Toshiba NB200, life and death, and rebirth with the Phoenix crysis disk

In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Ancient Greek φοίνιξ phóinīx) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor [wikipedia.org]

This was a very exciting Christmas. I was on the job while inadvertendly clicked on the wrong file: the latest (currently should be 2.20) BIOS winflasher for my Toshiba NB200, previously saved for later use.  Panic: I should have press Cancel right away.

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Asrock ALiveNF6G-VSTA sound issue with Ubuntu Precise

Ubuntu precise is sometime unsettling at best. Audio won’t work with my old ALiveNF6G-VSTA. It used to be the reverse on Linux: old hardware would work, new hardware not always. Ubuntu Precise changed that altogether: old hardware isn’t working, and new hardware isn’t working either.

ALiveNF6G-VSTA(m)
ALiveNF6G-VSTA motherboard. Photo courtesy of Asrock

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Western digital messes with my boot

As previously metioned here, I had boot issues with my new Motherboard, and my external Western Digital USB hard disk. But it’s really a motherboard fault, or not? It turns out other cheap USB enclosures dont’ endanger my boot like the WD hard disk does.
A little google-fu revealed that it’s indeed Western Digital fault, and not AsRock.

See the original post here. The solution, as it turns out, is to simply modifying the USB legacy option disabling it. The article mentions a Sony Vaio but it worked also for me on an Asrock motherboard. It seems to me that Western digital has something to fix, instead of bouncing the problems to other brands…
No more failed boots, it worked flawlessly since.

tc1100 wi-fi hardware switch: a pain in the hat under linux

A while ago I decided to fix something under my HP tc1100 hood. I had bad idea: I loaded the default  BIOS settings. Turning the tablet on I had a bad surprise: the wi-fi card was hardware disabled. Unfortunately the tc1100 has an ipw2100 card but no physical hardware switch and without a windows partition I was stuck with the wifi off. I previously had the same problem with a Toshiba nb200, but there I had more luck. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if a linux only system is good in a “Windows only” world.
Disclaimer: following the steps outlined here may brick damage or otherwise set on fire your tc1100 and/or your neighborhood. Please follow them or reproduce them on your tc1100 only if you are willing to damage it, brick it, and set the house on fire. Seriously, this is tricky stuff. I suggest you to avoid flashing the bios if everything is working. If you have to, fully charge the battery and use an external UPS to power the TC1100 just in case. Internet is full of bricked tc1100s. When in doubt, use a real Windows for the flash operation.
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