STATUS 2007

This machine (and WWW site!) are now rather old and neither are getting much attention. We finally scrubbed the Windoze partition during a port to Redhat 9 and are still using this laptop as a data collection system. By now, drivers for its hardware have been written, so I assume that little of the fussing around below would be needed for a current Linux install. Nevertheless, I'll keep this page around indefinitely for those who might find it useful. More support for Linux laptops is at Tuxmobil.org.

Photograph

(Scanned from the Micron User's Guide)

Micron Link:

By now, Micron has morphed several times. (See CNET article.) I used to have a link to an MPC WWW site but now I can't get this to work and Trek2 U370 and AGP models never were listed. ebay is probably the best bet now for Micron parts.

I installed Redhat 7.1, with a brief stop at RH 7.0

RH7.0 did not appear to be much of a change during the 2 weeks that I had it on my machine. HOWEVER, I had to overcome several obstacles to get RH 7.1 running: Other than that:

Introduction

This page documents the ports of RedHat 5.2, 6.1, and 6.2 to my Micron TransPort Trek 2 laptop computer. I use this for reasonably serious data analysis at remote locations, and thus tried to fill the machine out as much as possible. Mine has: I also use the following external devices on this system: I also purchased an extra AC adapter, so I can cart the machine between home and the office without having to wrap up the power cord, etc:)

Memory

I have had some questions about upgrading memory. Although I haven't done it, I found pretty good information on page 50 of the manual available here or directly from Micron. It explains that you first remove the plate above the keyboard containing the power switch and LED panel. Aparently there are tabs to do this on AGP models, it just took a bit of prying (and yes, a bit of scratched plastic) on my U370 model. After that, removal of the keyboard and the "silver plate" beneath it exposes the memory.

Screen

NEW (4/01): Under RH 7.1 (XFree version 4.0.3), I am now using /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 (XF86Config doesn't appear to be used). The key difference is use of the "cybershadow" option to be able to view the entire screen. This was after getting the following e-mail from Kim Thomas: "One item of note, the newest version of XFree86, 4.0.2, has made a few changes. The config files on your website won't parse under the new version. I'm attaching my config file -- /etc/X11/XF86Config -- in case you might find it useful." [I note that RH7.0 shipped with XFree86 4.0.1a, so the XF86Config below still works.]

[The rest of this section is now kept only for historical reasons.]

The following /etc/X11/XF86Config was made available on the WWW by Steve Goldsby, who got his system running before I did. It has run perfectly for me. (I don't see the stray lines he refers to in his comments.) By the way, the documentation for XFree86 states that version 3.3.3.1 has improved support for the Trident Cyper 9397 chipset.

However, this version of XF86Config apparently does not work with the Trident chipset which supports DVD (Trident Cyber 9397DVD PCI/AGP, as opposed to just Cyber 9397 PCI). (You can check which chipset is in your machine using the "Device Profile" in Win98.) Chris Lyttle has supplied another XF86Config which should work with the DVD chipset. Also, Jonathon M. Robison has put another XF86Config version on the WWW, which may be newer.

My screen has one bad pixel in the lower middle but I've become used to it.

Touchpad/Keyboard

The touchpad works as expected, emulating a 3-button mouse. I found by serendipity that tapping with 2 fingers emulates button 2 and 3 fingers emulates button 3! Nevertheless, I've modified my .xmodmaprc to swap button functions. I also swap the CapsLock and Cntl keys and make Backspace=Delete using this file.

I have heard of a problem with the numeric keypad under Mandrake 5.3. If it helps, here are my Redhat 5.2 /usr/lib/kbd/keymaps/i386/include/linux-with-alt-and-altgr.inc, /usr/lib/kbd/keymaps/i386/include/qwerty-layout.inc, and /usr/lib/kbd/keymaps/i386/qwerty/us.map files.

PCMCIA

After a few days of messing around, I contacted Steve Goldsby about getting the PCMCIA to work. He replied:
The big thing is that I had to force IRQ11 and turn off the port scan (caused a hang). /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia thus has "do_scan=0 irq_list=11"
and enclosed the following 3 files: /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia, /etc/pcmcia/config, and /etc/pcmcia/config.opts, which have worked fine.

Power Management

Invoking "APM support" in the kernel mostly works. (I now regularly use "xapm -percent" to watch my battery.) I have seen processes not come back up (ethernet) when waking up out of suspend.

More obnoxious is that I have had the machine suspend while in the middle of work while using the battery. Apparently, the TREK2 shuts down when it gets too hot (there is a fan, but it only runs when on AC power), and early versions of Linux didn't get warned of this condition. Under RH7.1, the fan now comes on! (Win98 apparently knows enough to start the fan in such cases.)

BTW, I'm getting about 2 hours of use on my battery (1% per minute). Also, 3% of battery capacity is needed to shutdown gracefully.

Devices

Built-in Hard Disk

With Win98 installed, the built-in 6.4 Gb hard disk came formatted with two 2 Gb partitions (C: and D:), with the remaining 2.4 Gb not allocated. I chose to keep Win98, with the C: partition, and give the rest to Linux. Using "fdisk /dev/hda", we deleted the D: partition, created two 128 Mb swap partitions (to support the amount of memory this machine has), and put the root file system for Linux on the rest of the disk. Here is the /etc/fstab file that I am using.

Auxilliary Hard Disk

I purchased the optional 4 Gb hard disk, which swaps with the removable CD-ROM. This disk appears as /dev/hdd (or /dev/hdc?) and was initially unformatted. Using "fdisk /dev/hdd", I created one partition, /dev/hdd1, used "mkfs /dev/hdd1" to create the Linux file system, and "fsck /dev/hdd1" to see that all was well. See the /etc/fstab file above for how this is mounted.

PS on Disks:

I've now upgraded my primary disk to 18 Gb and the auxilliary to 12 Gb by buying off-the-shelf disks (IBM-DARA-218000 and -212000) and swapping them with the old disks. I repartioned with Partition Magic. I had to reinstall Linux from scratch. (I originally thought that I could upgrade the auxilliary disk, copy the system to it, boot off the auxilliary, and upgrade the primary. However, I couldn't get the system to boot from the auxilliary.)

Serial Port

The DB-9 on the back appears as /dev/cua0. Note that "kermit" selects hardware flow control by default for this port, which requires that pins 7-8 be tied together (if not driven by an external device). Use "set flow none" or "set flow xon/xoff" in kermit if hardware flow control is not desired.

Parallel Port

The parallel port appeared as /dev/lp1 under 5.2. Under 6.1 and later, this defaulted to /dev/lp0. Access to my parallel port died under 6.1, but worked again under 6.2 and now 7.1 (I had lp daemon problems under 6.2 which probably were due to inadequate disk space in /var and/or /tmp).

Sound

I never got this to work under 5.2 or 6.1, but sound started up immediately under 6.2 and 7.x (and always worked under Win98). I never knew how many programs were beeping at me (though some are turned back off under 7.1) Thanks to all who offered me suggestions in the dark ages.

The Trek II "..employs an ESS Maestro 2 EM sound system which offers FM synthesis, hardware wavetable, hardware MIDI support, and 16-bit stereo sound..." (from the Micron WWW page). Also, the Micron manual (pages 39 and 51) notes that this hardware is Soundblaster Pro compatible.

USB

Works for the little bit that I've tried it (an old Utobia camera which uses the CPiA driver). "vidcat" (packaged with w3cam) worked fine, once I realized that the camera appears as /dev/video0.

IEEE1394 (Firewire)

I have an OrangeMicro PCMCIA firewire card, which I'm using to connect to my JVC Cybercam (DVF21) digital camcorder. This all barely works under Win98SE, so I'm trying (so far not successfully) to get it going under RH7.1. I upgraded to the 2.4.2-2 kernel to give me a better chance. (I can't get "make modules" to compile the kernel with new patches -- I think the problems are using gcc 2.96 that comes with RH7.1. I'm told that 2.96 is not an officially approved gcc version.)

Assistance

I have become quite overloaded with e-mail and probably will be unresponsive to questions. I am happy to describe my installation, but won't be much help if your configuration is different. I am happy to add links to related WWW pages from here.

I have a report of a successful port to an AGP Trek2 of Caldera's Open Linux 2.2 from Tom Berkey who notes: "There were only a few variations from your RedHat installation", but adds: "The BogoMIPS reported is 299, which is much slower than one of my desktop Linux machines (my i586 reports 466.9 BogoMIPS!)".

Email: oncley_at_ucar.edu