Monday, 28 December 2009

Solution to switch off nvidia card in Linux Asus UL30Vt, UL50V, UL80V

If you are using Linux on an Asus UL30Vt, or Asus UL50Vt or Asus UL80Vt, keep reading...

One of the Linux users has found a solution to switch off the nvidia card in the UL30Vt models,
which by the looks of the DSDT tables, will also work for the UL50Vt and UL80Vt models with nvidia card.

For Ubuntu Karmic, download and install this package:

http://launchpadlibrarian.net/38458054/nvidia-g210m-acpi-source_0.1.0-1%7Eppa-karmic_all.deb

Then once installed, run the following command on a terminal:

sudo modprobe nvidia_g210m_acpi


Explanation:

This module uses the ACPI P0P1.VGA._OFF method, which is the same for all 3 models.

The code file, "asus_nvidia.c" is derived from "lenovo_acpi.c" by Sylvain Joyeux.

Here is the original post and another one that adds hibernation support:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showpost.php?p=5663702&postcount=1239
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showpost.php?p=5664880&postcount=1244

asus_nvidia.c
========================================================
#include <acpi/acpi.h>
#include <linux/suspend.h>

MODULE_LICENSE("GPL");

static acpi_handle root_handle;

static int kill_nvidia(void)
{
acpi_status status;
// The device handle
acpi_handle handle;
struct acpi_object_list args;
// For the return value
struct acpi_buffer buffer = { ACPI_ALLOCATE_BUFFER, NULL };

status = acpi_get_handle(root_handle, "\\_SB.PCI0.P0P1.VGA._OFF", &handle);
if (ACPI_FAILURE(status))
{
printk("%s: cannot get ACPI handle: %s\n", __func__, acpi_format_exception(status));
return -ENOSYS;
}

args.count = 0;
args.pointer = NULL;

status = acpi_evaluate_object(handle, NULL, &args, &buffer);
if (ACPI_FAILURE(status))
{
printk("%s: _OFF method call failed: %s\n", __func__, acpi_format_exception(status));
return -ENOSYS;
}
kfree(buffer.pointer);

printk("%s: disabled the discrete graphics card\n",__func__);
return 0;
}

static int power_event(struct notifier_block *this, unsigned long event,
void *ptr)
{
switch (event) {
case PM_POST_HIBERNATION:
kill_nvidia();
return NOTIFY_DONE;
case PM_POST_SUSPEND:
case PM_HIBERNATION_PREPARE:
case PM_SUSPEND_PREPARE:
default:
return NOTIFY_DONE;
}
}

static struct notifier_block power_notifier = {
.notifier_call = power_event,
};

static int __init asus_nvidia(void)
{
int ret = register_pm_notifier(&power_notifier);
if (ret) return ret;
return kill_nvidia();
}

static void dummy(void)
{
}

module_init(asus_nvidia);
module_exit(dummy);
========================================================

Makefile
========================================================
ifneq ($(KERNELRELEASE),)
obj-m := asus_nvidia.o
else
KERNELDIR ?= /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build
PWD := $(shell pwd)

default:
$(MAKE) -C $(KERNELDIR) M=$(PWD) $(EXTRA_FLAGS) modules

clean:
$(MAKE) -C $(KERNELDIR) M=$(PWD) $(EXTRA_FLAGS) clean

endif
========================================================

To compile it, simply run:

Code:
make
To install it, run as root:
Code:
cp asus_nvidia.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/<br />depmod
To try it out, run as root:
Code:
modprobe asus_nvidia
To load it on each reboot on Ubuntu, run as root:
Code:
echo asus_nvidia >>/etc/modules
That last step will be different on other distros, e.g., on Gentoo you need to append the module name to /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6.<br />


Sunday, 27 December 2009

Samsung EasySpeedUp Manager for Linux

One of the Samsung-X360 Launchpad team members has produced a kernel module that implements the Samsung Easy SpeedUp Manager in Linux.

http://code.google.com/p/easy-slow-down-manager

It has 3 modes:

HOW TO: Make the Most of Samsung Easy SpeedUp Manager

Silent mode gets its name because it reduces the voltage of the system, so there is less likelihood of activity coming from the hard drive or fan. By reducing the power level, the laptop runs slower, which is great if you’re  working on basic every day tasks. The benefit, besides a silent running laptop, is that battery life can be extended.

Normal mode, is as the name suggests, the default setting for the Samsung laptop and runs the system at the level of performance you have already defined in Samsung Battery Manager.

Speed mode is the final setting and effectively overclocks the CPU by running at its most efficient. This mode is great if you need to make sure the full system resources are being used by apps on the laptop, which is great if you need to run something a little more labour intensive, such as video.

There is also package for Arch Linux here:
http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=32617

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Improve the battery life of your Linux Acer Timeline 4810TG

http://ubuntu-virginia.ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=8502327&postcount=580

As reported in ubuntuforums:

Activate laptop mode in "/etc/default/acpi-support" and use this /etc/rc.local:
Code:
#
# rc.local
#
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
#
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
#
# By default this script does nothing.

/sbin/iwconfig wlan0 power on
echo 1500 > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_writeback_centisecs
hal-disable-polling --device /dev/cdrom

exit 0


Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Toshiba satellite T135-S130 @ cnet review

CNET Review of Satellite T135-S1310 | Toshiba
Satellite t135-s1310rd laptop

The good:

Dual-core CULV processor; Windows 7 preinstalled; very good battery life.

The bad:

Weak speakers; uncomfortable touch pad.

The bottom line:

Toshiba's slick entry into the thin-and-light laptop world is timed for Windows 7, but if you're going to get one, make sure it's the dual-core T135-S1310, and not its single-core cousin.

Specifications:

Processor: Intel Pentium (1300 MHz); RAM installed: DDR3 SDRAM; Hard drive size: 320 GB; See full specs »

Price Range: $691.00 - $780.94

CNET Editors' Review

Reviewed by: Scott Stein

Edited by: Dan Ackerman

Reviewed on: 10/22/2009

Released on: 10/22/2009

How much of a difference does a single-core versus dual-core ultralow-voltage processor make on a thin-and-light these days? You may not be paying attention under the hood--and that's not your fault, because it's hard to notice the differences based on processor name and Intel sticker-logos--but you should know that it makes quite a big difference indeed. Case in point: Toshiba's new T135 thin-and-light, which we reviewed last week in its single-core configuration, the T135-S1300. For $599, we found it underpowered compared with its competitors, despite having very good battery life.


Yet, for only $100 more, the T135-S1310, which has a dual-core SU4100 processor, outperforms nearly every thin-and-light we've seen lately. For that $100 extra (plus $10 for a red or white Fusion Finish--which is what the company calls the high-gloss coating--instead of black), you not only get an Intel CULV that handles multitasking far better, but you also get an extra gig of RAM (and at a faster speed, too) and a 320GB hard drive instead of a 250. Simply put, the $699 Toshiba T135-S1310 is a no-brainer compared with its very similarly named cousin.


While we still have issues with some of the design of the T135, and found the speakers to be very weak, the T135-S1310 represents an excellent value point over the T135-S1300, and should be considered by anyone in the Windows 7 thin-and-light market. Just make sure you like the look and feel first.

Price as reviewed / Starting price
Processor
Memory
Hard drive
Chipset
Graphics
Operating System
Dimensions (WD)
Height
Screen size (diagonal)
System weight / Weight with AC adapter
Category
$709 / $699
1.3GHz Intel Pentium SU4100
4GB, 1,066MHz DDR3
320GB 5,400rpm
Mobile Intel GM45 Express
Intel GMA 4500MHD
Windows 7 Home Premium
12.7 x 8.8 inches
1.4 inches
13.3 inches
3.8/4.5 pounds
Thin and light

From a casual overview, the T135 series shares a number of design similarities to the rest of the Toshiba Satellite lineup that received an upgrade earlier this year. Covered inside and out in a glossy checkerboard Fusion Finish in either black, red, or white--ours was red, which, along with white, costs an extra $10--the T135 is accented with slick chrome highlights along the edge of the palm rest and on the touch-pad buttons. In fact, we liked the T135 better in red than we did in black. However, that slickness continues literally to the keyboard,

Video
Audio
Data
Expansion
Networking
Optical Drive
Satellite T135-S1310

VGA-out, HDMI

Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks

2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 2.0/sleep and charge, SD card reader

None

Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

None

Average for Category (thin & light)

VGA plus HDMI or DisplayPort

Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks

3 USB 2.0, SD card reader

ExpressCard/54

Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN

DVD burner

which is finished in the same glossy coating we've been less than enthusiastic about in other Satellites. While the T135 is thinner than Toshiba's thick midrange Satellites such as the U505-S2940, it's still a semi-chunky 1.4 inches thick.


The flat keyboard performs better than we remembered on larger Core 2 Duo models, but it still feels a little too greasy. The touch pad is a matte rectangle inset along the glossy palm rest, and feels decent but not spectacular. The silver button-bar beneath is one continuous piece of plastic that toggles on either side for left or right clicks, but we always prefer distinct buttons instead. Other than the power button, there are no other buttons besides the standard keyboard,so control panel adjustments such as screen brightness are all handled with function-key combinations. Volume control is oddly relegated to a function combination with the 3 and 4 number keys, which took us forever to locate.


The 13.3-inch glossy LED-backlit screen on the Satellite T135-S1310 has a native resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, sharp colors, and good brightness, and it looked perfectly crisp in our use. Above the screen is a Webcam that took fair video, but grainy and low-resolution snapshots. More disappointing were the Satellite T135-S1310's speakers, which are stereo and planted on the base below the keyboard, but still sounded like they were emanating from the middle of a pillow-lined box: the volume at maximum was so soft and tinny, they were practically worthless. We also had issues with Toshiba's Netbook speakers, but other Toshiba speakers were generally exceptional. This was a big letdown.


Technically, the T135-S1310 leaves nothing to be desired as far as ports and features. In addition to a sleep-and-charge USB port, there's an SD card reader and an HDMI port. The T135-S1310 also includes Bluetooth, yet another feature gained by spending the extra $100 over the T135-S1300. While we had issues with HDMI-out on a laptop that didn't handle HD video well like the T135-S1300 did, we can say that the T135-S1310 was very good at handling both HD and streaming video--not spectacular, but certainly passable.


The T135-S1310 comes with a 320GB hard drive, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and an Intel Pentium SU4100 processor. The T135 can also be downgraded to a similar-sounding SU2700 processor (see our review of the T135-S1300), but we would seriously recommend you spend the extra $100 for this model. Our T135 also had Windows 7 Home Premium preinstalled, as it's a launch laptop for Microsoft's new OS. Windows 7 was a good experience on this machine, which further convinces us of Win 7's versatility.


Now, for a word on the confusing landscape of Intel CULV processor names: Intel's Pentium SU4100 processor is in fact a dual-core processor, one that actually outperformed the dual-core Core 2 Duo CULV in the Asus UL30A-A1 in our benchmark tests. Why this processor gets a Pentium name instead of a Core 2 Duo owes to the vagary of Intel's naming conventions, but the gap between the SU4100 and the single-core SU2700 in the T135-S1300 is fairly huge. The SU2700, by comparison, performed only fairly better than a Netbook-grade Intel Atom processor, but not by much.


By going dual-core, this Toshiba managed to be one of the better-performing CULV thin-and-lights in our benchmark comparison chart, where we focused on recent comparable machines. Dual-core does indeed make a big difference. We hope that Intel makes this CULV landscape a bit clearer in the future for potential consumers, since the stickers on both the T135 models were identical, and advertised a misleading (and unappealing) "Pentium Inside." Intel is doing itself a disservice to a good SU4100 processor.


  • Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
    (Shorter bars indicate better performance)

    bar graph
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
    (Shorter bars indicate better performance)

    bar graph
  • Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
    (Shorter bars indicate better performance)

    bar graph
  • Video playback battery drain test (in seconds)
    (Longer bars indicate better performance)

    bar graph
  • The six-cell battery in the Toshiba Satellite T135-S1310 ran for 6 hours and 14 minutes using our video playback battery drain test, which is a more extreme challenge than normal laptop use would provide. That battery life is much better than most thin-and-lights, including the Acer Aspire 3810T, and even bested the results we got with the lower-powered T135-S1300.


    Toshiba includes an industry-standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the Satellite T135-S1310, which can also be upgraded to three-year coverage. Support is accessible 24-7 via a toll-free phone line, an online knowledge base, and a Web site with driver downloads.


    Find out more about how we test laptops.


  • Juice Box
    Toshiba Satellite T135-S1310
    Off (watts)
    Sleep (watts)
    Idle (watts)
    Load (watts)
    Raw (annual kWh)
    Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)

    0.24

    0.57

    9.37

    22.58

    32.17

    $3.65


  • System configurations:

    Toshiba Satellite T135-S1310

    Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Pentium SU4100; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Toshiba 5,400rpm


    Toshiba Satellite T135-S1300

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.3GHz Intel Pentium SU2700; 3072MB DDR3 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Toshiba 5,400rpm


    Asus UL30A

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm


    ©2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
  • Lenovo Ideapad U350

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.3GHz Intel Pentium SU2700; 4096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm


    Acer Aspire 3810T

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U9400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 500GB Toshiba 5,400rpm


    Dell Inspiron 1545

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm


    Dell Adamo

    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U9300; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 779MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 128GB Samsung SSD



Toshiba Satellite T100/T115/T135 series Launchpad Team

Linux Launchpad team for the people who own or develop for the Toshiba Satellite T100/T115/T135 series laptop, so that we can have more information from users that use Linux, and send better bug reports upstream.

Please subscribe to this team if you are new by clicking on the "Join Team" link at the right:
http://launchpad.net/~toshiba-t100-series



Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Toshiba Satellite T100/T115/T135 series @ www.engadget.com

Toshiba Satellite T100 series of thin-and-lights receive Windows 7 nod -- Engadget
Hope you're ready for it 'cause a deluge of new computing hardware is coming with the launch of Windows 7. Here's Toshiba's T100 series with LED backlit displays, Intel CULV SU4100 processors, DDR3 memory, eSATA/USB combo ports, integrated webcams, 5-in-1 card readers, HDMI-out, a claimed 9-hours of life from 6-cell batteries, and multi-touch trackpads set for launch on October 22nd. The 13-inch, 3.88-pound T135 (pictured above, left) starts at $600 with 250GB 5400RPM disk, up to 8GB or memory, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. The T115 starts at $450 and brings an 11.6-inch display, up to 4GB of memory, and 3.49-pound heft. All Windows 7 all the time, just the way you want it.


Monday, 21 December 2009

HP Envy 15 receives key Linux ACPI kernel fix

For those interested in running Linux on an HP Envy 15, you will be glad to know that Alex Chiang has submitted a patch to the Linux kernel which will fix some of the ACPI issues for the HP Envy 15:
http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/12/20/146
[...]
It was also boot tested on an HP Envy 15 (x86) and an HP rx6600
(ia64). It resolved the namespace failures on the Envy 15 and did
not cause any regressions on the rx6600.
[...]




Enabling VT features on an Acer Timeline laptop with Linux and EFI GRUB

One of the Acer Timeline Launchpad team members has reported on enabling the VT features on a 3810TG laptop running Linux. Using a USB stick loaded with the BOOTX64.EFI image, and using a downgraded Acer BIOS, the VT can successfully be enabled. Then one can upgrade the BIOS back to the latest one.

See the email here:
http://lists.launchpad.net/acertimeline/msg00224.html
and the link to the EFI image here:
http://feature-enable.blogspot.com/2009/07/enable-vt-on-insydeh2o-based-sony-vaio.html

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Dell Vostro V13 review @ www.engadget.com

Dell Vostro V13 hands-on impressions: 'yes' -- Engadget
What if you took an original Adamo, shaved a couple pounds off the weight and a grand off the price? You'd end up with something pretty close to the new Dell Vostro V13. We just got a quick look at the machine, and while some of the cheaper materials Dell is using here certainly came through, the total package is still quite impressive -- and the price unimpeachable. The anodized aluminum exterior is smooth to the touch and gives the frame of the entire laptop a great amount of stiffness; none of that bendy nonsense that can be found in some of the $500ish thin-and-light competition. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a antigloss (not quite matte) display under the hood. Unfortunately, the compromises begin with the keyboard, which is a bit bendy and "clacky" (the bad version of "clicky"), and the 6 volt battery gets 4.75 hours as quoted, so probably around three in real life. We're also a little disappointed that the $450 base price rips out the SD card and ExpressCard slots, and that you can't get a Windows 7 version for under $600 -- even though the Ubuntu default is mighty tempting. So, there are compromises, just like in life, but for the most part this is one of the least timid computers we've seen from Dell in a while: not afraid to step on the toes of its brandmates and make a name for itself. Check out a quick video hands-on after the break, and stand by for our review that should hopefully arrive later this month.

Update: We got some bad info, and it turns out that the ExpressCard and SD card slots do come standard with the laptop -- the mockup we saw didn't have them, but all shipping models will. Phew!




MSI X-slim X350 review @ hothardware.com

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