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NetBook.SupportedHardwarer1.9 - 28 Jul 2005 - 08:58 - BrianDushawtopic end

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Hardware support on the netBook

PCMCIA support is still fairly preliminary. All PCMCIA cards for now are given IRQ 26, which is shared with the system timer. I think this was the kludge used to get PCMCIA to work for now. Not all cards will work for this reason. This list is by no means complete; it includes only those successes that users have bothered to enter here.

If you put a second compactflash in the netBook using a PCMCIA adapter, your system will likely fail to boot because the driver gets confused about which disk is /dev/hda. On the other hand, you can boot a system off a disk in pcmcia.

Note that the netBook's sa1100 cpu will only support 16-bit PCMCIA (aka PC Card), and will NOT support 32-bit PCMCIA (aka Cardbus) cards.

The utility/daemon "cardmgr" generally handles the configuration and set up of the PCMCIA cards on its own; usually little configuration (e.g., modules) is needed to get a working card to work.

Hardware supported on the On Board Serial Port is covered elsewhere.




Psion DACOM 56K+Fax, 10 MB Ethernet


The ethernet part of this card is recognized using the smc91c92_cs module. But it seems not to work. Messages like "smc91c92_cs: Yikes! Bad chip signature!" appear and an attempt to "ifconfig eth0 up" gives a "SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such device". "ifconfig" doesn't show eth0, but "ifconfig eth0" reports back what seems to be a healthy card, and one can ping off of its address. But no outside connection is made (for me anyways).

The modem portion of this card is recognized as ttyS00, and it seems to use the /dev/ttyS0 device. The serial is recognized as a 8250. But the serial connection to the modem does not seem to work. Attempts to connect to it with minicom have failed. The "8250" is incorrect, and apparently suggests an interrupt conflict. "stty -F /dev/ttyS0" gives an Input/output error.

Anybody able to get this piece of standard netBook hardware working?

Psion DACOM V34+Fax, Ethernet

This card did not work for me with EPOC, but both functions work with linux.

The ethernet part is recognized as an ne2000 compatible, using the 8390.o module.

The serial part is recognized as a 16550A, and speaks to minicom just fine.

Zoom 3075/Hayes Accura H08-03327 Modems

These seem to suffer the same IRQ or IO port problem as the Psion Dacom 56K modem. These don't work (or at least I couldn't get them to work). The cards are recognized if they are in the netBook at boot up, but not recognized if they are inserted after boot up. Minicom only sees a steady stream of binary characters from these modems, and the UART (should be 16550A) is not correctly recognized.



Wireless Ethernet

Netgear MA401 wireless card


Dell True Mobile 1150 Wireless ethernet

Lucent Orinoco "Silver"

These work fine using the orinoco_cs+hermes module.

D-Link DFE-650TXD

Works fine using the pcnet_cs module.

Linksys Instant Wireless Network PC Card V2.5

Works fine using the hostap_cs module. The source code for this module must be applied to the kernel as a separate patch, or at least compiled separately.

Cisco Aironet 340

Autodetected using the airo_cs module. The Aironet 350 is quite likely to work too. Brian Lycett 2004/07/08



Wired Ethernet

N.B. There are 10/100 16 bit PCMCIA cards, but because of cpu and 16-bit limitations, one is not likely to achieve anything like 100 Mbps throughput on the netBook. You have wired networking; be happy.

Dynalink L10C 10Mbit ethernet

Autodetected as ne2000 compatible; works fine using the 8390 and pcnet_cs modules. Klaasjan, 2004/07/04

TRENDnet PCMCIA model TE100-PC16R (10/100Mbps)

Works. Seems even 100 Mbps works ok.

Netgear FA411 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet

Works fine. Recognized as an NE2000 Compatible card. Edit /etc/pcmcia/network.opts to set ethernet numbers. Turn off pcmcia before unplugging!



Serial Devices/GPS

Socket R-I/O Ruggedized Serial Card

Recognized as a 16C950 serial port at /dev/ttyS0 using the serial_cs driver. One needs to set

SERIAL_OPTS="baud_base 460800"

in the /etc/pcmcia/serial.opts file to get linux to be able to set the correct baud rate for these particular PCMCIA serial cards.

Global Sat GPS Compact Flash Model BC-307

Recognized as a 16C950 serial port at /dev/ttyS0.

GPS NMEA strings seen once baud rate set to 4800.

(Be sure to comment out and SERIAL_OPTS you may have set in /etc/pcmcia/serial.opts, e.g. for the Socket I/O serial card!)



IDE Devices

PCMCIA compactflash adapter

It is my understanding that all these adapters are the same - they have no electronics in them, but merely adapt the compactflash pins to the PCMCIA pins.

If you have this adapter in when the system first boots, you'll have real problems. The system finds two disks and develops some sort of conflict. However, it appears that after the system is booted up, the second compactflash can be inserted by PCMCIA. This will be the /dev/hdc disk. Seems to work o.k.

Added 2005/02/03, Ed Robbins

When I boot witth both cards in, the card in the PC Card slot gets detected as hda and the one in the compact flash card slot as hdc - therefore when it comes to mounting the root filesystem it cant be found because the wrong slot is being accessed and the boot fails.

Compact Flash Microdrive

(Make is 2.2GB Magistor - but are all the same I believe)

Works just as a compact flash. No trouble in compact flash slot or with an adapter in the PC Card slot.

Ed Robbins 2005/02/03

Port Noteworthy CD-ROM (NW24XCD)

Works; recognized as a "Freecom IQ-drive" on /dev/hdc. Requires the 5 V, 1A external power supply to work properly. ide-cd and iso9660 support must be compiled in the kernel or as modules. Have the CD in the drive before plugging in, or load the ide-cd module by hand. Unmount the iso9660 filesystem and stop pcmcia services before unplugging card or the system will crash!

This drive is also branded "Targus" in some cases. for more information.

* port_nw24xcd_usermanual.pdf: User manual for Port Noteworthy NW24XCD, PCMCIA CDROM

IBM Travelstar E External Hard Drive

Works. The "IBM Travelstar E" PC Card is a PCMCIA card and a housing for a 2.5" laptop disk. The housing is nice and offers lots of padding for the hard drive. These apparently originally came with a hard drive in them; the one I bought had had the disk removed (easily opened and straightforward install to be sure, but not exactly user friendly either!). With the disk plugged in and placed in the housing this card and a 12 GB Travelstar hard disk were both recognized and worked fine - *but only with an external 5 V, 1A power supply*. The exterior connection on the housing is the same as for the Noteworthy CD ROM described above, but the two PC Cards did not seem to be interchangable.

A linux system on this disk will be recognized first if the disk is plugged into the netBook at start time - this disk will be recognized as /dev/hda in this case.

WARNING: Do not plug the card in with the external 5 V power supply attached when the netBook is not powered. Tentatively, this seems to burn out the netBook's 5V supply - your netBook will fail to boot! Nothing on the screen, etc. i.e., disaster. (Some lessons are learned the hard way.)

"i88990" PCMCIA to IDE adapter

Works. Frequently advertised on e-bay these days (July 2005) for $42 after shipping (from Hong Kong, worldwide) They appear to be no-brand custom cards. It allows connection of 2.5" hdd, but also have an adapter to allow 3.5" drives to be connected. Seems to support hard disk/cdrom IDE devices generically, sometimes without an external power supply.




Voyager VGA card from Colorgraphic "Super VGA Adapter"

From "The current Voyager contains a standard VGA controller, the Cirrus Logic GD5422. Any code already available for Linux for the GD5422 should be portable."

See also: To use the server.....Xipaq -screen 320x240 -card pcmcia -screen 800x600x8x72 will bring up the Xserver at 320x240 on the internal iPAQ display at 65536 colours and the external PCMCIA display at 800x600 at 256 colours at a 72Hz refresh rate.

Most X servers just produce a mess on my PC's screen. The server xserver-tiny-h3600_4.2.20030126-14_arm.ipk from seems to work marginally (fuzzy, somewhat tortured, output); the driver works better on the HP card.

On the original Xipaq, Xipaq -card pcmcia -screen 640x480x8x50 gave:

PCMCIA: Found Voyager VGA card
PCMCIA: no matching vesa mode for screen selection, aborting.
PCMCIA: use -listmodes to check for supported list of modes.

And X -listmodes gave:

Valid modes are....


This server works better on the HP card described next.

Hewlett Packard VGA-out PC Card (HP F1252A)

Supported by xserver-tiny-h3600_4.2.20030126-14_arm.ipk from , Two separate screens are available: the netBook's screen and what is on the external monitor. I gather one is meant to use a mouse to go between them; at the moment I don't know how to switch between the screens. You can omit the first screen below and get just a single screen output to the monitor. In between starting X, the card has to be reset - in other words, X will start properly every other time unless you unplug/replug the card.

On a single screen output to a monitor, no mouse/touchscreen will be possible. So any presentation will have to be done using the keyboard/hotkeys.

Xipaq -dpi 75 -nolisten tcp -screen 640x480x8x60 -card pcmcia -screen 800x600x8x75

The driver seems to support only 800x600 resolution - at least that's all that worked for me. These cards are meant to support 1024x768 XVGA resolution on the HP620LX Color Palmtop PC.

Video cards are ignored by cardmgr - cardmgr has nothing to do with these cards.

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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
port_nw24xcd_usermanual.pdf manage 43.9 K 26 Jul 2005 - 00:55 BrianDushaw User manual for Port Noteworthy NW24XCD, PCMCIA CDROM

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