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Nov. 9th, 2007 | 01:34 am

I recently acquired a x61 tablet.

Its about 3.5 pounds, and about 12x14" and the display swivels around to turn into a slate tablet, my theory is that should be easier to read stuff on, and certainly easier to carry around.

But now comes the fun part of making it mine by replacing vista with linux. I installed Kubuntu 7.10, and the vast majority of laptop features are currently working. It makes sounds, it connected to my network, there's stuff on the screen, and I can type things into it. If I jump through the right hoops I can even get an external monitor working (though not nearly well as I'd like)

It even suspends properly (though when it comes back from a suspend the screen is blank because the default kde screenlock doesn't show the unlock dialog until a key is hit.)

To get the wacom tablet features of the display to work I needed un-comment 3 lines at the bottom of the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file that said "un-comment" if you're using a wacom tablet.

Next though I want some of the other special function buttons to work--especially the hibernate and brightness control buttons.

The way power events are handled is really rather baroque. The special keys like Fn-F12 (which has the hibernate icon it) are captured by acpid which has a bunch of files in /etc/acpi/event that maps acpi button names to a set of more generic acpi scripts. However for the ubuntus they decided that those generic acpi scripts (like /etc/acpi/hibernatebtn.sh) shouldn't directly suspend the system, but should instead use something called aci_fakekeys to send a linux special key scan code, like $KEY_SUSPEND=205 to some other part of the system.)

I think those scan codes are caught by d-bus in some way, and it appears some of the messages are being turned into kde dcop messages and delivered to the "guidance power manager", which then handles a couple of the events.(Currently "battery" and "sleep")

As of yet I have no idea what's actually mapping the special keys to dcop messages. The guidance power manager looks like it supports suspend in addition to sleep, but its not just getting the message. (The advantage to this complexity is that its easier to write guis to change power management settings)

As an aside the guidance power manager is written in python, so if you have kubuntu you can do something like:
$ python
>>> import powermanage
>>> pm = powermanage.PowerManage()
>>> pm.adjustBrightness(80)

to change your screen brightness.
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Comments {3}

her other side

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from: saltbox
date: Nov. 9th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)

Ooh I like the tablet!

I was so tempted by tablets, really I was. But ultimately I settled for the Panasonic toughbook, because of how much wear and tear it's supposed to be able to take. Uh, and also its color.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Nov. 9th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)

Ooh that is a pretty color. And toughbooks are supposed to be tough...

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no, YOUR mom

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from: theinfamousmom
date: Nov. 9th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)

Does the tablet part of it come off, or just swivel over the keyboard?

Years ago when Toshiba was trying desperately to market a tablet, I got to play with one that belonged to their prime designer. It was cool, but the idea of doubleclicking on something by tapping the stylus on the screen gave me the willies. :)

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