A month back I bought a vaio NS25G and have been planning to write this post since then. This post is primarily notes to self and review of the same. Let’s get off the mark quickly -
Post has two parts -
Since I am not a VAIO marketing guy, I’ll start other way round -
Why you may not like to buy this laptop :
- No bluetooth : believe me, in 2009 sony sells laptop without bluetooth. Sure you can use usb stuff but …
- Screen size is 15.4 inches : if you travel a lot then this laptop may not be very handy and also 2.9kg laptop is not exactly the lightest around.
- No HDMI output.
- No separate graphics card and the likes.(and no dedicated video memory
Now , why you may like to buy it :
- This laptop is a damn good desktop. What I mean is this if your requirement is like me – mostly writing programs and trying to use it 25 out of 24 hrs, then with a big screen , extremely comfortable keyboard layout with spacious palm rest and good compute power , it makes a very good combination.
- It L2 cache is 2MB and processor/memory system bus are 800MHz. I don’t play games so can’t say about that but for anything else but a core 2 duo processor with 2GHz freq is good, this is more than enough.
- From my usage, I see processor mostly clocks at 1.2GHz, and memory usage ~500MB. That just reinforces previous point.
- Battery backup is good, ~2 hrs is what I get.
Just one more thing here – being Sony, it will cost you a bit than other laptops with similar configuration, but that is a call u have to make.
II. Configuring linux (to run out of box ! ) :
It came pre installed with Vista( I think home premium or some fancy name like that). Dungara booted once and created another partition of 150 GB. Debian testing is what I always install and then up(down?)grade to ‘unstable’ sid.
Things which worked without any problem:
- X - unsurprisingly X server had not problem with starting or resolution. After one of the upgrades X refused to start though, but ‘X -configure’ generated a conf file which worked pretty well.
- Audio - Audio output and external mic work fine. kernel version 2.6.29-1-686 #1 SMP and alsa version 1.0.17. This is what you get from
$ lspci -v |grep Audio 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Con1.0.17troller (rev 03)
- Video cam – just works
- Hibernate to disk and back – no problem
- Wireless - in short – just works.
$ lspci |grep -i wireless
03:13:55 04:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01) .
I think kernel 2.6..27 onwards it works with the stock kernel source. You dont have to install ndiswrapper or things like t
hat. As a note, please say good buy gnome-network-manager and welcome wicd, it is just a gui layer but behind the scene they have fixed lot of config stuff like wpasupplient and more.
What doesn’t work -
- Somehow internal mic refuses to work :( External mic works fine though. Latest alsa sources did not compile cleanly on debian, so for the time being I bought external Internal mic, will try to dig into it sometime in future though.
Few more misc hints for deiban:
- Package for devnagri font- ttf-indic-fonts
- Package for flash player – flashplugin-nonfree
- Entry in sources.list for mplayer and likes – deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org sid main
- Entry in sources.list for e17 – deb http://debian.alphagemini.org/ unstable main
- Entry in sources.list for skype – http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/debian/ stable non-free
oneliner for increasing and decreasing the brightness -
[root]prashant@vaio09:12 PM$ cat bin/incbrightness.sh
echo $[1+`cat /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness `] >/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness
you’ll have to put this in sudo though.
and to decrease change + to – and … you get the idea, right !
A bit more, if you use enlightenment(e17) here are few more hints -
[enlightenment key bindidings]
You can use following key code and mapping
KEY="Keycode-160" ACTION="exec" PARAMS="/usr/bin/amixer -q set Master toggle"
KEY="Keycode-165" ACTION="exec" PARAMS="sudo /usr/sbin/hibernate-disk"
volume decrease :
KEY="Keycode-174" ACTION="exec" PARAMS="/usr/bin/amixer -q set Master 2-"
KEY="Keycode-176" ACTION="exec" PARAMS="/usr/bin/amixer -q set Master 2+"
increase brightness :
KEY="Keycode-212" ACTION="exec" PARAMS="sudo /root/bin/incbrightness.sh"
KEY="Keycode-101" ACTION="exec" PARAMS="sudo /root/bin/decbrightness.sh"