Friday, May 16, 2008

Cool new machine for me

My boss was a good easter bunny. A little bit late, but the gift he brought was all the better: a brand new HP Compaq 2510p notebook (see e.g. for the gory technical details).

It came with the "small" 6 cell battery, which lasts for over 5 hours without any aggressive power management employed, later i got the "big" 9 cell battery which lasts well over 8 hours. Who says size doesn't matter? ;)

I additionally got the HP hs2300 HSDPA Wireless module (which is very much just a rebranded Sierra Wireless MC8775 with different USB IDs) for which i already sent patches upstream for the Linux kernel and HAL, so that it will work out of the box with openSUSE 11.0.

What can i say? This is an amazing little machine.
LED backlit 12.1" display (why do the HP marketing guys call it "illumi-lite" instead of just plain saying "LED backlight"? It has an ambient light sensor which adjusts the display brightness automatically and works very well for me, but it can be switched off with a key combination.
The internal HSDPA card has an amazingly good reception - much better than all the external PCMCIA / ExpressCard cards i had so far. This might be due to the better antenna built into the display, but i don't care why - it just works much better. Additionally, it does not consume a noticeable amount of the battery unless it is really used for transmitting data. I cannot say this of any of the external solutions.
The Ultra Low Voltage Processor is not a performance monster, but it performs at least as well as the ThinkPad X32 (Pentium M 1.8GHz) i had before, and it additionally has VT extensions nicely usable with KVM and qemu-kvm, combined with the 2GB of RAM it is more than suitable for my needs.

Everything on this machine works just fine: the intel 4965 wireless, the bluetooth adapter, suspend to RAM and suspend to disk - everything. Apart from that, it is really portable and still has a built in DVD burner - what else can you demand from your friendly easter bunny?


P.S.: of course, all this is with the current openSUSE Factory. There was a Vista Business installed on the machine, but after fiddling around with that for a few hours, to get it small enough to resize the Partition to less than 10GB, i never booted that again, i just was not impressed by it at all.


  1. [...] cool new machine was already sent back for warranty repair. The external display, connected to the docking station, [...]

  2. Did you activate the HSDPA card using Vista or did it work under openSuSe out of the box?

  3. It did not appear in the system until I "enabled" it once in Windows.
    However, on the replacement machine I got, I was able to enable it without Windows, by using the hp-wmi driver module and the rfkill sysfs entries.

  4. Could you elaborate a little on that? As I'm using Ubuntu (2.6.27 - intrepid) what did you do to enable the card? Did you pass any options to the various modules?


  5. Well, you load the module hp-wmi, then you get rfkill devices in /sys/class/rfkill. The one that belongs to your card (check the "name" attribute) has a "state" attribute. Echo "1" into that sysfs file and the device should appear. At least that's how I remember it ;)

  6. JFTR: The mini-pci card works now. How come? Read on.

    1) As jaunty was just released I planned to do a clean installation instead of an upgrade of the multiple-times-updated intrepid on that box (which did not even show the card in dmesg).

    2) Thus I did an interim Vista-Installation in order to activate the card.

    3) As that was more complicated than expected, I found out, that - in order to work (or even show up) - it is necessary, that the sim-card is inserted _and_ that the accu is inserted. If that is the case, the card is detected, the drivers are configured and it can be activated with the "hp wireless assistant".

    4) If you leave it activated, it es detected under Linux, as well.

    5) I don't know - whether the Vista-workaround would have been necessary if I had known, that the accu has to be inserted, in the first place. I always extract it, when I use the juice from the plug ...

    Thx anyway :-)