Subject: Re: Recommendation on laptops, notebooks or portables for NetBSD.
To: None <>
From: Greg Troxel <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 12/18/2002 09:23:47
I just got an IBM T30 (2GHz P4, 256MB stock + 512MB ram, 60GB disk, 2
usb ports, 802.11b, 10/100 ethernet, bluetooth, IR, and modem builtin,
nice 1400x1050 display, cd-rw/dvd, no floppy, spare ultrabay battery
to swap with cd-rw).

The winmodem is said not to work, but there is apparently some hope in
freebsd-land of porting linux binary drivers (one can use the TP 600E
modem under FreeBSD with /usr/ports/comms/mwavem).  Bluetooth shows up
on the usb bus as a TDK chip; I have not tried to do anything with
bluetooth or IR.  There is the display-resume problem others mentioned
(do your suspending in a text console), but suspend/resume works fine

X works fine (take out the agp line in the kernel or the X server gets
very confused and segfaults).  The pixels are bit small, but the
display is very nice with 8x13 fonts.  802.11b (wi0 Intersil prism
2.5) and 10/100 ethernet (fxp0) work fine.  (The 802.11b doesn't
interoperate with 2 Mb/s old lucent cards in IBSS mode, but that's not
too surprising, but it is fine in 'ad-hoc demo mode (-p 3)' and with a
Lucent AP-500.)

Sound seems to work fine (auich0) for playing oggs and I was able to
record some audio from the microphones.  The speakers sound pretty

There are two cardbus slots.  I have used CF in an adaptor and a
lucent wavelan card (both pcmcia) with no problems.

It has a trackpoint and 3 buttons, and also a touchpad and 2 buttons.
I had to disable the touchpad in the bios to get the trackpoint to
work reliably, but I hate touchpads so this doesn't bother me.

Hotswapping the battery and cd-rw under NetBSD causes it to beep (from
the bios I think) until rebooted.

There is no ps/2 keyboard/mouse input - you are expected to use USB
(there are 2 USB ports).  There is VGA, s-video out, and

Most of the config is from holding f1 at boot; there is a normal
comprehensive setup screen.  (Older Thinkpads like the 600E required
running ps2.exe under DOS to adjust things like turning the serial
port on and off.)

I have had some unexplained lockups, but I think it's from running
coda (after taking out ddb, I got a core dump in coda).  There might
be some wierdness with the internal 802.11b; see posts by Kevin
Oberman in, but that might be a freebsd
kernel issue.

All in all, I'm happy with it.  The only serious downsides are that
you can't buy it without MS Windows, and the price ($3150 for all the

        Greg Troxel <>