Norhtec Microclient Jr

Forum: Other Help Topics
Topic: Norhtec Microclient Jr
started by: tayloratosu

Posted by tayloratosu on May 01 2008,16:09
I'm trying to get the current release of DSL to run on my newly-acquired Norhtec Microclient Jr.  It's working okay for the most part, but I'm having trouble with the video and the sound.

The sound part is fairly straightforward.  For OSS support it needs to load the soundcore, ac97_codec, and sis7019 kernel modules.  (At least, that's what gets OSS working under Puppy Linux.)  Not sure about the first two, but I'm pretty sure the sis7019 module is not included w/DSL.  It's available from LTSP (  Would it be terribly difficult for someone to compile this for DSL?

The video problem is a bit stranger.  Video works fine up to 800x600.  When I bump it up to 1024x768, though, the monitor complains about something being "out of range".  Fiddling around with my monitor settings, I see that it's expecting 720x400@70Hz somethings.  (Heh.  Sorry about being so vague.  I'm a professional programmer, but I don't deal a lot with video hardware.)

This same monitor, attached to a different box, has run DSL at 1024x768x24 just fine, and this same box/monitor combo runs 1024x768x24 just fine with Puppy Linux/xorg.

I'm perfectly willing to download various video drivers and play with settings, but I'd like some idea as to what I should be fiddling with.  Could someone point me to some sort of X11 config file or something?



Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on May 01 2008,16:45
re: sound
- you could try compiling it, see mydsl for the tools
- a search might take you to this: < > (modinfo trident shows support for 7018... but no harm in trying it)
- you could always try the trusty soundblaster (sb*) modules

re: video
You could try to:
- change video options (xsetup) and/or see cheatcodes (wiki, etc)
- allocate more memory (via BIOS, etc.) to video if applicable
- try to find a tinyx server that corresponds to your video hardware
- use a full x server with the corresponding video driver
(again I think this has been posted elsewhere)

Posted by tayloratosu on May 01 2008,21:13
Thanks for the suggestions.

Re: sound.  I know about the trident 7018 driver, but from what I've read on the puppy forums, it doesn't work with the 7019.  And there's no ALSA driver.  AFAIK, the only existing Linux driver that works is the OSS sis7019 one.

Re: video.  I played with the vga= cheatcode, but I still get the Out of Range error.  I don't think it's a problem with DSL driving the video card.  I think it's that the video chip doesn't set the correct refresh rate for the monitor or something.  The exact error reads like this:

    Out of Range
    H: 35.5Hz
    V: 87.2 Hz

    Max 1024x768

I think I probably need to edit some sort of config file to set the correct horizontal and vertical rates for my monitor, but I don't really know where that file is or what it's called.

Posted by roberts on May 01 2008,23:21
The TinyX kdrive server has no config file.
You can use the command Xvesa -listmodes to see what might be supported. You can also use the control panel for Xvesa.

Puppy is 2.6 kernel, check if your sound module is supported by 2.4 kernel.

Posted by tayloratosu on May 02 2008,12:13
The link to the module source lists versions for both 2.4 and 2.6.

Looks like the video thing is a showstopper, though.  I really wanted 1024x768 resolution.  <Sigh>  Oh well.  Thanks anyway.

Posted by curaga on May 02 2008,13:15
There are two extensions with "full" X, so you can set whatever refresh rates you want - Xfree86 and Xorg
Posted by tayloratosu on May 02 2008,13:39
Well, the Xorg extension sounds promising; that's what worked with Puppy.  I'll give that a shot, and I'll try XVesa if that doesn't work.  Thanks for the tip.

Is TinyX just smaller (diskwise) than Xorg, or is it faster as well?  Disk space isn't really a problem -- I plan to run this on a 4Gb CF drive -- but speed and memory are rather constrained on this device.  It's got 128Mb of RAM w/ a 200MHz processor.

Of course, I've already got Puppy set up for this thing, and it's using Xorg, so it's definitely do-able.  It's just that I prefer DSL to Puppy.

Posted by curaga on May 02 2008,15:07
It all depends on your hardware. TinyX is simpler, and is nothing but a single executable of about 1mb. is loads of files taking about ~60mb space, since it isn't meant to be self-contained.

Xvesa has no acceleration; some tinyX servers have 2d accel. has full 2d and 3d accel. You will get more speed, at the expense of more disk space and a little longer startup time.

Edit: of course you will get infinitely more configurability with too.

Posted by tayloratosu on May 03 2008,06:19
Looks like Xorg works.  I took the auto-generated xorg.conf from my Puppy installation and loaded the xorg UCI, and now I've got a 1024x768x24 display.  Thanks very much.

Now I just have to get that sound module complied . . .

Posted by junkeR on Feb. 01 2009,14:22
I have this same unit, and it's running DSL great.  I wouldn't recommend Puppy on it.

My question is, has anyone gotten the sound to work properly?  I was able to get it working just once (downloading some of the Alsa files in myDSL), but I haven't been able to duplicate it since I had no idea how it started working.

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