Here’s the test machine du jour in action.
System: Host: solo-2150 Kernel: 3.6.8-1-ARCH i686 (32 bit, gcc: 4.7.2) Console: tty 10 Distro: Arch Linux Machine: Mobo: Gateway model: Solo 2150 version: Rev 1.0 Bios: Gateway version: 17.50 date: 01/21/2000 CPU: Single core Celeron (Coppermine) (-UP-) cache: 128 KB flags: (sse) bmips: 1002.05 clocked at 501.145 MHz Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Rage Mobility P/M AGP 2x bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 1002:4c4d X-Vendor: N/A driver: tty size: 146x26 Advanced Data: N/A out of X Audio: Card: Creative Labs Ectiva EV1938 driver: snd_ens1371 ports: 10c0 1080 bus-ID: 00:09.0 chip-ID: 1102:8938 Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.25 WAN IP: None Detected! IF: eth0 ip: 192.168.0.4 ip-v6: fe80::2a0:b0ff:fe2c:631d Drives: HDD Total Size: 12.1GB (33.1% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: TOSHIBA_MK1214GA size: 12.1GB serial: 60C95063T Optical: /dev/sr0 model: N/A rev: N/A dev-links: cdrom Features: speed: 24x multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes rw: none state: N/A Partition: ID: / size: 7.6G used: 1.4G (18%) fs: ext2 dev: /dev/sda3 ID: /home size: 3.3G used: 2.4G (74%) fs: ext2 dev: /dev/sda4 ID: /boot size: 92M used: 29M (32%) fs: ext2 dev: /dev/sda1 ID: swap-1 size: 0.25GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2 Unmounted: ID: /dev/sr0 size: 1.07G label: N/A uuid: N/A ID: /dev/fd0 size: 0.00G label: N/A uuid: N/A Info: Processes: 69 Uptime: 4:00 Memory: 56.4/277.9MB Runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 4.7.2 Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 1.8.23
That’s the insides. But the outsides are another reason I picked it out, for a lowly $15 (plus or minus). The physical condition is impeccable, with no scratches and only a few odd spots of grime that washed away without any effort.
Nothing is perfect though. There are a few shortcomings, some of which are internal and problematic.
For one, there seems to be some inconsistencies between the Rage Mobility card, and the available drivers for mach64-based cards. I put Xorg et al. in place, but the available drivers — and a few that were self-built — worked only in part.
Closest was a working desktop that started up fine, but crashed back to the terminal as soon as any graphic element moved … like the mouse pointer. 😐
Apparently this BIOS also has problems too. The kernel spits out a warning message on every boot, about ACPI errors that can’t be worked around. That also alienates the built-in network jack and USB hub. Neither one can be detected by the kernel, and don’t respond to my efforts to prod them. (Note, 2013-01-31: the USB and ports were restored with an obscure BIOS setting; the network plug may have life in it but the kernel can’t sense it and I find no documentation or drivers to reveal its innards.)
All of those things can be comfortably worked around though, and with no major heartache. I have plenty of leftover PCMCIA network and USB cards, some of which accrued even when I thought I was out of the ancient laptop game.
And videowise, there’s little I could expect to do with a Rage Mobility that isn’t just as accessible through the framebuffer or just the vesa driver. So I lose a meager shred of 3D acceleration? Oh well.
Best of all? Well, best of all … I can’t say that it’s fanless, but I have yet to hear it turn on. Many times I’ve wished back to the late 1990s for a computer that could run silent. This might be as close as I get. 🙂