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Re: FC5, Dell Latitude, wireless, and beagle Oh my!

Scot L. Harris wrote:
Installed FC5 on a Dell Latitude CPx laptop yesterday.  Install went
fairly smoothly.  The only problems encountered was the LCD was not
identified.  It defaulted to a 800x600 resolution.  Was able to correct
that later by selecting a higher resolution screen and set it to
IMHO the package selection screens appeared a little cartoonish.  It
might be the laptop screen and the default resolution.  Will have to
compare when I get a chance to install on a desktop system with a better
monitor and video card.

It was nice to see that the prism54 drivers were included and the
wireless card was detected.  The only issue with that was that I had to
get the firmware copied to the /lib/firmware directory.  After that I
was able to get the wireless connection up an running.

Just for comparison, I've been playing with network (RSI) installs of Windows XP Professional Sp2, and my target machines are four Compaq EVOs (P4/C 1.5 or so) and an Acer Veriton (similar).

Commonly, the NIC doesn't work without third-party drivers (3/5 machines). On two, sound didn't work. Fixed with third-party drivers. On two, video doesn't work (unles 800x600 4-bit colour is "working") without third-party drivers.

Windows nicely goes and looks for the drivers (maybe Linux can learn from that), but couldn't find them for the Acer.

Interestingly, video wan't a problem on the Acer or one of the problematic Compaqs with SP1. Go figure.

I'm guessing that should you install Windows XP Professional from a generic (ie MS) CD, that you would then need to add drivers for the wired network, the untied network, the mouse, the video, the modem.

At least the modem will work:-) Mostly, it seems, they don't on Linux.

BTW: the USB flash drive I used to get the firmware transfered to the
laptop worked well.  Flash drive showed up as expected.  Very nice.

Overall on Linux, as far as installation and standard hardware support goes, we have it pretty good on Linux, on all the leading distroes.

Today I noticed the CPU getting hit really hard by the beagle process.
I looked for where this was started but did not find it in the services
tool.  I did find and entry under System->Search & Indexing that was set
to start search and indexing services automatically.  I disable this
option.  I am hoping that disables this beagle task completely.
Searching through the menus I don't see anything that would allow
configuration or use of this beagle search service.  Possibly I did not
install a part of it.  But if it eats CPU cycles as it did I don't think
this is something I would want to run on this laptop.  Not clear on the
benefits of using beagle either.  The other thread on this topic did not
shed much light on that.

I have also noticed some odd behavior with the mouse pad on the laptop.
As the pointer is moved sometimes it seems to cause the browser to do a
back page or raise a window that was minimized.  Have tried adjusting
the options under the mouse preferences but that has not made any real
difference. Did not have this kind of behavior under FC2.

Those bloody touchpads are very touchy. I always reckon the one on my Powerbook's on the turps, permanently. On my Toshibe Sat 1400 (nor very new), one can "click" by tapping just so on the main area of the pad.

On my new Acer Aspire, one can do that, and on a good day, scroll as well, by stroking it nicely. But, if you don't know what you're doing it can get very confusing. The odd behavour you see may simply result from a newer driver implementing more of its features, perhaps imperfectly, perhaps simply confusing to the unwary. I suggest you reread what your user manual says about it, I found mine much less confusing when I read mine.

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