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The Gecko's have arrived

February 03, 2010 — BarryK
If you haven't been following discussion about the Gecko Edubook on my blog, here are recent blog posts:

I picked them up this afternoon, and haven't had time to do much yet. I have fired up one of them, it has Puppy 431 pre-installed. Hmmm, quite a lot wrong though. It looks like they just grabbed the standard 431, knowing that I would be messing around with it and getting everything to work.

Okay, starting from the beginning:

When I opened the packaging, I saw that the metal back-plate was not properly attached -- which someone else also reported. The power cord does not have an Australian plug, but I have an international adapter -- that's something they will need to consider when shipping these things all over the world.

I plugged in the power cord, pressed the power button, and Puppy booted. Snappy performance. But, I quickly noticed these things:

1. Does not power off.
2. "save" button on desktop even though PUPMODE=2 (full "hard drive" install).
3. X is Xvesa.
4. Pupscan: when click to show PCI interfaces, information is broken (that is a problem in 431, it works in Quirky 006).
5. No battery status applet.
6. No audio.
7. No wifi.

I booted Quirky 006 from a USB stick, and noticed a "general protection fault" related to APM -- which would explain why the battery status applet doesn't work. Also, the kernel reports "no acpi support in BIOS found, acpi daemon is unable to proceed".

Running Quirky, Xorg is using the 'vesa' driver.

My Gecko seems to have a different USB wifi unit than what 'pskin' got. It identifies itself as "Realtek RTL8188S wlan adapter", vendor: 0bda, product: 8171. A CD was provided that has a driver for it.

So, I have the kernel patch for sound that pskin posted, source for wifi driver, that leaves video...

Hmmm, will have to investigate the apm/acpi problem too.

A nice little fun project!


gecko delivery
Username: x
"I picked them up this afternoon" did you have to go to the customs office and get the third degree? how much did shipping end up costing? any other delivery costs? import duty? shipped by which company or method?

Xorg driver
Username: BarryK
"x, No, there was no customs/gst, they just arrived. They were shipped by DHL (courier). The cost per unit is 199.95 USD, except I only paid for one. Shipping was 63 USD for both. Ah, there is an Xorg driver here:

"I picked them up"
Username: BarryK
"Oh yeah, I need to explain that. Normally a courier would deliver to your place, in the city, however the hardware store in Perenjori is also the agent for courier deliveries. I happened to go in there today and the guy told me a couple of boxes were waiting for me.

Username: Kevin Bowers
"When I first booted Puppy on my Gecko (also out-of-the-box 4.3.1) I tried XORG. Seems it doesn't support the native 1024x600 screen resolution. The only problem I ever had with XVESA was screen flicker, and apparently the response of this display is slow enough to eliminate that problem. No OS I've tried sees any reference to ACPI, and there are no settings in the BIOS for ACPI or APM. However, Windows XP reports the computer as APM compliant. XP's battery monitor always reports the charge level to be 85%, even after the balloon pops up that says to plug it in or shut it off. Mine won't power-off under Puppy either, even with all of pskin's fixes. Incidentally Norhtec has posted the iso pskin created: --Kevin

Username: Wellesfargo
"There appears to be a bios update. Maybe that will help.

Gecko Xorg driver
Username: BarryK
"Ok, I have compiled the Xorg driver from source provided by Norhtec. I have compiled it for Quirky, which has Xorg 7.5, which was a bit of a problem as the source requires headers that are only in Xorg 7.3. I seem to have worked it out. I have created patched source package 'gecko-xorg-07.tar.gz' that I will upload to my sources repo soon. The new PET package '' will be in my next build of Quirky, targeting running on the Gecko.

Gecko Power off
Username: 8-bit
"Just for test, have you tried a boot option of "pci=noacpi". I have an old laptop that would not boot fully from the cd (Puppy 431) without the option of "acpi=noacpi". But then it failed to shut down. So I tried the first option in this post and it booted fully and shut down fine.

Gecko apm only
Username: BarryK
"Today I plan to do a special kernel compile, just for the Gecko, and will turn off acpi.

Tags: puppy