Toshiba Satellite A210 (701)

De Organic Design

CPU

The A210 exhibits a dual-core Turion 64 X2 TL-62 running at 2100 MHz (200 x 10.5) and with a 512KB L2 cache for each core. For traditional processors, the multiplier is the value multiplied by the speed of the FSB to get the clock speed of the processor. Turion processors have a memory controller integrated on the CPU die, replacing the traditional concept of FSB. The multiplier here applies to the 200MHz system clock frequency, not the HyperTransport speed which is 800MHz.

Video Card

There's a dedicated utility for configuring the fglrx ATI driver called aticonfig. I was able to configure the card to accept the dual heads with the following command which generated an appropriate xorg.conf file.

aticonfig --initial=dual-head --screen-layout=above


To run a single monitor, use

aticonfig --dtop=clone
fglrxinfo
  display: :0.0  screen: 0
  OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
  OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon X1200 Series
  OpenGL version string: 2.1.7412 Release

aticonfig --query-monitor
  Connected monitors: crt1, lvds
  Enabled monitors: crt1, lvds

Webcam

lsusb shows the webcam to be a Chicony. Some of the webcam programs are unable to communicate with it, but skype show that it's working fine. Xawtv and Cheese also work with it. But I've found a better program now which has a far better picture too called luvcview which can be installed using apt-get.

Use the following command to obtain information about the webcam device

luvcview -d /dev/video0 -d /dev/video0 -L

Run the webcam window with the following command

luvcview -d /dev/video0 -f yuv

Wifi

The A210's come with an internal wifi card which shows up correctly in lspci as an Atheros AR242x. But no wireless network interface appears in the network configuration applet or from ifconfig.

The MadWifi driver works perfectly using the following procedure from root shell (from here). Before starting this process, it's best to disable the current drivers from System/Administration/Hardware Drivers.

svn co https://svn.madwifi.org/madwifi/branches/madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6
cd ~/madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6
make
sudo -s # password
make install
depmod -ae
modprobe ath_pci

Make sure that ath_hal and ath_pci are listed in /etc/modules, then re-enable the drivers from System/Administration/Hardware Drivers, and reboot. The only problem with this solution is that each time there's a kernel update it may have to be rebuilt, so keep the source in your ~/Source or /usr/src directory and rebuild after kernel update.

Note: a kernel update came through today and after reboot my wifi drivers are still working, with no need to rebuild. --nad 14:57, 24 June 2008 (NZST)
cd ~/madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6
make clean
make install

Recently the madwifi.org site has been down, so instead of checking the driver out from their SVN server.

USB Problem

After some time USB devices freeze up and are inoperable until rebooting with devices detached. An lsusb revealed that the internal webcam is also a USB device, and so I wondered if that also froze when the problem occurred to the external devices. It was in testing this that I discovered that the freezing problem does not occur while the webcam is running, so until a proper solution is found, I have the webcam running and minimised onto an unused desktop.

Benchmark

I haven't found a good simple program to give a simple whetstone result for the CPU(s) yet. But as a basic benchmark comparison I did a two-pass rip of a DVD vob to a 1GB xvid file using dvd::rip. It took a bout 5.5 hours on the A10 (2200MHz Celery with 400MHz FSB), and about two hours on the A210, which made it just under 3 times the speed. However, I didn't realise at the time that you need to set it to cluster-processing to use both cores, so actually it's about 5.5 times faster.

Redemption claim

  • Follow the link in here
  • The list of redemption codes is available here
  • You need the model number (PSAFGA-077019) and the serial number on the back of the machine (silver sticker), and the code off the receipt.
  • Details of offer are in this pdf

See also

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