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Thursday, April 8, 2010

My experiences in getting openSUSE 11.2 (x_64) working on my Dell Inspiron 1501 (part 2)

As luck would have it the openSUSE Linux 11.2 x_64 installation on my Dell Inspiron 1501 eventually stopped working. There was no real support for ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics card at the time of the first install. Eventually this caused the installation to become corrupted.

A few days ago the laptop stopped working completely and all attempts to get it going failed. At this point I decided to reinstall openSUSE 11.2 x_64 from scratch. This time I chose to use the new file system called ext4 for the root partition. Then I used Yast2's new feature called "Package Search (webpin)" to find the correct drivers for the Radeon Xpress 200 graphics card and the Broadcom wireless network card. Once webpin located the packages needed the software repositories were added to the software repositories list and the required drivers installed. The whole process of reinstalling openSUSE 11.2 x_64 with the required wireless and graphics support took approximately 2 hours.

The next challenge was finding and installing MPlayer and SMPlayer for mp3 and other multimedia support. Again I ended up using webpin to find and install SMPlayer.

Now my laptop is functioning even better than before. It is as reliable and stable as it was with openSUSE 10.3 x_64 when everything just works. Now the display and wireless works every time the laptop is booted up and continues working when I log out or switch users.

With the new battery for the laptop and the new power management system in openSUSE 11.2, I should be able to achieve over 4 hours of battery use per charge. The power management system used in openSUSE 11.2 is very sophisticated. It allow users to set the display brightness while running on battery. While running on battery, there are 3 modes – powersave, aggressive powersave and xtreme powersave. Each mode may be customized according to the user's needs. To prolong the use of the laptop while running on the battery, I turned down the brightness of the display for each powersaving mode as well as turn off the display whenever the computer is idle for up to 15 minutes. To help protect the battery, I have it programmed to turn off whenever the battery charge reaches 10%.
--  Philip Ramsey  ACN Independent Representative:  Web Master Breakfast With Fran: RSS:  Blog:  Blog RSS:  

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