Sunday, August 09, 2009

T400 & Fedora 11


synergy(R51,dualscreen(T400,E228WFP)) = Geek Haven!!


My old R51 performance have been bugging me for this past several months, overheating processor, limited dualscreen resolution, dying harddisk, broken keyboard key, etc. I needed a new machine that able to keep in pace with my current job in Inigo and for other stuff (such as watching HD animes, and experimenting with resource intensive stuff). So, I bought a new Thinkpad T400. Bought it last Tuesday but didn't manage to blog about it due to a bit too occupied with stuff. Got a free 2GB DDR3 from the vendor (which increases my RAM to 4GB). It comes with Vista OEM, and naturally, I kicked that OS aside :P .



Installing Fedora 11 on it was not an adventure (not fun, but that shows Fedora and Linux is doing very well on the desktop), most stuff just works without the need for configuration and I'm able to get back to work in less than a day (including time to copy stuff from my old R51 to the new T400, and doing some reorganization of old files).

The T400 comes with Switchable Graphics with both ATi Radeon Mobile 3470MHD and Intel GMA X4500MHD. The Intel card works out of the box, and the ATi card simply need me to install kmod-fglrx from RPMfusion (unavailable on F11 yet, works on F10). No live switching between the two cards yet on Linux, but I guess that can wait. My idea with having the ATi card is only to use it for playing some FOSS games, and for checking out the progress of the FOSS Radeon driver.

The integrated camera works well too. I simply launch Cheese and it automatically turn on the camera and ready to grab some pics or videos :D



The fingerprint reader however does not work due to it is using a newer AuthenTec AES2810 reader which its driver are not available in Linux yet.

Thinkpad SMAPI kmod for advanced battery control is unavailable in Fedora kernel. So, I've put together an akmod package for it. You can grab it here : http://izhar.fedorapeople.org/tp_smapi-kmod/

Wireless (Intel 5300) and Bluetooth works well and this is also the first time I see a machine which its hardware wireless switch working without the need of restarting the machine.

KVM and VirtualBox works well with the VMX extension. At last I'm able to do virtualization for development and experiments without worrying much about the performance impact. KVM is available in Fedora repos, and VirtualBox can be acquired easily from RPMFusion (VirtualBox-OSE).

Thinkpad have a good reputation of being Linux friendly, and after the Lenovo takeover, the reputation is still there. A bit lacking at several places such as the fingerprint driver unavailability, and the lack of Linux support/push for proper switchable gfx, but overall, I love this T400 :D.


Processor :
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor P8700
(2.53GH, 1066MHz FSB, 3MB L2 Cache)

System graphics :
ATI Mobility Radeon 3470 power optimized 256MB
Intel GMA X4500
(Switchable graphics)

Chipset:
Mobile Intel GM45

Total memory :
4 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz
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