Linux on a Hi-Grade Notino 3400s

Update: I have since installed RedHat 9 and Fedora Core 1 without any

Since I was not able to find any information on Linux with the
Laptop Hi-Grade Notino 3400s I decided to put down all my own


The Hardware
Installing RedHat 8.0 (Psyche)
Video Card
Sound Card
Things to fix/configure/test
Other RedHat related things

The Hardware

Its cheap :) ... The biggest thing I'm missing with this laptop
is that it does not have any PCMCIA slots. Also no floppy drive.
Turns out that it also does not have an IR interface, only a windows
for it. I looked at the website and could not see an upgrade for it
maybe something generic will fit?

It was quite hard to find its actual specs from the Hi-Grade website (

From the Dutch site

Chipset  SiS NB650 + SB961       
Memory   0 on-board; expandable to 1024MB
         2x200pin DDR SDRAM Memory slots (PC2100/1600)
HDD      2.5" 9,5mm height; Support Ultra DMA 66/100   
FDD      Support optional external FDD, format 720KB/1.2MB/1.44MB   
Display  14,1" XGA TFT Display; max. res. 1024x768   
Video controller
         Integrated in SiS650
         Support Multi Monitor
         Ultra AGP
         REAL 256 2D/3D Graphic
Pointing Device 
         Glide pad with 4x buttons   
Audio    Sound Blaster Pro compatible 16bit soundsystem
         Build-in mono microphone
         Supports AC97 2.1
         2x Speakers (1Watt each)   
I/O Port
         1x Bi-directional Parallel Port
         2 x Standard USB1.1 port
         1x RJ-11 port
         1x RJ-45 port
         1x DC input
         1x VGA monitor port
         1x Audio-out (SPIDF)
         1x Mic-in
        Build-in 56Kbps V.90 MDC modem
        Build-in 10/100 based-T LAN
        Build-in antenna for Mini-PCI wireless communication   
Battery Li-ion (2000mAH/3.7V)
        User swappable   
        AC Adapter Universal AC Adapter 90W; 
           Input: 100-240V, 50/60Hz AC   
        315x256x39,5 (mm)   
        Weight 3.0 kg   
        Power Cord, AC Adapter, RJ-11 Phone Cable, 
        Manual, System Driver CD   Architecture Support PC2001 Specification, 
        Designed for Windows ME, 2000 & XP

Installing RedHat 8.0 (Psyche)

It came pre-installed with XP Home Edition with NTFS, since there was
no floppy drive, it was quite hard to create a boot floppy, and
the few I found over the Internet had no NTFS support, so I just
decided to get rid of it.

The installation went quite well, full install with LVM.
I also installed RedCarpet from Ximian and did all updates
for RedHat 8.0, Ximian Desktop and Evolution.

Video Card

RedHat 8.0 has XFree86 Version 4.2.0 (Red Hat Linux release: 4.2.0-72) running,
which does not have support for the SIS650 video card, so it uses the
"VESA driver (generic). During installation it does set the Monitor type
to "Generic Laptop Display Panel 1400x1050", however, if you run later
'redhat-config-xfree86' later it sets it to Generic VGA and you only
have 800x600 resolution

After some searching on
I found drivers for Linux / XFree86. If you go directly to
you see '650' where you see two files "sis_drv.o-402" and "sis_drv.o-410"
Documentation is close to non-existent, so I assume that 410 is fro XFree86 4.1.0
In hope that it would work with 4.2.0 I did the following

  mv /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/sis_drv.o /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/RH-orig-sis_drv.o
  cp sis_drv.o-410 /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/sis_drv.o
Then I ran 'redhat-config-xfree86' and selected SIS630 as Video Card Type with 32 MB RAM.

It does work, however, does not give the performance I was hoping for. My two test tools
for video card performance are 'glxgears' (which gives around 270 fps, about the same
as the generic VESA driver
) and tuxracer which performs horribly!
Furthermore, using mplayer I was not able to use either the 'xv' interface nor the
'sdl' one.

Looking further I found Thomas'es web site
which provided a much better solution.

Get the latest drivers from the site ... I used

download, untar (tar zxvf) then
  mv /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/sis_drv.o /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/RH-orig-sis_drv.o
  cp sis_drv.o /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/drivers/sis_drv.o
  mv  /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri/ /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri/
  cp /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri/
restart your xserver (or reboot).

Now I can use the 'xv' and the 'sdl' devices for mplayer ... glxgear still gives the same
performance and tuxraces is still slow ... but we're a step closer :)

Sound Card

The sound card is detected by RedHat 8.0 as "Silicon Integrated Systems (SIS),
SiS7012 PCI Audio Accelerator. Which is correct, however the module being
used is i810_audio, which does not seem to work.

Back to the SiS website there is a
file. At first try it did not compile.

Maybe I did something wrong but after modifying the Makefile it compiled.
Unfortunately that does not mean that it works ... depmod -a gives an error
saying that the modules sis7012.o (which is actually not installed by the install
script, and has to be manually copied) has problems. It turns out that this
binary-only module is compiled for kernel 2.4.7-10enterprise.


Well I took the easy way out ... There is a commercial driver available from OSS The cost is $35.-


The modem is a winmodem. Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] 56k Winmodem (Smart Link HAMR5600 compatible) (rev a0)
Went to website Select 'Download' and then
'License Agreement for End Users', Yes, OS -> Linux. Then you get an option for two files
The first one is optimized for 386 and Cyrix CPU's the second one is the one we want.

To install it, the following has been done.

    tar zxvf slmdm-2.6.16.tar.gz 
    cd slmdm-2.6.16
    more README
    cd /usr/src
    ln -s linux-2.4 linux
    make install-amr
    modprobe slamrmo

(make install and modprobe needs to be done as root)

now start 'minicom -s' and then select 'Serial port setup'
Press 'a' to select 'Serial Device' and edit it so that it reads '/dev/modem'
Press 'Enter' at 'Change which setting?' to return to the main setup menu
Select ' Save setup as dfl ' and then 'Exit'

And it works ...

Welcome to minicom 2.00.0

OPTIONS: History Buffer, F-key Macros, Search History Buffer, I18n           
Compiled on Jun 23 2002, 16:41:20.                                           
Press CTRL-A Z for help on special keys                                      
AT S7=45 S0=0 L1 V1 X4 &c1 E1 Q0                                                       


The DVD player is a combo drive
Its both a cd writer (re-writer) and a DVD player.
To get the DVD player you have to set the region of the player first. It took me a while to figure
out that that was the problem. I got the information from the MPlayer documentation page.

You need to get regions set tool. After you download it you
need to do the following.

tar zxvf dvd_disc_20000215.tar.gz
cd  dvd_disc_20000215
This will create two binary executable files called 'dvdbackup' and 'regionset'.
To be able to run regionset you need to have a DVD in the drive. When you run it
the output should look something like:
[root@puma dvd_disc_20000215]# ./regionset 
Current Region Code settings:
RPC Phase: II
type: SET
vendor resets available: 4
user controlled changes resets available: 4
drive plays discs from region(s): 2, mask=0xFD

Would you like to change the region setting of your drive? [y/n]:
If you say 'y' (yes) then you can set it to your own region. This would be '2' if you
are in europe, '1' in the US. (You can look behind your DVD's to see what region they are.)

Note: you can change your region only a fixed amount of times (this drive seems to have to
this value at 5). Here a blurb from a friend from

The american movie industry thinks it's needed to divide the world into various regions, so they can
decide who gets to view what movie when they want it. Since I happen to live in the Netherlands, which
is DVD region 2 (Europe) I have to wait either a long time (The big blockbusters from the states) or even
forever (Lot's of stuff never gets released in region 2, like anime) to get movies released on DVD for my native region.

Copying DVD's is not an issue here. The DVD-industry is afraid of people copying their precious movies, because of this
fear they protect and encrypt them with systems like CSS (Content Scrambling System) and Macrovision. For the near future
I do not see things like this happening, since there isn't even a medium you could copy a DVD movie too (I ignore VHS
here, I do not consider VHS an option, it just sucks) without too much loss of quality. And if such a medium were to be
present the copy-protection systems wouln't help at all, since you can just copy them along with the movie and all players
will accept it.

You have the option to make your player region-free. This involves 'flashing' the firmware of the player.
It seems that there only is a MAC version for the firmware as yet. (here)

You have to create a link as follows (some applications look for it):

   ln -s /dev/scd0 /dev/dvd
The Software
I have installed mplayer and xine on my system. both seem to work ok. However, mplayer seems to have a problem when I switch to full-screen. Xine also
has support for DVD navigation (i.e DVD menues) which mplayer is not fully supporting yet.

I also use mplayer to watch avi files etc. there I use mplayer -vo sdl -ao sld to get the best performance.
However, the sound syncronization seems to be off by a bit each time, you might have to adjust it via the '-' and
'+' keys.


During Installation RedHat allready has set the CDrom as a SCSI device. So there is nothing
to configure really.

I created an ISO image as follows:

mkisofs -R -V "backup 20030218" -o evolution/ DVD/ SIS/ .jpilot/
and then wrote it is follows:
 cdrecord speed=30 dev=/dev/sg0 -v -eject -data 
Cdrecord 1.10 (i686-pc-linux-gnu) Copyright (C) 1995-2001 J�rg Schilling
TOC Type: 1 = CD-ROM
scsidev: '/dev/sg0'
devname: '/dev/sg0'
scsibus: -2 target: -2 lun: -2
Linux sg driver version: 3.1.24
Using libscg version 'schily-0.5'
atapi: 1
Device type    : Removable CD-ROM
Version        : 0
Response Format: 2
Capabilities   : 
Vendor_info    : 'MATSHITA'
Identifikation : 'CD-RW  CW-8121  '
Revision       : 'AZ16'
Device seems to be: Generic mmc CD-RW.
Using generic SCSI-3/mmc CD-R driver (mmc_cdr).
Driver flags   : SWABAUDIO
Drive buf size : 1808688 = 1766 KB
FIFO size      : 4194304 = 4096 KB
Track 01: data  220 MB        
Total size:     253 MB (25:08.50) = 113138 sectors
Lout start:     254 MB (25:10/38) = 113138 sectors
Current Secsize: 2048
ATIP info from disk:
  Indicated writing power: 4
  Is not unrestricted
  Is not erasable
  Disk sub type: Medium Type A, low Beta category (A-) (2)
  ATIP start of lead in:  -11318 (97:31/07)
  ATIP start of lead out: 336226 (74:45/01)
Disk type:    Short strategy type (Phthalocyanine or similar)
Manuf. index: 22
Manufacturer: Ritek Co.
Blocks total: 336226 Blocks current: 336226 Blocks remaining: 223088
Starting to write CD/DVD at speed 8 in write mode for single session.
Last chance to quit, starting real write in 0 seconds. Operation starts.
Waiting for reader process to fill input buffer ... input buffer ready.
Performing OPC...
Starting new track at sector: 0
Track 01: 220 of 220 MB written (fifo 100%).^[[B^[[B^[[B^[[B
Track 01: Total bytes read/written: 231702528/231702528 (113136 sectors).
Writing  time:  208.391s
Fixating time:   35.589s
cdrecord: fifo had 3650 puts and 3650 gets.
cdrecord: fifo was 0 times empty and 3566 times full, min fill was 79%.



There are two HotKeys on the laptop at the same place as the LEDs. They do not generate
X-keypressed events. Therefore, generic utilities like HotKeys
or LinEAK do not work.

The solution lies in an approach like The Acer Hotkey Driver for Linux
where a kernel character device has to be written to catch the key's pressed. As far as I know, there
are none available yet. I'm looking into it, and currently have decided to give it a shot myself


The Battery is a
  Battery Pack: UN34AS1-T 
  Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  Rating: 11.1V  5850 mAh
  Assebled in Taiwan
APM does not see it, and reports "AC on-line" all the time. I will try to use ACPI instead
of apm. Since RedHat does not ship its kernel with ACPI support enabled, the kernel will have to be recompiled.

Things to fix/configure/test

Other RedHat related things

ssh X-forwarding didn't work

I would get on the client side
xterm Xt error: Can't Open display

and sshd would report
sshd[18853]: error: Failed to allocate internet-domain X11 display socket.

It turns out that if networking is not turned on during boot time (I was doing dhclient
manually) that lo the loopback interface is not being brought up either.

So either have networking started at boot, or you have to say "ifup lo" as root.

Mozilla closes after startup

There was no error. After doing an strace mozilla I saw that the error given
was Gdk-ERROR **: BadWindow (invalid Window parameter).
After looking around the net a bit, I saw that it might be related to the THEME of
the browser. It was starting with the 'Classical' theme. For some reason I was able
to get it running when connecting via ssh from another machine. I changed the theme to
"Modern" and it started working without a problem.

PHP does not work with RedHat 8.0

On default RH seems not to work with PHP. Actually it does not work with short tags.
Edit '/etc/php.ini' and change short_open_tag = Off to short_open_tag = On
You might also want to enable global variables ... In the same file change
register_globals = Off to register_globals = On.