HP Pavilion ze5500
This install is written specifically with a HP Pavilion ze5570 notebook, however all notebooks in the series have pretty much the same hardware. Manufactured in 2003 and 2004, the Pavilion 5500 series are older computers but with some lovin' can do pretty well. It's got a Pentium 4 so it's able to run Arch i686 (50786 chip technically but really i686).
|Processor||Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor 2.66|
|Video||ATi Mobility Radeon IGP 345M, 64MB Shared memory.|
|Hard Drive||Fujitsu MHT2060A ATA 60GB|
|CD Drive||Samsung SN-324F CDRW/DVD|
|Ethernet||National Semiconductor DP83815 10/100 Mb/s Ethernet Controller|
|Wireless||Broadcom BCM4306 802.11 b/g|
|Sound||Sound Blaster Pro-compatible 16-bit|
|Trackpad||Synaptics with dedicated vertical scroll|
|Display||13.3 inch XGA TFT (1024x769)|
What I like:
- Video processor for being seven years old can still do most of what I want.
- Battery life is good, I'm guessing about four hours.
- Screen brightness, not quite of today's values but definitely has a good brightness.
- Touchpad has a button for disabling/enabling... nice.
What I dislike
- Disk drive - just a killer when so much IO is done on drives now days. Easy to tell one of the leading improvements on todays PC versus yesterdays is I/O balancing/speed. System unusable on high I/O (i.e. KDE 4 with this amount of RAM, this helped out a bit.
- Heavy - not quite like those old cell-phones though.
- Legacy power management.
What doesn't work
Everything pretty much works with little or no configuration. The wireless network card will require special firmware but everything else pretty much works, and there are a few other exceptions:
- Suspend to RAM: Fail. Legacy ACPI, so forget it. Hibernate, fortunately, does work.
- Multimedia keys: Only four of eight register events.
- Other keys: All regular keys work, but not some fn-combos (including numlock).
There was once a module (Template:Package AUR) and program (Template:Package AUR) that could enable multi-media and other keys. However, with the 2.6.32 kernel they no longer function... appear to not be updated anymore.
Ethernet card works just fine out of the box, however to get wireless working you'll need to install Broadcoms' firmware (Template:Package AUR).
Touchpad works great. However to get a nice clean setup (i.e. without all the default [and crazy] options pre-set) you'll need a configuration. Here is a full-optioned one.
ATi drivers suck. OK, that's harsh. Really like the open source effort going in the the ATi drivers, but they just aren't running smooth yet (2010-03-03). The catalyst drivers are broke and have been for some time. With the open source drivers, composting is slow and have a few other glitches, nonetheless they do alright if a couple options are enabled in the config.
Broke (Suspend to RAM) and... probably will never be fixed. Tried every pm-utils option I could think of, and all different modes of s2ram. Hibernate does run well though, just put resume=/dev/your-swap-partition in your Template:Filename and rebuild the kernel RAM disk (initrd) with the resume hook. Also for my USB network card to resume following hibernation I had to suspend the USB 1.0 module before hibernating:
echo 'SUSPEND_MODULES="button uhci_hcd"' >> /etc/pm/config.d/config
ACPID and CPU Frequency Scaling
Haven't bothered with ACPID as KDE 4 has it's own event detection implementation. Haven't got a chance to install CPU Frequency utilities.
Post Install Thoughts
Good computer, maybe though KDE 4 might not be right for it. It does ok but with the disk just crashed on there, it can have some bad hiccups at times. I think it might actually be OK if I put more RAM in it (448MB just isn't enough for KDE) will have to see, or if I could find a way to lower system disk I/O amount (to allow better balance of system parts). Nonetheless, liking it does ok, liking it very much.