home notes

The hard drive can be replaced. I swapped out the 6GB drive for a 40GB IBM Travelstar.

YMF744? I don't think so. Sound seems to be handled by the NeoMagic? 256AV. OSS/Linuxworks with it "out of the box." Kernel 2.4.18 OSS just requires specifying the parameters to ad1848. The volume is still very low, though. (Make sure to use the keyboard controls to increase the volume fully.) I suspect that there is another mixer that I'm unable to control.

I'm in love. This thing is about is tough as Grazie. Dropping it on the floor in front of other geeks is a blast.

Don't leave PCMCIA/CompactFlash? adapter in slot when installing using Debian and trying to use Orinoco 802.11b card.

The PCMCIA/CompactFlash? adapter seems to conflict with the sound adapter's need for IRQ 5. Make sure to move sound adapter to IRQ 10.

According to Panasonic... Only PC66 (not PC100) memory, Kingston M1664001 (128MB). PII model will not handle more than 128MB addition.

My quest for good sound support continues. At first, I used OSS/Linux. It works right out of the box, but I didn't like that it is closed source and requires kernel source. (I'm trying to use Debian binaries on most of my machines these days.) I went ahead and purchased OSS/Linux, but then asked if I could buy some help getting OSS/Lite (kernel drivers) to work.

I received a prompt reply from 4Front Technologies (on a weekend!). Unfortunately they do not offer support on the Free version, but Dev Mazumdar gave me enough help that I was able to get it working (for free!). I bought another copy for my wife's machine.

I later found that the kernel sound support is still not as good as that of OSS/Linux. I'll keep tweaking it, but now that I know I can always switch to the kernel sound driver, I'm more comfortable using 4Front's.

I called all over to get the right memory modules. I found that 256MB modules are advertised for the CF-71 PII model, but the Panasonic guy told me they would not work and that I could only get 192MB (64 onboard + 128 SODIMM). He said to get the CFWMBA71128 modules from Golden Ram. So I did.

I popped the modules into my Toughbooks. Neither worked in either computer. I was frustrated. Another call to Panasonic. They recommended returning the modules for new ones. I stewed.

Eventually a friend offered to try throwing his computer into the mix. We pulled my modules out and put one in his computer. It worked! I put his 128MB module in my computer. It worked! He has two SODIMM slots and wanted an upgrade, so I gave him my modules in exchange for his.

Well, to Hell with the advice from Panasonic. Instead of worrying about getting the exactly correct by-the-book module, I decided to try trial and error. I headed to Best Buy to get a 256MB (yes, 256; I'm a rebel.) module. I was told I could return it if it didn't work.

In the parking lot, I popped it into my computer. Voila! I have 320MB! Although it did cost a bit more than going mail order, this was much less painful.

Reed Hedges reports: One new piece of info you might want to add is that ACPI causes problems for Linux. However, while older kernels somehow detected this and didn't try to use it, 2.6.18 (and maybe the few versions earlier, I only compared to 2.6.8) it goes ahead and tries to use ACPI and Linux completely hangs on some events, plugging or unplugging the charger being the worst :) You can disable ACPI with the kernel option acpi=off (e.g. in kopt or a kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst, or in lilo). You should then not run acpid, but instead run apmd.