Monday Oct 13, 2008

Acer Aspire One, Intel Atom, OpenSolaris - Update

Hi All,

So I'm still doing the long writeup of what I did to get the Acer One Laptop to run OpenSolaris.

This is an update of the current state, for those who read the end of the mystery book first :-)

Video - Running Xorg with Intel driver, 1024x600 resolution, Compiz does work but some issues

Lan - Realtek 10/100 ethernet working

WiFi - Atheros Wifi working

New nwam and gui's seeing ethernet unplugged and switching to wifi, ethernet back in switches back.

Note: looks like B95 was the problem with DHCP on my Asus C90S, I accidently forced myself to do a B99+ upgrade last night (that's why my blogging is behind), /etc/resolv.conf issues have gone away

Audio - Intel working - though it looks like the internal speaker and external output is somehow reversed

Power Management, OpenSolaris is slowing processor to 800Mhz, dim screen back light working from Gnome and when off power, 5 hours battery

Fn- screen brightness up and down works

Changed keyboard shortcuts, but Fn-F8 (mute) Fn-Arrow up (Volume Up) Fn-Arrow Down (Volume Down) to right-ctrl + F8, right-ctrl + arrow up and right-ctrl + arrow down

I did test the new shift + F5 to switch between LCD and external monitor.

The gnome-panel is resizing itself when it went from 1024x600 LCD, to 1280x1024 on external

Video quality for mpg and avi, played back by Totem and Mplayer looked good.

I did add IPOD libraries and loaded Windows IPOD Nano via USB.

Gtkpod and Rhythmbox could play songs of the IPOD.

Gtkpod could write new tracks to the IPOD.

I'm assuming the engineering groups will get the patches they cut for this testing into OS as soon as they get them tested.

Note: I purchased these Acer Ones from CDW, looks like for the same $399 as other vendors I got the 160Gb HD and the new six cell battery


Sunday Oct 12, 2008

Acer Aspire One and OpenSolaris B99, Fdisk issues : Part 2

The Acer Aspire One uses the new disk partitioning scheme, the diagnostic / recovery partition is mirroring the partitions Windows XP Home is installed on.

I had a plan to keep the installed Windows XP Home, adding SXDE and the Gnome 2.24 desktop.

Using the native 1024x600 resolution, testing Firefox, Evolution, gthumb, gtkpod and rhythmbox (both with IPOD support), totem and mplayer (with mpg, avi and wmv support), get the power management, screen brightness keys and volume keys working, plus the new nwam gui's (switch between ethernet and wifi automatically).

I actually did a battery run down test last week, just unplugged and let it sit, 4hrs 30 minutes later it still had power left, more on this later.

Install Try #1

So  I used partition magic to remove the diagnostic / recovery partition (4Gb) and moved the Windows XP Home partitiion to the front of the disk and shrunk it to 40Gb.

Not good Windows XP does not boot anymore.

Install Try #2

Recover hard drive from recovery DVD, use partition magic just to shrink Windows XP Home partition to 40Gb (This laptop has a 160Gb HD)

Windows XP Home still boots

Download latest nightly build of OS, probably about B99, I knew I needed the Realtek driver fix.

Get all the way through an option 4 install (the Intel video chip is not allowing Xorg to run in Option 1) to the select UFS / ZFS then onto fdisk.

 Fdisk says two partitions are sharing the same space and just stops. Refuses to go forward.

Install Try #3

Go back to B98 DVD, option 4 install, this time when I get to the fdisk section it does not complain at all, creates a ZFS partitiion and the install completes normally.

So now I can boot Windows XP Home or OpenSolaris B98

Video is coming up as VESA at 800x600 not 1024x600 which is the native resolution

No Realtek Ethernet

No Atheros WiFi

SDCard driver says it cannot initialized the hardware

Weird thing that I've never seen on any other machine laptop, desktop or server is the time after Hostname: os-one appears and ZFS coming up is about 4 minutes, no disk activity, no network activity, it just sites there, doing nothing, then starts correctly (still trying to debug this)

NOTE: This fdisk issue has disappeared in the full B100


Thursday Oct 09, 2008

Acer Aspire One, Intel Atom 1.6Ghz and OpenSolaris B100, Install and Setup, Part 1

So I finally got my hands on the new Acer Aspire One, with the 1.6Ghz Atom processor, 1Gb memory, 160Gb HD and 8.9" screen.

For the last week a group of really great engineers from Solaris Development have been helping me to get OpenSolaris B100 installed and configured.

We have had some interesting challenges, both with the hardware itself and the fact that most of us are in different time zones spread around the world.

We finally got the video to come up in it's real native configuration yesterday, 1024x600.

What makes this laptop different from the original Eee 701 I have is that the Gnome / OpenSolaris configuration panels actually fit into the screen size, making it easy to configured when you don't have an external monitor connected.

As usual I learn more about OpenSolaris and become convinced even more about how fantastic an operating system it is.

This does have a few gnome desktop modifications I like in the gnome-panel at the bottom of the screen, it really is OpenSolaris B100, the start button has a penguin :-)

Acer Aspire One, Itel Atom 1.6Ghz

About

I work for the Java Embedded Global Business Unit of Oracle within Java Industry Solutions group under Alliances and Channels . I'm focused on the Java SE Embedded and BDB for ARM and PPC across multiple verticals

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