Subject: Re: Good and cheap laptop for NetBSD?
To: Andrew Y Ng <>
From: Ken Hornstein <>
List: port-i386
Date: 08/06/1998 11:24:47
>Just curious, did anyone in here happen to have bought the
>new Sony VAIO laptop and got NetBSD running on it? (maybe even
>a dual boot?)

Why yes, we did.

A friend got his Sony Vaio 505G the day it came out, and it's happily
dual-booting Win98 and NetBSD.

Some caveats:

- The install floppy ends up assining IRQ 9 to the PCMCIA card, and that
  is currently used by the IrDA port (I discovered later this could have
  been changed in the BIOS).  You'll need to change that (the BIOS
  might be easier for the initial install) if you want to get a PCMCIA
  card working.
- The external CD-ROM drive shows up as a "NinjaATA" card on the PCMCIA
  bus, which I found in the Linux PCMCIA package as being a TEAC ATA
  controller.  1.3.2 doesn't support WDC controllers on the PCMCIA bus,
  but -current does.  However, when I changed -current to recognize the
  NinjaATA card, I got "wdc1: reset failed" (sigh, unfortunately since
  this isn't my machine, I haven't had the chance to do more debugging yet).
  The bottom line is that the external CD-ROM doesn't work under NetBSD
- It has a USB port, but during boot I got a "can't map i/o address"
  error from the USB attach.  "needs more study".  (This was from a couple
  weeks-ago -current, and I know that the USB stuff has been changing).
- Hot-swapping of PCMCIA cards seems a bit fragile (according to my
- It has a NeoMagic chip set, but my friend just sent me email saying that
  he got the free NeoMagic X server working.

All in all, it's a pretty sweet machine, and my order is going in today :-)
I think you'll have to fiddle with some stuff to get things where you
want, but if you buy one you won't be the only NetBSDer using it :-)