System specifications

Site news

Latest site additions:

Updated January 13rd 2008:
My LIRC page: The Linux Audio Server Project - Revisited

Added January 3rd 2008:
My (K/X/)Ubuntu review: Ubuntu - beyond the hype

Added December 2nd 2007:
My Mandriva 2008.0 review

Added November 20th 2007:
The configuration page of Mandriva Linux 2008.0

Added November 18th 2007:
The Installation walkthrough of Mandriva Linux 2008.0

Added November 17th 2007:
The review of openSUSE 10.3

Added July 8th 2007:
The Configuration page of Mandriva Linux 2007.1 Spring

Added July 1st 2007:
The Installation walkthrough of Mandriva Linux 2007.1 Spring

Added December 18th 2005:
The third and final part of my Mandriva Linux 2006 review

Added November 14th 2005:
The second part of my Mandriva Linux 2006 review

Added November 6th 2005:
The first part of my Mandriva Linux 2006 review

For older additions please see the articles page.

System hardware

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Some issues are strongly hardware related, so I hereby present the hardware setup of my systems.

CPUAthlonXP 2400+ (t-bred b)Duron (morgan) 1GHzPIII 866MHz
MoboAsus A7V333QDI KinetiZ7TCompaq mobo
ChipsetVia KT333Via KT133 (?)
VideoMSI GeForce 4ti4200-64MB
ATI Radeon 9250
GeForce 2MX 32MB(?)
HarddisksMaxtor 160GB 8MB cache
Maxtor 300GB 16MB cache
Maxtor 15GB
Maxtor 120GB 8MB cache
Maxtor 60GB
Maxtor 120GB
Dvd/cd-romPioneer 105 dvd-romPioneer 103 dvd-romCompaq cd-rom
CD-RWNEC ND 3500 16x dvd+/-rw
16xdvd+/-r 4xdvd+/-r(9) 48xcd-r 24xcd-rw
AudioSoundblaster live Audigy 2onboard stereoonboard stereo
Soundblaster live 5.1
EthernetRealtek 8169 based NICRealtek 8169 based NICRealtek 8169 based gigabit NIC
onboard 10/100 NIC
ScannerEpson RX700Epson Perfection 1660 Photonone
PrinterEpson RX700noneEpson Stylus Color 740
WebcamPhilips PCVC750Knonenone
MonitorPhilips 18" TFT
Sanyo PLV-Z4
(Philips 18" TFT)none
TV-CardHauppauge WinTV-FMnonenone
MouseLogitech MX700
Standard PS/2 wheelmouse
Logitech MX700
Standard PS/2 wheelmouse
Keyboardus_int logitech internet keyboardfr_ch standard keyboardnone


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I decided to get a new laptop: madeira, my wife now uses my desktop (zurich), and her old system neuchatel is sort of decommissioned... It's a Core 2 Duo laptop with Intel Integrated Graphics, and all hardware works with open source linux drivers, except for the wireless (ipw3945 Intel ABG - there's a closed source daemon required, but a fully open source solution is on its way) and the SD/MMC card reader, for which a driver is being developed, but not included yet in Mandriva 2007.1.

Old laptop info: I managed to get my hands on a secondhand Compaq Armada M700. These come in many versions; mine is a PIII 650MHz, 384MB RAM, Ati Rage Mobility, 60 GB hd (was 6, I upgraded), dvd-rom (was a cdrom, here ebay helped out), us_int keyboard, xga tft lcd, onboard Lucent Winmodem (should work with LTwinmodem driver, haven't tried yet), onboard ethernet Intel EtherExpress Pro/100+,...
With Mandrake 10.1 acpi worked out of the box, but only partially. What worked: cpu throttling, hibernate, but not standy or suspend. Other things that didn't work out of the box: 3d accelleration (have managed once with 10.1RC1, will manage again), the winmodem - with the commercial drivers from the silver member 5th cd download this should work out of the box, same goes for any boxed Mandrakelinux. Very good, if you ask me...
Update: with Mandriva 2005 LE and the multimedia kernel, now even suspend to ram works fine, along with 3d accelleration out of the box. The only thing that doesn't work is the tv-out, for which I don't have any use, and the IrDA that I haven't managed to get working yet (my mobile phone also has Bluetooth, which works well).

Printer and scanner stuff

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I recently got a printer/scanner all in on machine, after some reading it became clear to me that for good quality _and_ good linux compatibility, the best options are still HP and Epson, and after reading some reviews I decided to get the Epson RX700. In the beginning I had some problems getting the settings right for use with the GIMP - there are fully open source drivers in Project Gutenberg (formerly known as Gimp-Print), but they gave out way too much ink.
This machine also prints without using a computer, from the memory card reader - which also works nicely in Linux, whenever you plug a card in. From that one, the quality is great, and actually, this machine could be used to scan to memory card, print from memory card, all without pc. We often just turn it on to scan without using the pc, it's very convenient. The quality is also excellent. And it does work well with Linux, after figuring out which settings to use to print. Scanning works without a hitch (we use Kooka nowadays).

Note that I first had an HP4200c scanner but couldn't get it to function, (some people managed somehow) this is as far as I got, so I just got the Epson, which worked out of the box. And the quality is great too. Also, it can easily be used by neuchatel and zurich even though it is connected to paris
The same goes for the Epson inkjet, works without a fuzz, also from other machines, and with mtink (on the printing menu in Kmenu-Configuration) you can even check the ink levels.

I have purchased a secondhand Lexmark Optra SC1275 colour laser printer, to replace my Lexmark Optra R+ B/W laser printer; like its predecessor it is a network laserprinter, but this time 600 dpi colour instead of 1200 dpi B/W. Works great with Linux.


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Note that Paris is my internet/file/print/audio server, which is why it has loads of diskspace but no cdrom, no keyboard, no monitor. It is connected with the living room hifi system, so I can play music; I setup a user 'music' that is running a vncserver so my wife and I can connect with a webbrowser and modify the songlist on xmms. With LIRC and the living room IR remote I can control it. Read my article here.

Configuration files

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As means of reference, I thought it might be nice to give everybody the means to compare my system configuration files (and to make sure I can retrieve them should I trash my system or change them beyond recognition... :-)
So here they are, that is, all files that I modified by hand (BTW these are from the system zurich).

Mandrake 10.1 Community Edition
Here are the lirc drivers that are missing from the standard 10.1 CE kernel: /lib/modules/
and they have to go to that exact path. Note that I only used lirc_dev and lirc_i2c. More info on these on my configuration page.

User files that I changed by hand:

Mandrake 10.0 Community Edition
System files that I changed by hand (except modprobe.conf, that I just include anyway) :
/etc/rc.local (my additions at the end)
/etc/lircd.conf (Hauppauge remote from lirc-remotes rpm package)
/etc/lircmd.conf (Hauppauge remote from lirc-remotes rpm package)

User files that I changed by hand:
Note that the last two files must be executable (chmod +x).

Mandrake 9.2 -- at least: most of them, some are even older:

Note that in the xfconfig file there are some extra entries to have 50 and 60 herz displayrates, this is for my home cinema projector; also, there are 3 mouse declarations, enabling both my ps/2 mouse, my usb mouse and the LIRC remote control 'mouse'. -- Update: I now only have 2 mouse declarations since kernel 2.6 'just works' with both my usb MX700 and my ps/2 without adding a second section. So I only had to add one section for the lircmd.

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Page first created: March 2003. Page last updated: 2007-07-01 21:51

Pages tested with but not specifically made for: lynx, konqueror, galeon, Opera, Mozilla, Firefox using, Quanta + and the Gimp on Mandriva Linux by aRTee
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