HP Compaq CQ20 notebook and Ubuntu Linux – great combination
This year, one of my goals is to put more time into my site so I decided that I should get a smaller notebook than the Compaq C700 I have. This way I can easily carry around a computer and put more time into blogging. I considered buying a netbook but just couldn’t get myself used to the smaller 1024 by 600 resolutions that normally came along with such portables. So I started surfing the Internet sites of local computer shops for a 12-inch notebook instead of going for a netbook. I found that the 12-inch Lenovo G230 has decent specs and a fair price so I off I went to get one.
I’ve used an IBM notebook before and was quite satisfied with it’s quality. When IBM sold it’s notebook business to Lenovo I must admit that I sort of hesitated on the idea of getting a Lenovo notebook. When I got to the store, the notebook was out of stock and I decided to get the G430 instead and went home.
I’m now ready to install Ubuntu on the machine but when I turned it on the screen was blank and the LED lights were on. The next day I went to the computer shop and ask if there was any 12-inch HP/Compaq notebooks available. It so happen that there was a 12-inch HP Compaq Presario CQ20 notebook so I had the G230 replaced with the Compaq CQ20 instead.
Arriving home, I started installing the Ubuntu 8.04 into the machine using a USB flash installer created with Unetbootin. The install went fine but after a while I got convinced that the X driver for the Intel 4500 graphics unit was giving me a choppy performance.
I created another installer but this time for Ubuntu Intrepid. After testing it’s performance using the Live version, I finally went for the current Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid) release instead of staying with 8.04. The installation went smoothly without a glitch.
In fact I am so happy to have gotten the Compaq CQ20 notebook because the devices worked like a charm. I have ethernet, wifi (without any need for compiling drivers), web cam, DVD drive and sound all working. I had to make a simple config change to make the sound thru the speakers working — thanks to this post of another ubuntu user with a Compaq CQ20.
I modified my /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base and included the following line:
options snd-hda-intel model=laptop
And rebooted — now sound is working over the notebook speakers. The Compaq CQ20 notebook’s built-in bluetooth worked well with my bluetooth mouse. The connection didn’t have to be a pain like when I tried Ubuntu 8.10 on the Compaq C700.
The function keys are working, well almost — what’s with these brightness keys 🙂 . The wifi button and even the dedicated volume control found on the Compaq CQ20 is also working in Ubuntu Intrepid.
Dual monitor is now much better in Ubuntu Intrepid. Detecting and configuring my dual-head monitor setup was easy and I don’t have to make any manual config file changes unlike in Ubuntu Hardy.
I’ve installed most of the other software that I need on my new Compaq CQ20 notebook. For now I’m just enjoying the portable freedom of the CQ20 notebook / Ubuntu combination writing this blog entry.
Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.