Experiences with HP, Compaq?
rsidd at online.fr
Tue Dec 23 12:36:32 PST 2003
D. Michael McFarland wrote:
> Occasionally I drool over the laptops in places like Best Buy,
> thinking, "If I had just one more computer, I wouldn't have to wrestle
> VMware...," etc., etc. Lately, the prices and specs have improved to
> where I may finally be willing to put my money where my mouth is. It
> looks like about US$1150 (less rebates if I'm quick about it) would
> get me either a Compaq Presario 2195US or an HP ze4560us, so I'm here
> to ask if anyone can support my pipe dream by affirming FreeBSD runs
> reasonably well on either of these machines.
I've been using linux on an HP ze5385us, which looks like a similar
machine to your HP except it has a Pentium-IV, everything works fine.
I just installed FreeBSD 5.2-CURRENT on it, it mostly works but here
are the caveats:
1. With FreeBSD 5.2-RC1 and ACPI enabled, the touchpad (psm0) is not
detected. (This is what kept me from using FreeBSD on it for a
long time.) However, this is fixed by a recent commit by Nate, so
upgrading to 5.2-CURRENT should work. Even so, the
mousewheel-type "vertical scrollbar" on the side of the touchpad
doesn't work under FreeBSD (it does under Linux if you download a
Synaptics driver from tuxmobil.org).
2. FreeBSD ACPI can't figure out the battery status (acpi_cmbat0:
battery initialization failed, giving up). The LCD brightness hot
keys also don't work, possibly related to some messages from the
embedded controller saying "new max delay is
<#progressively-larger-num> us". All this, too, works fine under
3. The builtin wireless (wi0, prism2.5/intersil chipset) is detected
fine under FreeBSD, I haven't tried using it yet. It works fine
4. The builtin ethernet (sis0, NatSemi DP8381) works fine, both
FreeBSD and Linux. I don't know about 100Base-T, my max
connection is around 300 kb/s over a cable modem.
5. The built-in modem does not work under FreeBSD and I don't think
there's a near-term prospect of getting it to work. It seems to
get detected and configured correctly under linux with the
Conexant HSF driver from linuxant.com, but I haven't actually used
it. I believe it would be very hard to port and most of the code
6. The sound card (pcm0, Acer Labs 5451) works fine, both FreeBSD and
7. The ATI Mobility (listed as a 4x AGP, detected by XFree86 as IGP
340M) works fine with the vesa driver, but you don't get the X
Video extension then. It doesn't work with the radeon driver from
the default XFree86 4.3.0 package. I downloaded a radeon_drv.o
from somewhere that works, and the X Video extension is enabled
but still doesn't work, I only get multicoloured vertical bars
(this also happens with linux after I resume from swsusp, I
imagine it's something to do with how the card is initialized).
I'm hopeful XFree86 4.4.0 will fix this (I may try the RC2) --
apparently it has support for the IGP cards. Under linux the
default radeon driver works fine, with video playback and all, I
don't know about 3D though.
8. I haven't tried CD burning under FreeBSD, but I imagine it should
work fine. It works under Linux.
Because of the touchpad issue I've been using linux on it, but at
present, enough of the laptop works under FreeBSD that I can use it
regularly I believe, and hopefully remaining issues will get fixed
soon. Battery life is around 2-2.5 hrs, less if you're playing
audio/video/etc. The fan is a bit noisy. Otherwise, I'm totally
happy with the machine.
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