Sunday, April 28, 2013

5.2 amd64 X200: xorg.conf to get Trackpoint to behave properly.

Heyya. One of the thing that I like about X200, is the lack of touchpad. I don't quite like touchpads. It's a nuisance at best. Surely some OS can disable the touchpad when external mouse is connected but then, what's the point? Most of the time I'll be ignoring the touchpad.

For X200, it only comes with Trackpoint with 3 buttons. The left and right buttons are the standard left-right click, and the middle button is for scrolling. In Windows, pressing the middle-button then using the Trackpoint will scroll to the desired point (Right, left, up, down). But that's for Windows, I want it for my 5.2.

Surely, what's the point of having the best documentations if I didn't use it, right? So, man xorg.conf. Then I notice something. In the INPUTDEVICE SECTION, it's stated that:

"It is usually not necessary to provide InputDevice sections in the xorg.conf if hotplugging is in use (i.e. AutoAddDevices is enabled). If hotplugging is enabled, InputDevice sections using the mouse, kbd and vmmouse driver will be ignored."

Now that's different from what I used to remember. Previously I just alter my /etc/X11/xorg.conf like this:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier    "Trackpoint"
    Driver        "mouse"
    Option        "Protocol"    "Auto"
    Option        "Device"    "/dev/wsmouse"
    Option        "Emulate3Buttons"    "False"
    Option        "EmulateWheel"    "True"
    Option        "EmulateWheenButton"    "2"
    Option        "XAxisMapping"    "6 7"
    Option        "YAxisMapping"    "4 5"

But now that won't work. It doesn't do anything. My USB Mouse's wheel is working fine, but Trackpoint does nothing as I wanted. So I alter the SERVERLAYOUT section:

Section "ServerLayout"
    Option        "AutoAddDevices"    "False"

But then both the Trackpoint and USB Mouse is not working. At all. This is not good. After re-reading the relevant xorg.conf manual, I found the answer. It lies in the INPUTCLASS SECTION. This is the working snippet of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf files.

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier    "Trackpoint"
    Driver        "mouse"
    Option        "Protocol"    "Auto"
    Option        "Device"    "/dev/wsmouse"

Section "InputClass"
    Identifier    "Trackpoint"
    MatchIsPointer    "True"
    Option        "Emulate3Buttons"    "False"
    Option        "EmulateWheel"        "True"
    Option        "EmulateWheelButton"    "2"
    Option        "XAxisMapping"        "6 7"
    Option        "YAxisMapping"        "4 5"

Basically the INPUTCLASS can be used to add different function to different input devices (eg: Trackpoint, USB Mouse with Scroller etc) if configured correctly. In my case, I managed to get the Trackpoint's scrolling function using the middle button and the paste buffer function is also working as needed. But then my USB Mouse is also inheriting the same function. Ah well I will try to alter the INPUTCLASS SECTION so that the Trackpoint and USB Mouse have distint function.

So in the end, I got my Trackpoint working as I wanted. Take note that I'm using cwm and scrolling is tested and working in vim, Firefox and other programs. Great.

Oh, before I forget. I had problem generating my xorg.conf as there's error when I use X -configure. X -configure exited with error. But in the end the xorg.conf file did got generated. Current status is:

- Trackpoint scrolling function now working.
- intel (4) is working fine.
- Video display is 1280x800.
- VGA Out is not tested yet.
- Ultrabase's DisplayPort & VGA Out is not yet tested.

Here's my current /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

5.2 amd64 X200: Current experiences and dmesg.

Here's the dmesg for my (not so) new Lenovo Thinkpad X200. So far this is the current status:

- Thinkpad buttons working great like increase/decrease sound, mute/unmute sound, increase/decrease LCD brightness etc.
- intel GM45 display is working out of the box. Crisp 1280x800 automatically. Played some HD (720p) and (1080p) movies via mplayer and no stuttering unlike my K43U's radeon.
- LAN is working fine.
- Wireless LAN needs additional downloadable firmware iwn. Not tested yet but seems to be working.
- Trackpad is working, no touchpad in this model. Managed to get the scrolling function using Trackpad working using xorg.conf (Will upload this file later).
- Ultrabase docking is detected and working via acpidock. Eject button & function is working fine.
- Using apmd_flags="-A" is working great. Enhanced Speedstep working fine.
- SDCard Reader is working fine. Opened up my Lumix DMC GH-1 sdcard and can mount properly.

5.2 amd64 X200: Goodbye Asus K43U, hello Lenovo Thinkpad X200.

Hola. It's been quite some time since I last put anything in here. What's new? Well, I sold my Asus K43U laptop via The official warranty is still valid until October 2013, I upgraded the RAM to 8Gb, 500Gb HDD.

I posted the asking price of RM1000, then got an offer of RM850. The chap was desperate for a laptop as he told me his old laptop died on him. He insisted to test my laptop that night, when the time was around 18:00. He was a Windows XP guy, and as my K43U is dual-boot of OpenBSD & Win 7 x64, he kept on telling me what his "IT-guy" friend think about the instability of Win 7 64-Bit. I told him, for Windows, my fav was XP x64 before I had to install Win 7 x64 for my K43U because of the lack of device drivers, then after I tried Win 7, I never turn back to XP anymore.

Not to mention that I had to entertain his questions of how's the performance of AMD APU of my K43U, how it stack up with intel processors bla bla. I happily responded to all his queries until I felt it was taking too much of my time (I was out shopping with my family) and gave a respond "I think you better research what application you use then decide what type of laptop you want".

He said that he's interested in buying my K43U but can only give RM850 for it as there's another ads for that same price but with warranty until June 2013 with lower HDD capacity & RAM. Heck. What a comparison. But then, I need to sell the laptop. So I agreed. He want it urgently, but I need to get my hundred Gbs worth of data out from it first. He said ok.

After that my buddy called me, chat a bit, told him about me going to sell my lappy for RM850 and got a "Oh what didn't you tell me because I was looking to buy one" kind of answer. Yeah right. I even put the ads in my Facebook.

We met later that night, quite late. Around 22:00 I think. He wanted to test the machine at a cafe that have WiFi, and I gladly oblige. So we went to a restaurant with free WiFi access, he started to test the laptop. Asking me to play HD (720p) movie while he browse internet, working with a few MS Accel(?, what's the name of that MS Office spreadsheet program?), opening 2-3 batch of file transfer windows from his external drive into the laptop, while also watching HD youtube video. All while he's actively seeking a sign of slow-response or suffering from the laptop and talking about it.

In the end, the youtube video did stutter. Heck it's only AMD E-450 APU, a low-to-mid spec laptop. Not a "core i"bla bla machine! And he opened so many programs. He looked worried about the youtube video stuttering under heavy load, which then I asked him "Do you use the machine like this every time?" and "Can your previous laptop work under this load" and received a double "no" for answer. Case closed. I nearly bailed out from the deal as I have a buddy who's also interested in the lappy.

So then he paid me, I gave him the laptop + bag + receipts + manual + CDs + downloaded updated device drivers + box. And I remind him to utilise the warranty on any hardware issue. Then we parted ways.

The next day, I received a phone call by the chap. He's having problem with his external drive which have password. ARGHHHH! Told him to refer to the external drive's documentation as I don't use any. Then the next day he called me about the DVD-RW drive kept on resetting. By the symptoms described to me, probably device driver issue. I told him I never had any of the issues during the 1 year++ I spent my time with the laptop, so I told him to install whatever OS he desired and go to Asus service center on any hardware issue. To be honest, I was tired. Eventually the problem resolved by itself, to my relief. If not then I might take back the laptop and refund it as it's too much of a hassle.

Was it worth it now? Well, recently I used the money from the sale, add another RM50 and got myself a Lenovo Thinkpad X200 laptop + Ultrabase docking. The guy asked for Rm1000, got negotiated to RM900. intel P8600 2.4Ghz dual-core, 320Gb HDD and 2Gb RAM. We met near the guy's place, at a restaurant, I booted the machine, entered Win 7, shut it down then pay the money and left the place.

Why Thinkpad? Because I heard many OpenBSD devs uses Thinkpad. Then the replacement parts are plenty. Then the build quality is great. Along with Panasonic Toughbooks, Thinkpads are the models of laptop I don't mind having intel inside. Mind you I also considered AMD's version of Thinkpad Edge, but like other laptop makers, they make half-baked AMD machines that didn't do justice for AMD's great potentials.

I'll update my experiences on running OpenBSD with this X200, and I'll tell you something, the legend about Thinkpad's keyboard is true. And OpenBSD on X200 is a joy! Later.