Laptop Repaired and Fedora 8

November 22, 2007

I finally have my laptop display repaired… again! Supposedly they replaced the LCD this time. Hopefully my display will actually continue to work. The turn around was pretty quick this time though – we used a different after market warranty provider this time. I sent it in Monday afternoon, received a call from them on Tuesday while they were working on it and received it on Wednesday – just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

First thing I did was install Fedora 8 on it (reminder, it’s HP nx7400). I have been anxious to play with it on my main laptop to see how much the suspend and hibernation efforts paid off, as well as seeing if my onboard wireless worked without jumping through hoops and sacrificing a chicken.

Very pleased so far! Wireless was working with minimal fuss. Suspend works quite nicely and hibernate also works, though a little slow, but it works. The buttons for volume control work as well. Adjusting brightness with the fn key also works with no issues. The lights for those buttons do not work, but that is not a major deal. The wireless light also does not work – though the wireless is working.

Everything is very snappy, I as able to enable Compiz with no issues. I installed Compiz Fusion, but haven’t been able to get it to work completely. I have not spent much time with that yet. I may be missing something simple though. We’ll see when I have more time to look at it.

So…. Another laptop and another success!


Fedora 8

November 18, 2007

This week I took the time to work with the latest Fedora release – Fedora 8. My main laptop is still suffering from LCD issues, so I have not been able to use it as I normally would. Earlier this week I used the Live CD to get a glimpse of it.

The first boot was on a VM running on VMware Server. Everything just worked (as expected). I tried out the install to Hard Disk option which also worked great. No issues with that install.

I needed Fedora install on a laptop for a Release Party on Thursday night. With mine in the shop I figured I would make use of the Fedora 8 Live CD. I used it on a Sony laptop, which I have found needs one to jump through a few more hoops than I find on other vendor’s machines. Depsite that, the Live CD worked great – the largest issue being brightness control. That was easily fixed by installing the spicctrl package and cranking the brightness up. It ran great.

This weekend I added a Fedora 8 install image to my installs served via http and the PXE boot setup I have at home. Today I installed Fedora 8 on an older Dell laptop via my PXE boot setup. The install took a little time, but that was to be expected for the older hardware I installed on.

I am always impressed at how much better and complete Linux installs get with each new release. I think most everything is working on this laptop with a minimum amount of fuss. Even the on-board wireless card is working – something I tend to cheat on and just toss in an old Orinoco card that always works. On top of that – the laptop specs are a Celeron 1GHz with 256MB of RAM. For those type of specs the OS runs remarkably well. Sure it swaps out when I open too many apps, but adding some more RAM to the machine would surely solve that.

Fedora 8 seems to be a great release. I can’t wait until my LCD is finally fixed on my main laptop so I can get it installed on there. If you haven’t tried Fedora 8, grab the Live CD and give it a try! You would be amazed at how much more life your old hardware has left in it.