diary at Telent Netowrks

I've had this laptop (Toshiba Portégé 3440CT) for#

Tue, 20 Jul 2004 00:17:07 +0000

I've had this laptop (Toshiba Portégé 3440CT) for something over three years now, and I'm still pretty happy with it, mostly. Yes, it's old and underpowered (500MHz mobile PIII), but it weighs practically nothing, it has a trackpoint thing, three mouse buttons (actually, two buttons and two scrollwheel simulating buttons but I can remap one of those as button 3 and it mostly works apart from slightly evil autorepeating behaviour), and it's old enough to use APM not ACPI. Which during most of its early life was a distinct advantage on a machine that runs Linux.

It does have a few oddities, though; readers may recall its habit of saving power by randomly frobbing CPU speed and not telling the OS. This is not in itself a problem now I've weaned Linux away from using the TSC as a time source, and probably also saving some power, but the manner of its doing was starting to annoy me, in that it will decide apparently at random that it should only speed up as far as 266MHz. Usually it can be persuaded to speed up again by removing and reapplying mains power, but after a while (and lately it seems to be quite a short while) it's forgotten again. This is tedious when recompiling SBCL.

Today I found that (a) the version of toshset that I already have installed has an option for cpu speed, (b) it was set to 'low', (c) setting it to 'high' does actually make a difference, and to cap it all (d) the cpu speed still varies continuously according to system load, so as I mostly use well-behaved apps that only eat cpu when they're actually doing things (exception made for the ISC dhcp client which from time to time likes to spin on CPU), I still get the battery savings. Happy Bunnies R Us.