Category Archives: Linux

Advantech PCI-1620 and Ubuntu

Mate of mine gave me one of the above mentioned PCI cards. This particular card provides 8 serial ports. It was quite easy to get the card working (no need to patch the kernel anyway). Here are the necessary steps:

  1. Download the ‘Linux Driver for ICOM Cards’ from http://support.advantech.com.tw/Support/DownloadSearchByProduct.aspx?keyword=PCI-1620A
  2. Run ‘tar xvzf ‘Adv950_Source_V3.30.gz’ (yes, it is a compressed tar file even if it doesn’t look like one)
  3. Then ‘cd adv950_source_v3.30/2.6/’ (for a 2.6.x kernel)
  4. ‘make’
  5. ‘sudo make install’
  6. And finally a ‘make test’ should result in the following:
    /dev/ttyAP0 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP1 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP2 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP3 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP4 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP5 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP6 is RS232
    /dev/ttyAP7 is RS232
  7. Now copy the kernel module into the right place ‘sudo cp adv950.ko /lib/modules/2.6.24-28-generic/kernel/drivers/serial/’
  8. Run a ‘sudo depmod -a’
  9. Happy days!

Note: This is how it worked for me on Ubuntu 8.04.

Saving power on my laptop I

I’m using an Acer TravelMate 4672WLMi at home and I was never happy with the lifetime of the battery. About 2 hours is the most I get out of it. So I’m trying to tweak Ubuntu (just upgraded to 7.10) a bit to see what can be done. I got the inspiration from http://www.lesswatts.org/ – so full credit to those boys and girls!

The first thing I wanted to do is to reduce the power consumption of the wireless card. You usually do this by calling ‘iwpriv eth1 set_power 5’ to enable the power-saving mode. However, I wanted an easier way without having to run this command manually whenever I’m not connected to the mains.

So I had a look around in /etc to see if I could find anything that could help. Here I came across a directory called laptop-mode which belongs to a package of the same name. Here I found a subdirectory conf.d/wireless-ipw-power.conf. This file consists of only one line (apart from a few comments):

CONTROL_IPW_POWER=0

That looked exactly what I needed. I changed that value to 1 and restarted the laptop-mode by running:

sudo /etc/init.d/laptop-mode restart

Unfortunately that didn’t have any effect as iwconfig indicated that the power saving for the wireless card was still disabled. However, I very quickly noted by running ‘sudo laptop_mode’ that the laptop mode wasn’t enabled at all:

$ sudo laptop_mode
Laptop mode disabled, active.

After a quick look in the /etc/init.d/laptop-mode I learned that I had to enable the laptop mode by setting ENABLE_LAPTOP_MODE to true in /etc/default/acpi-support (read the warning in the associated comment as well!). After this was done and another call of

sudo /etc/init.d/laptop-mode restart

the power saving for the wireless card was enabled. Seems to save a ‘massive’ 50mA. Happy days!

Of course, that’s not the end of it and more options will need to be tweaked to save more power. Why is nothing easy with Linux 😉 ?