System Downtime

February 3, 2009

Eee-Control and snd_hda_intel Troubles

Filed under: EeePC, Linux — Tags: , , — Michael Pobega @ 9:03 AM

Ever since I bought my Eee PC 901 I’ve been trying to find a way to manually control the fan; all of the tools that worked on my Celeron-powered 900 don’t work at all on my Atom-powered 901.
After a bit of Googling I found a program called Eee-Control, which claimed that it could control the Atom’s clock and fan speed. After trying and disliking the software I removed it from my system, but then I noticed a weird problem with my speakers — they kept popping every time I initialized the sound! So after recompiling the drivers and my kernel (and completely borking 2.6.28.2) I found that the problem was a silly script that EeeControl put in /etc/modprobe.d/ setting snd_hda_intel’s power_save parameter to 1.
According to modinfo, parm: power_save:Automatic power-saving timeout (in second, 0 = disable). (int), so the script was turning off my speakers after one second of inactivity. I can only assume that the upstream author thought it was a boolean argument.
Anyway, I contacted upstream and hope to have it fixed … Even a value of 30 would be better.

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February 2, 2009

Introduction; the World’s First Fully Open Netbook

Filed under: EeePC, Linux — Tags: , , , — Michael Pobega @ 8:49 AM

The netbook market has become watered down with so many competitors trying to cash in on the new craze, including but not limited to netbooks from companies such as Asus, Acer, Dell, MSI Wind, and Sony. Finally though, one company has decided to release a fully open netbook for those of us who love open stuff. Lemote’s 8.9 inch YeeLoong netbook doesn’t look fantastic by any means, and it sports a processor barely half as powerful as it’s competitors, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

The information given on Lemote’s site is very limited, but from what I can tell the YeeLong netbook won’t sport internal wireless or an internal webcam or any of that jazz (though they do offer a USB wifi “extension”, whatever that means), but it will have a competitive price. If the price is cheap enough perhaps I’ll buy one just to support open hardware

January 13, 2009

Finally upgraded my Eee PC 900 – Eee PC 901

Filed under: EeePC — Tags: , — Michael Pobega @ 6:08 PM

I finally got the chance to buy a new Eee PC before leaving for college (to be exact, it arrived six days before I leave) and it’s great. Besides the processor being more powerful, I get three to five hours of battery life and my operating system is extremely responsive.

The video card is also an upgraded Intel card (though it doesn’t make that much of a difference, really) which helps a small bit when it comes to gaming.

The best part of the Eee 901 is the improved build quality; the hardware feels a lot nicer and less prone to breakage, which I experienced pretty often with my Eee PC 900.

December 31, 2008

New Kernel (2.6.27.9) Upgrade on my Eee

Filed under: EeePC, Linux — Tags: , , , — Michael Pobega @ 4:32 PM

So I upgraded my kernel from my very outdated 2.6.25-* kernel to 2.6.27.9, and I have to say I’m impressed.

I ditched my old MadWiFi drivers (contrib) for fully free and open source ath5k modules (built right into the kernel!), as well as having my ethernet built in (non-modular) and an improvement in boot time (under 2 seconds, but still)

I’ll be posting up a .deb and .config when I get around to it, I need to fix a little bit more (the webcam doesn’t work out of the box, I’m probably going to need to compile that into the kernel too).

December 18, 2008

Celeron M vs Atom N270

Filed under: EeePC — Tags: , , , , , — Michael Pobega @ 1:22 AM

Ah, the question everyone asks. Celeron M vs Atom N270 for netbook computers (VIA is ruled out here, as it is outperformed by both in most benchmark tests). A note before I continue writing this article, I don’t actually own a netbook with an N270 processor, so the comparisons are based on my friend Quack’s Acer Aspire One.

Day to Day Usage: In day to day usage, the Intel Atom outperforms the Celeron M in almost every field. Being that the Atom is hyperthreaded it outperforms the Celeron for handling multiple tasks at once as well as completely trumping it on battery consumption (Atom processors get a 30% increase in battery life, on average). Hands down the Intel Atom is the processor to get if you’re not going to use your netbook as your primary computer, but just as a lightweight travel companion.

Gaming: This is the benchmark that surprised me; they were done using Urban Terror, both netbooks utilizing the same configuration file (as described in my other post about Urban Terror on the Eee PC). While on the same map without any players, the Celeron got 30 FPS outdoors and 60 FPS in corridors, while the Atom got only 10 FPS outside and 30 inside, which is nowhere near playable in a real online game (especially considering FPS drops significantly with other players around).

I won’t be divulging further into comparisons, because these two criteria should suffice. So, if you’re planning on playing UrT or other games on your netbook you should probably buy one with a a Celeron M processor (Like the Eee PC 900 or 1000HD), but if you are only going to use it for surfing the web or chatting online then you should buy an Atom based netbook (Eee PC 900HA, Acer Aspire One).

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