As some of you may have read or somehow learnt, I do own a new laptop now. Well, actually it’s only used-new, but as good as new and still with warranty. Anyway, first thing I did: Put in the Fedora 8 Live-CD, booted, enjoyed. Almost everything worked out of the box. Exceptions were the graphics (ATI Mobility Radeon x1300) and the webcam, at least everything else I checked worked, including wireless (most important!) and the CPU-throttling, which cools the laptop quite down a lot. So, next logical step: Install Fedora. After doing so, I activated the additional repositories, livna, freshrpms and atrpms. Following the guidelines from this tutorial, I got almost my previous installation. Only one really bothering thing was still there: Graphics not working!
The laptop does have the already mentioned ATI Mobility x1300 graphics chipset and there is the proprietary fglrx driver for it. BUT: the version available until some time ago (7.12) did not support the native resolution of the screen, which is 1680×1050. I want that resolution, badly, that’s what I spent the money for! So, what are the alternatives? I don’t use the 3D-effects of the desktop, so any driver would be fine. That’s how I found out about the radeonhd driver. It’s a free, though yet incomplete driver for ATI graphic cards. At least, with it I got my 1680×1050 resolution. Too bad though, that it doesn’t allow me to use my webcam, at least it’s not working within skype and cheese but it worked when I used the fglrx driver for testing. Lately, a new version of that driver was released and it promises to fix my resolution problem. I will give it a try, as soon as it is in the livna-repo. And yes, I am too lazy to circumvent my package manager!
What would be the overall conclusion, regarding the Acer Travelmate 8204 and Fedora? Well, it is a pleasure. I barely, if ever reboot, as Suspend and Hibernate are working as well and I can say for sure, that this is the most productive and fastest laptop I’ve ever worked with. Well done, Acer! Not so well done, ATI!