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VAIO PCG-F270 Series and OpenBSD


   This is both informational and a query.

   First of all, OpenBSD runs supremely well on this box when it comes to
basic functions.  X works cleanly as of 2.5 (and a mid-September snapshot)
with the NeoMagic driver.  The 256AV chip from NeoMagic is a very nice
video subsystem, and is crisp and clean.  Power management is also
functional, as is the DVD, though it operates as an ATAPI / ATAPI-SCSI (in
the later releases) CD-ROM.  I know of no DVD software for Unix, so I
can't tell you anything more, and I haven't tested any DVD Features.

   Sounds... well, sound sucks.  The NM2200 works wonders on Windows, but
has no native drivers other than for the Win32 platforms, as NeoMagic
doesn't like to give out info.  I have tried OpenSoundSystem and have had
configuration problems.  It does apparently have an NM2200 driver, BUT it
is unsupported pending more info from NeoMagic. (Query: If anyone running
an F-Series VAIO has tips on resource configurations, please let me
know... when I have sound running, I will post those tips here as well.)

   I am using an LinkSys Ethernet PCMCIA card, at 10/100 and it works
without a hitch.  PCMCIA is very smooth.  The whole package is very clean.
Moving to the experimental snapshots created some problems, but they were
all mine, using differing parts out of sync.

   I would like to add support for the special buttons at the top, and if
I get info/time/inclination I will do so.  Point of note, the APM daemon
responds to the Function key suspend, so you can suspend from the keyboard
without being logged in, and brightness and battery level function keys do
bring up graphical displays whether in a vterminal or in X.  Contrast
isn't enabled however.

   One problem I'm still having is with USB support, but I am told it's my
1st stage boot loader not recognizing a hardware piece, and that there's a
patch which I am waiting for. (Query: Anyone with more info on this... it
would be greatly appreciated.)

   The VAIO PGC-F series have FireWire ports (custom branding calls them
iLink), and I look forward to eventual support for this bus as well, as
it's lightning fast, but I can wait. (400Mbps does sound tempting
though...)  Also, the infrared port is not supported, but other than
programming my Laptop to be a remote control for my entertainment system,
I have yet to use this more than three times in the past two years, on any

   Lastly, this baby has a Rockwell 56Kbps modem, which I believe is a
WinModem, but I am looking more into this to see.  One strange thing which
happens is that my bios recognizes two serial ports, which is wierd since
this only has one nine-pin serial port... Wouldn't it be nice if this
turns out to be the modem... but I doubt it.  I will post again when I
know more.

   All in all, there are laptops with better compatability with OpenBSD,
but few with 6 hours of battery time (dropping the 2nd battery into the
Floppy bay), thin and light with a big screen, and I suspect that 2.6 will
have cleared up most of these compatibility issues.

(Now all I have to do is bug NeoMagic to release specs... :)