MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Saturday, August 20, 2005

OK, the BlueTank, my ThinkPad 600x, is up and running happily. The only adjustment necessary seems to have been adding a few words to XF86Config-4, which sets video to 16 bits by 1024 x 768. Debian frowns on editing the XF86Config by hand, but screw it, it did the job.

If you have been following this journal, you know that my 600e has given me fits over the years with regard to sound. There are no less than three chips that can be used as sound chips on a ThinkPad 600/600e. However, there is only one that IBM intended operating systems use. Microsoft has none of the problems that Free/Open Source operating systems have installing on this model. Why? IBM and Microsoft shared a lot of data about the ThinkPad 600 and Windows 2000, respectively. The ThinkPad 600 was one of the testbed machines for Windows 2000. I am still unclear as to the reason why other operating systems than Windows get confused about which chip is which. But one thing I am clear about is that Windows 2000 knows which chip to address for sound, which chip to address as a modem, and which chip's sound capabilities are to be totally ignored.

The 600x, on the other hand, is completely unambiguous in regards to what chip is what. So there were no problems. After the XFConfig stuff was fixed, I was also able to play an unencrypted DVD (Revolution OS, natch!) without any skipping or stuttering. My 600e was not able to play DVDs without dropping frames. The Screamin' Sindies (SIMD instructions) seem to make a big difference. Hopefully I'll be able to use the VGA out to play DVDs and VCDs with a projector.

I'm very excited. This is a nice machine. It is almost in as good of condition as my 600e was when I got it...and that was rated as a "A" grade off-lease product. And this was an eBay find. Rock on, dude.