New Laptop Woes



I got myself a new laptop the other day, a IBM T40e. It has a pretty good price performance with a 2.2 GHz Pentium 4M. While researching the laptop market it occured to me that most resellers still has not understoiod the difference between Centrino, Pentium 4M and Pentium 4. The vendor I choose happily listed the T40e as a P4 even though it in fact is a P4M.

As a Gentoo fanatic I put the Live CD in an booted - no network. The Broadcom 5700 adapter was not supported out of the box, so after trying I few innovative ideas like creating a custom LiveCD, I suddenly realized that I could use my old Xircom card in the PCMCIA bus. Sometime the easy solutions are really hard to find, and sometimes I’m just a dork for not seeing them. This time it was the latter.

OK. After that the install went smoothly. I got the Broadcom driver from their site and could eject the Xircom card. Lm-sensors simply does not do IBM, so I had to turn to ACPI. It provided quite some headache, but after reading a lot about it I did at least get the battery stuff going.

Then we had the 3Com wireless PCMCIA card. The nice people of Rutgers University had put together a driver that supposedly should work. After working a _lot_ with it and having a little private kernel patching festival, finally it compiled and I was a happy man. Until I rebooted, that is. The laptop simply did not boot with the 3COM card in it. OK, so I had to do a little more tweaking. Eject the card, and do a hard power off.

So I started the laptop up again just to get me a large fat kernel panic in my face.

Something had barfed on the Reiserfs b-tree and it would not start again. OK, boot with the Live CD and fsck, right? Wrong.

To make a long and sad story short but equally sad, my almost ready killer laptop was gone. Reiserfs could only recover the disk by doing a rebuild-tree. I could identify most folders, but since heartbeat applications like bash were not recovered, I simply had to start over again.

And this for two measly failed startups.

Needless to say, my new setup is running Ext3 and Resiserfs will never be used on a computer fo mine for a very very long time.

And as for the Gentoo install guide referring to Reiserfs as “rock solid” - yeah, right.