Linux on Vaio PCG-C1F

I still using my first subnotebook to have it on traveling und update it from time to time. Because of the tiny pitfalls I wrote this page which may help others with linux on laptops. I bought it around the year 2000 at ebay. It has a Pentium 233MHz CPU and 64MB RAM. Its very small (140mm*37mm*240mm 1100g) and consumes 12 to 18 Watts (Minimum is 8W without screen and 25% CPU). After 6 years the akku BP12 holds 40 minutes instead of three hours. Dec2006 I updated the BIOS to R0118T0 using R0118T0.ROM and phlash2.exe from Jan2002. Flashing does only work without himem-drivers, so you have to press F8 if you want to use the win98 DOS.

grml-0.9 Dec06

I copied the GRML-Linux CD content to disk and modified the grub config file. That's no problem with a 1GB-USB-stick. The ACPI is not working correctly, CPU is running at 100% and /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/state is partly incorrect (may be I try to correct buggy ACPI-Bios later). APM works fine if acpi=off is used. Because I only have 64MB its not very fast, but usable. I hope I can upgrade to 128MB soon. Thanks to Sony proprietary memory standard :(. Getting X to work was a bit tricky but could be solved using google and a bit try and error. See here:

  display: TFT 1024x480 21x10cm diag=23cm=9inch 38-64kHz 50-100Hz
  grml-x -mode  "640x480" -module vesa wmi # grml-0.9 28-96 50-60 works
  grml-x -mode "1024x768" -module vesa wmi # grml-0.9 28-96 50-60 only_upper_part

  OR edit xorg.conf, here some important changes:
  Section "Monitor"
    HorizSync   30-64
    VertRefresh 50-100
    # 1024x480 65MHz 48.4kHz 92.1Hz (42.3MHz 31kHz 60Hz)
    Modeline "1024x480" 65 1024 1032 1176 1344 480 491 493 525 +hsync +vsync
    Modeline "1024x768" 85 1024 1032 1152 1360 768 784 787 823 # ext
    ModeLine "640x480"   36    640 696 752 832 480 481 484 509 +hsync +vsync
    # 640x480 25.2MHz 31.5kHz 60Hz (I tried down to 32Hz, which was working too)
    ModeLine "640x480a"  25.2  640 656 752 800 480 490 492 525 +hsync +vsync
    # 640x480 -hsync -vsync flickers
  Section "Device"
    Option "override_validate_mode"
    # Option "extern_disp"
  Section "Screen"
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth       16
        Modes       "1024x480" "640x480"
        Virtual 1280 1024
   - no USB-boot, no PCMCIA-Flash boot (tested with old R0113T0 Bios)

Boot-Media USB-Floppy replaceable by USB-stick?
Stick not fast enough for boot detection?

P:  Vendor=057b ProdID=0000 Rev= 1.14
S:  Manufacturer=Y-E DATA
S:  Product=FlashBuster-U
C:* #Ifs= 1 Cfg#= 1 Atr=80 MxPwr=500mA
I:  If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 3 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=04 Prot=00 Driver=usb-storage
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS=  64 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=83(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=   2 Ivl=255ms

Here a log of the battery charging and discharging (ACPI on and off):

battery load cycle after 6 years gnuplot-file

Dec2007: Notebook needs about 30min on power socket without any LED blinking before loading or switching on is possible (update 2010: this is because of the CMOS battery, removing it allows immediatly power on but lost bios configuration). The BP12 akku pack is completely dead (after 7 years). The BP11 holds about 5 minutes.

Aug2012: Try to use soundcard (ISA ES1879 48kHz 16bit) to count pulses from a gamma detector (see "kernstrahlung"). HD replaced by IDE-adapter (have to use a small flat one) + 8GB-CF-card.

Feedback is always welcome.