the machine and all the hardware seems to work great with Linux. The only non-open source drivers needed are for the modem, which, frankly, I don’t use all that often (ever?). They do work though, so if I need them, I can load them.