Thursday, April 10, 2003

Gateway 1450 laptop Linux config notes
Includes instructions on getting the i830 Intel video chipset to work - this chipset is also found in some Dell laptops and can cause problems for X - the chipset grabs normal system memory for its own use, and to compound the issue, Intel have refused to release the technical specs to the open source word.

More info on the Intel i830 chipset issue
"Since version 4.2.0, XFree86 includes support for the Intel i830 family of graphics controllers. Unfortunately, Intel has decided that - in contrast, to previous chipsets in the i810 series - they do not publicly release detailed programming information for the i830 (and it's successor, the i845). This is rather disappointing and should be noted by all users of open-source operating system, as this policy slows down the development of reliable device drivers, as the example of the i830 has clearly demonstrated. In fact, Intel's i830 page is actually misinforming. As of 4 Sep 2002, it says in a note that ``[t]here is currently no Linux driver to bypass legacy memory limitations. The Linux drivers for the Intel 830M/MG chipset graphics do not currently support full video memory usage; that is, you will always be limited to the BIOS pre-determined memory amount. This is due to the dual-pipe graphics architecture of the Intel 830M/MG chipset graphics.'' As a matter of fact, this doesn't have anything to do with dual-pipe graphics architecture, but is entirely due to Intel withholding, on purpose, crucial technical information about the chipset"