Tag: gnu/linux

Asus Eee PC 1101HA, Intel GMA500 (Poulsbo) and the shattered dream of the out-of-the-box GNU/Linux support

Do not buy an Asus Eee PC 1101HA or any netbook/laptop having an Intel GMA500 (Poulsbo) video chipset if you plan to run GNU/Linux on it.

Unlike Intel’s other video chipsets, the GMA500 is not developed in-house, but it is based on Imagination Technologies’s PowerVR, which is barely supported under GNU/Linux. The GMA500 drivers are so messy that it is even challenging to get the native display resolution. You can read more about how Intel is ruining its relationship with the GNU/Linux community on Linux Journal and Ars Technica.

I spent about 3800 NOK (460 EUR) to buy an Asus Eee PC 1101HA last Saturday. Now I cannot return it to the reseller. In other words, I am screwed.

Iomega UltraMax Plus—A Linux-friendly External Hard Drive with RAID support

Lately, my home folder began to run out of space, so I started to look around for an external hard drive. I wanted a solution comprising at least 1TB space, RAID 1 support and USB 2.0 connector (since the last NAS I tried did not transfer more than 10Mbit/s). Obviously, the drive had to work out-of-the-box with GNU/Linux.

The most attractive solution seemed to be the WD MyBook Mirror, but various GNU/Linux forums including the Ubuntu ones had many posts reporting compatibility problems. The RAID control software is Windows-only, and the drive tends to spin itself down under GNU/Linux, causing the kernel to give up on it and disconnect the device.

It seemed almost like there was no other solution but I found out that Iomega produced what I was searching for. The Iomega UltraMax Plus includes eSATA, USB, FireWire interface connections plus RAID 0, 1 , and JBOD features. And it even looks cool! 😉 I could not find any information about possible compatibility issues with GNU/Linux, but I decided to buy it anyway. I have not been experiencing any issue since I received it one week ago. The RAID configuration is chosen via a hardware switch on the back of the drive, and GNU/Linux seems to handle it correctly. I recommend it to anyone.