Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wireless speed tests

In the comments to my post sruchris said:
Using the wifi on my 1001p, I'm only getting 1Mb/s download. When I use the wired connection, I get 5Mb/s.
So I tried a little speed testing by myself. As I have no server machine, NAS or the like in my home network I used a test FTP server of my ISP. I used a 72 Mb file. The 1001p downloaded at 2.0 Mb/s. My Thinkpad T61 notebook using b/g wireless had about same. When using ethernet the 1001p does 3.8 Mb/s and the notebook 4.2 Mb/s.

I think that's not so bad. My wireless router is a Linksys WRT54G and due to my old cables I still have 100 Mbit ethernet.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Installing skype

Was super easy. I just downloaded it from skype:

Install by double clicking it in nautilus. Cam and audio worked out of the box. If there wouldn't be the internal microphone issue it would be 100% perfect.

Fixing wireless

Next big obstacle to overcome is the wireless driver. After some research I learned about three paths to follow:
  1. Waiting for lucid final
  2. Using the windows driver via ndiswrapper
  3. Compiling a ath9k driver from compat-wireless
Option one is not really an option as I want to have wireles now. The ndiswrapper solution might work well but I guess not as efficient as a native driver. The missing native driver support was already mentioned in a launchpad bug entry. So my first shot is compiling the driver by myself. Hey, it's linux and the source is with you. Actually it was quite easy. I got all information from http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Download

Get the current source tarball:
wget http://wireless.kernel.org/download/compat-wireless-2.6/compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2

Unpack it somewhere in your home dir:
tar xvfj compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2

Change into the source dir, for example:
cd compat-wireless-*

Select the ath9k driver and compile it:
./scripts/driver-select ath9k

Install the driver:
sudo make install

Unload the old drivers and load the new one:
sudo make unload
sudo make wlunload
sudo make btunload
sudo modprobe ath9k

That's it. The only drawback is that you always have to do that again after installing a new kernel image.

Note: kernel 2.6.32-22 and compat-wireless-2010-05-05 works.

Fixing brightness controls

The brightness controls via Fn+F5 and Fn+F6 doesn't work properly. It's more like unpredictably cycling through various levels instead of going from brighter to darker or vice versa. The issue has already been reported:


I added "acpi_osi=Linux" to the kernel options and it worked for me. Although dimming when idle doesn't work and the on screen notification doesn't work either.

So I added the also "acpi_backlight=vendor" to the kernel options and now everything works. Auto dimming and notification, too.
  1. sudo gedit /etc/default/grub
  2. find the line starting with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT
  3. add "acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor" to the options
  4. sudo update-grub2
  5. reboot

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Installing lucid

Lucid looks so nice that I cannot resist and just decided to install it although it obviously won't work out of the box. The installation itself went very smooth. ASUS thankfully partitioned the disk in two visible partitions and one invisible which probably contains the recovery system. Then I shrunk the empty visible partition by 4 GB and created a swap partition in that space. I still think about installing 2 GB RAM, so I thought 4 GB swap might be good. So my partition table looks like this:
Number Start End Size Type File system Flags
1 32.3kB 85.9GB 85.9GB primary ntfs boot
2 85.9GB 149GB 62.7GB primary ext4
4 149GB 153GB 3999MB primary linux-swap(v1)
3 153GB 160GB 7345MB primary fat32 hidden, lba
Installing from the USB pen drive was quite fast. After reboot it came everything was the same as in the live system. So still no wireless and unpredictable brightness controls. But beautiful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Booting lucid beta1

I prepared one of my 4 GB USB pen drives with the lucid-beta1 image. For that I downloaded the latest beta1 image:


To make a bootable USB pen drive I used the free windows software Linux Live USB Creator. It has quite a colorful UI but it is easy to use.

  1. Insert your FAT foirmatted USB drive and choose it. ATTENTION! it will be deleted.
  2. Click ISO and choose your downloaded lucid image. It will later prompt you that it is an unsupported image but it will work anyway.
  3. I didn't use any persistent storage.
  4. I checked format the stick and unchecked the windows direct launch option as I don't need that.
  5. Hit the flash and it starts working
Now reboot with the stick inserted into USB and go into the bios by hitting F2 when the machine starts up again. Goto the boot options and disable these options: boot->boot_booster and boot->boot_settings->quiet_boot. In the boot drive options make the USB drive the first device. F10 to save and exit. Now the ubuntu boot manger should come up.

Very helpful was this thread on the ubuntu forums: