View Full Version : My use of the TC1000 has trickled to a near halt
05-08-2007, 03:37 AM
My use of the TC1000 has trickled to a near halt, and I decided to try to revive my old system by installing Linux. I don't know if Ubuntu is the best package for this, but I read somewhere that you should start somewhere and try a bunch of packages and see which ones you like.
My very first comment is that the install CD booted just fine on my external USB drive. (There have been discussions on problems with XP's Restore Disk elsewhere, if you're interested.)
My very second comment is that wireless setup with Ubuntu 7.04 was a breeze. In case you've not heard, wireless on Linux is supposed to be a harrowing experience, meant to make linux veterans of us all. However, Ubuntu autodetected the wireless hardware and loaded the appropriate drivers, no problem. I was worried initially because it didn't jump onto the network, but that was because the network is WEP encrypted. After setting up the key, it connected to the network fine.
I am not typing this on my TC100, though (I'm typing it on my desktop) because my system is hanging right now and I'm not sure if Firefox will load or not. I started the Install, but then decided to read around about Linux, and that's when I got the wireless working. The installer really doesn't like this and is punishing me by eating my cpu time. Also, I just started the disk partitioning portion, which may just take a long time.
So, this is basically a note to anybody trying to install Linux on their old machine that the starting stages for Ubuntu are fairly painless (unless, of course, this installer hang-time continues...). I may or may not make this an all-out description of my ordeal; only time will tell.
Good luck to any who are interested.
05-08-2007, 06:16 AM
Once I knew I could get the wireless working fine, I decided to restart and focus on the install without doing anything else. I think I have a really slow CD drive (I don't remember, it was so long ago when I bought it) so that was probably causing problems. Doing that, the install was slow, but it worked.
I should clarify that one reason I've hardly used my tablet is that it has to be fully updated in order for my school to let me connect to the network. It seemed to me that keeping it updated with Windows meant letting it get slower and slower as Windows overtook more and more of the resources. I'm more optimistic that I can find something that will work with Linux.
Everything is now up and running just fine. I haven't installed any drivers (or any software at all, for that matter) so I can't comment on those. However, elsewhere on the Buzz I found a link to linux-tablet-pc.dhs.org, which discusses Michael Rolig's experience with a TC1000. So far, though, I'm fairly pleased. I got a working system with relatively little pain.
05-08-2007, 12:54 PM
Great...i didnt find a way to put the pen working...
The system with Linux is slow , dont you think.
Hi run4flat! How are you? I haven't been on the buzz for months, last time we spoke (Jan 2006!) you had done some fantastic work hacking one of Journal's dll files to customize the toolbars. I still used that until recently but I have a newer tablet now that I recently upgraded to Vista. I didn't format the drive so I still had your version of Journal but it won't run under Vista and there is no NbkIntl.dll for the updated Vista version. :(
I recently tried Ubuntu on a dying Dell Inspiron but couldn't get the wireless to work at all. A little digging around showed that my 3com card won't work with Linux, that and a few other niggles that were important to me forced me back to XP. Although I did keep 2 or 3 live CD's just incase I want another wee taste of Linux. Also, they are great as boot disks!
05-08-2007, 07:04 PM
Mr. H, yeah, I think that's the last time I was on the Buzz until deciding to do this. I'm glad that hack was working for you. I should probably post it online somewhere (which I didn't know how to do back then).
05-08-2007, 07:39 PM
After messing around a little bit more, this is what I found:
1) Ubuntu has a built-in Add/Remove tool that's easily accessible (directly under the Applications menu) but it's only for X-windows programs, I think. I say this because my first big goal was to get LyX up and running, and I could only do that via the command prompt.
2) Command-line 'sudo' (= super-user do) runs a command as the super-user (and requires that you enter a password). Check out http://www.softpanorama.org/Access_control/sudo.shtml
sudo rmdir SomethingSpecial
3) Command-line 'apt-get' is the command for getting Debian packages. More on those below. It turns out you have to run apt-get using sudo. :-) For basic help try
at the prompt. An example of a real use would be
sudo apt-get install lyx
This is actually a very cool program (app?).
4) What is installed on your machine? Try the 'whereis' command-line utility:
If you don't get any response (try it with something obvious like 'whereis ubuntu' so you know what you're looking for), it's probably not there, or not in your path. Anyway, if you're not sure if you need to apt-get a piece of software, a null response here will tell you. For a more complete list of command-lines, check out
5) What can apt-get pull off the web for you? For a list of Feisty's (i.e. v7.04) software packages, check out:
It's not the most easily perused corner of the web, but it works.
Now, I am _not_ happy with the wake-up from hibernation or stand-by For whatever reason, Ubuntu does not load the USB devices after such a procedure which means that any keyboard input is out, aka YOU CANNOT SIGN-IN. So, although the machine is capable of stand-by and hibernate, you can't actually use it on a TC1000, for now.
I have not tried working with the pen or other drivers. My top priorities have been getting this into shape for work, which almost never includes using the stylus. However, it's next on my list.
galinha - you mentioned that you thought Linux ran slow. I haven't really stretched the system yet so I can't say, but a local Linux guru suggested using XFCE as the windows client rather than Gnome or KDE, both of which are comparatively resource-hungry. I may end up switching to that in the long run, but for now I'll stick with the default.
05-08-2007, 11:59 PM
My problem is stil the pen !
05-09-2007, 07:32 AM
I haven't had time to check it out much myself, but you should look at:
You can find other technical information at
05-10-2007, 05:37 AM
I won't have much time over the next week or so to fiddle with Linux, so I should probably mention that I had trouble getting the NVidia drivers to work on my machine and decided to remove them for now (which was a fairly painless process). I think the problem was with the refresh rate, but I couldn't figure out how to fix it.
There are a couple of things I wish I had, most importantly sleep and hibernate. I believe there are work-arounds for the USB problems, something called Suspend2, but I haven't found a clear, quick answer yet. I also have not tried to install the power management system, though I don't think that's too difficult.
In all, Ubuntu will turn your TC1000 into a decent LAPTOP without effort. If you want to enable the pen or really optimize the system, you'll have to do some work, but out of the box, it's pretty good.
05-13-2007, 02:46 AM
A note on turning the wireless signal off. I flew on a plane yesterday and had to figure it out.
In order to turn your wireless card off (i.e. stop the little green light from blinking) go to the networking icon in the upper right corner of the screen, right-click, and de-select 'Enable Wireless'.
I haven't confirmed it, but I hope that turning the wireless of will have a noticeable increase in the battery life.
05-03-2009, 07:08 PM
It's been a long while since I wrote my original post about trying Ubuntu on my system. In short, it wasn't stellar. I've not found a very satisfactory setup and put it away for a few months at a time before pulling it back out and trying again.
I've recently tried a Linux distribution called Arch Linux and I've gotten just about everything working. The first trick is to find a distribution and window manager that doesn't consume all the little Transmetta's processing power. The popular options include KDE, Gnome, and XFCE, all of which seem too much for the TC1000. This go-round I tried LXDE and I have been very, very happy. To give you an idea of what I have working:
1) Screen rotation (without needing to restart X).
2) Pen recognition (I use Xournal to write notes).
3) Wireless (really easy with WICD, though I had to write my own scripts for turning the antenna on/off).
4) Suspend, Hibernate, and the Suspend-Hibernate Hybrid (where it suspends but saves the ram to disk, in case your battery zonks out).
Those were my major goals this time around (in addition to being responsive). I have cooked up a new goal: external VGA. I know it's possible but I've not looked into it much yet so I'm not sure how difficult it will be. If I get the external display working, the only Windows capabilities I won't have would be changing the screen brightness.
The pen driver does not play well with X when it comes to shutdown and to do everything without causing pain you actually need to initiate your power options from a tty (old-school: within X you have to press Ctrl-Alt-F1/F2... to get to one). So, it's something of a hacker's machine right now, but if you're willing to swallow that, it works beautifully.
The pen is not a Wacom driver. If you're looking for the pen driver, google vencik tc1000, in which case you'll find Vencik's notes on putting Gentoo on the machine (I don't recommend this) as well as the source code for his driver that you can compile. If you've been around linux for a while you shouldn't have too much trouble, but I wouldn't take my first plunge into Linux with the TC1000 and Arch. It's possible, and it's better than Gentoo, but it's not a walk in the park.
06-09-2009, 04:48 PM
If you update ubuntu to later versions it will get worse. You will not be able to get support for the graphics card due to a bug with later versions of xorg and the Crusoe CPU
06-09-2009, 04:49 PM
btw if you know longer use your tablet I'll gladly make an offer if your in the uk or close by ^_^.
I only recently bought one of these and I have to say its great for comic/manga reading. My mrs is already quite jealous and wants one of her own (she currently reads her ebooks/manga etc on her mobile phone).
Just got a gps card and am looking forward to using it for astronomy.
06-09-2009, 05:13 PM
I would certainly be interested in any posts of config files for the linux.
I tried to dual boot on the hd but either xp tablet edition or some element of tc1000 windows software overwrites the MBR to be the original windows one on shutdown wiping out grub/lilo. VERY VERY annoying.
Tried everything like writing mbr in windows, on shutdown in the end I am using grub4dos on a usb boot stick. I am also interested in hacking the quicklook boot loader to chain load linux but its difficult.
Would be great to have one on button for windows and another for linux and/or encrypted windows.
Also next time you tinkering with your tablet check out this thread I just made, you may find you can get a serious performance boost.
Sorry for the dots but I don't have enough posts to use links yet.
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