[frgeek-michiana] VL 5.9 on Compaq Evo 600 laptop

  • From: Tom Brown <tbrown@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: FreeGeek Michiana <frgeek-michiana@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 10:19:29 -0400


I was incorrect about the display resolution. The default resolution, thanks to OpenGL and Radeon, is 1400x1050. I didn't choose that resolution; X-windows setup in vasm chose it automatically. The display is very nice. Great video subsystem.


The battery was dead and wouldn't charge so I instructed the BIOS to calibrate the battery as if it were a new battery. This caused the battery to charge, and it held the charge. The battery capacity is 54600 mWh. The normal discharge load without wifi operating is between 16000 and 16330. This puts battery operation at 3 hours. Running wifi and downloading files will diminish the charge more rapidly.


When connected to the household LAN, CUPS detected my shared network printer automatically. However, I couldn't print to it. More on that later.


I used my D-Link Atheros based 54g PCMCIA wifi card. VLwifi detected it, and Wifi-Radar connected to the access point and received a DHCP IP address from the router. However, the route wasn't functional.

The fix was to use VASM instead of the GUI utilities to setup ath0 (atheros based network device) using ndiswrapper, define the connection to the access point and enable automatic start. I still had to manually setup the correct route (route add default gw 192.168.x.x). The GUI utilities may have botched the routing.

The downside of the VL 5.9 wifi subsystem, out of the box, is the user needs to know the root password to run VLwifi and Wifi-Radar or VASM. VL 5.9 is very Unix-like in its approach to security. If we want to loosen security enough for normal users to connect easily to wifi access points, then it is up to us to re-configure each laptop during quality testing.

Eventually, I whacked the networking stack trying to get the GUI to work, and Goose re-installed VL 5.9 at the warehouse last night.


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