Wow: what can I say about this extreme machine. It's possibly the most blindingly stunningly fast computer that I've ever encountered - and it's a laptop. And AJP do another machine, called the AJP 900, which is even faster that this one. AJP, if you're reading this: you are mad, very bad, and onto a winner. Please keep it up. At UKUUG 2005, Mr Chygwyn Senior brought his joyous laptop along, and, much to my surprise and to the horror of the other delegates such as Our Mad Phil, he let me try to install Debian Unstable Linux on it. Fortunately, with absolutely everything that I had time to try out, this was successful with everything but the Wireless 802.11g (RT2500 chipset). Specifications and devices for this machine include, but are not limited to: a 3GHz Pentium 4, 1GByte RAM, a 60GByte HDD (because Mr Chygwyn Sr asked for it because it's a faster drive), Firewire, IRDA, 3 USB ports, built-in Memory Card reader, a SEVENTEEN inch screen capable of 1680 x 1050 (gahk!), a Digital Video Output (gibber), Bluetooth (probably on the SMbus) and 802.11g which is an RT2500 chipset, an ATI Radeon 9600 3D chipset, and RTL-8169 Gigabit Ethernet. Oh. and IRDA. I don't believe I've ever encountered such a stonkingly spec'd machine in a desktop before, let alone a laptop. Suffice to say that it was utterly essential to get Debian Linux onto it as fast as possible. The choice was obvious: use stuff from Debian Desktop for KDE 3.4.1, and Debian/Unstable but also configure a 2.6.12 kernel and HAL to do fstab-sync properly. Two things are essential to get fstab-sync to work with Debian: you must edit /etc/default/hal and comment out the line that stops HAL running as root, and you must cd to /etc/hal/device.d and create a symlink in there to /usr/sbin/fstab-sync. Restart HAL, and voila, when you plug in any USB devices they will magically appear in KDE's "Media". Anyway - onwards with the obligatory cpuinfo and lspci: processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 15 model : 3 model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz stepping : 4 cpu MHz : 3201.660 cache size : 1024 KB fdiv_bug : no hlt_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 5 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe pni monitor ds_cpl cid xtpr bogomips : 6340.60 FRAK!! cough, cough, splutter. The lspci info, rather long, can be found here and short here. From the lspci, which I didn't really have time to analyse at the time (Mr Chygwyn had to depart) there are a number of unidentified devices: 0000:00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corp. 82801EB/ER (ICH5/ICH5R) SMBus Controller (rev 02) Subsystem: CLEVO/KAPOK Computer: Unknown device 0800 Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 5 I/O ports at 2040 [size=32] an Intel SMBus controller, behind which I am guessing exists the Bluetooth. 0000:03:02.0 Unknown mass storage controller: Promise Technology, Inc. PDC20265 (FastTrak100 Lite/Ultra100) (rev 02) Subsystem: CLEVO/KAPOK Computer: Unknown device 0800 Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 193 I/O ports at 4450 [size=8] I/O ports at 4444 [size=4] I/O ports at 4448 [size=8] I/O ports at 4440 [size=4] I/O ports at 4400 [size=64] Memory at d0220000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128K] Capabilities:  Power Management version 1 I presume that this is the card reader - sadly I forgot about it and didn't have time to configure it or investigate whether it was properly detected. 0000:03:04.0 Network controller: RaLink Ralink RT2500 802.11 Cardbus Reference Card (rev 01) Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd.: Unknown device 6833 Flags: bus master, slow devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11 Memory at d0204000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K] Capabilities:  Power Management version 2 Sadly, the BETA 3 rt2500-source ( 1.1.0+cvs20050710-3 according to apt-cache show rt2500-source) detected this device, but we couldn't get it immediately to work. Given the amount and nature of the wireless problems we had at the UKUUG conference (they switched off the 128-bit WEP _just_ for us after we fell about on the floor at the explanation for why it's made available) I wasn't too surprised, and am hopeful that Mr Chygwyn will have better luck at home on his Belkin Wireless ADSL. What else worked. Oh yes: ACPI, k3b, USB memory sticks, USB memory card readers, prelink (very important). My God - mozilla starts in ONE SECOND on this machine once you have run prelink. OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 starts in FIVE. Konqueror is up-and-running in half a second or less. Little tricks that I didn't quite have time to do: 1) cut/paste the openoffice prelink script to do a "mozilla" version or a "kde" version. what you do is you examine and copy the openoffice.org prelink script, and note the subdirectories (libraries and binaries) that it prelinks. you then locate your mozilla firefox libraries (/usr/lib/mozilla...) and create a similar script, and then you do likewise for a kde one (/usr/lib/kde...). I've done this for other systems, and raised a bugreport about it, if you want to try these scripts out for yourself they are here 2) test that k3b worked or kaffeine worked. I installed the programs, configured them as best I could, but without a CD or DVD to play / record I had to leave it at that. 3) set up 3D ATI radeon drivers. This i would have LOVED to have done, just to see the faces of the other delegates at running something like blender or bzflag. *cackle* 4) work out where the IRDA port is! 5) test his printer. I made sure that i put the gutenprint packages on his machine, because gutenprint are taking over from gimpprint and are doing a much better job of keeping up-to-date. He has an Epson Photo Colour R800 which is apparently a rather extreme high spec'd printer. I hope it works! Also I installed printconf which apparently is supposed to auto-detect printers and auto-configure a CUPS driver for it. I will believe this when I see it, but apparently FC4 has something like it, it works in FC4, whoopee, aren't redhat so lucky. 6) remove windows. sadly, Mr Chygwyn had paid^H^H^H^Hwasted a lot of money on windows software, e.g Photoshop (I installed gimp for him), a Video Editing Suite (I installed kino for him), and stacks of other stuff. In all fairness, I couldn't really justify deliberately destroying his windows partition, especially as he'd been so kind in letting me install Debian on it. When asked why he had let me do this at all, he explained that he is so used to reinstalling Window (because it pisses its pants on demand by spyware and malware) that if I screwed up, he would go "oh well" and treat my installation as "yet another destructive event". One other point that's worth mentioning: the standard Debian/Sarge Netboot CD (and probably the standard Debian/Sarge CD) do not provide a version of parted with the ability to resize NTFS partitions, because it's "non-free" functionality. Fortunately, the Ubuntu guys have no such qualms about "non-free" and their Installer quite happily will let you resize NTFS partitions. At the point where it became obvious that the resizing had worked, power-off, do a Debian/Sarge base install, modify the sources.list to include unstable (not replace!!), do apt-get dist-upgrade, add the Debian Desktop KDE 3.4.1, start installing. You can find a list of packages that I installed (except I also then added acpi afterwards) at the Hands Free Debian site, here. Installing ACPI, I included the cpufreq and acpid packages, and a couple of others that looked sensible. By the way: the Debian/Sarge installer happily detected the Windows XP partition and provided it as a boot option. I am disappointed and ashamed to report that booting into Windows XP worked.