Arnt Gulbrandsen
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2011-01-29

Linux on the Nokia Booklet 3G

My previous laptop (a Lifebook P7210) grew bad-tempered. Investigate or replace? Stupid question considering how much netbooks cost.

My new laptop is a Nokia Booklet 3G, a moderately expensive netbook with good battery lifetime, a 3G modem, a high-resolution screen and no fan. Ubuntu 10.10 runs well on the Nokia Booklet.

There were three problems.

3G not working sometimes. The ultimate reason is BIOS memory corruption, and the easy fix is to add memory_corruption_check_size=256K to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX in /etc/default/grub and run update-grub.

This makes linux avoid using the first 256K of RAM, lessening the memory available by 0.025%. As long as the BIOS bug only corrupts those 256K, all is well.

Not a proper solution, but 0.025% isn't much.

Bad graphics support, but using the drivers from the gma500 ppa solves all.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Stupid physical design decisions. The screen is great for checking my hairdo. I've no solution for that.

The power button is just near next to the arrow keys, the natural point to grab the laptop in order to pick it up from a desk (just near the rightmost key on the image). After powering off three times in two hours I taped a piece of plastic over it. Problem solved.

I'm pleased with the keyboard. Very good for a netbook. I do wish one with blank keys were available, though.

Update: The Booklet is much nicer with an SSD. I followed René Rebe's recipe except that I didn't have to struggle with Windows 7. It seems that making a laptop work isn't so easy in microsoftland either.

Update: Ubuntu 11.10 does not sleep reliably. 10.10 was better, 10.04 seems good too. Update: That problem may be a comptibility problem between the Booklet and SSDs. (Now solved, or at least worked around. Ubuntu 12.04 works well on the Booklet (with some tweaking).)