Running Linux on a Vobis Highscreen BlueNote II

Disclaimer: Thereīs no guarantee if this information is correct. Use these hints at your own risk!


technical desciption

The system I own has the following features:

processor: intel 486DX4-100
RAM: 4MB (up to 20MB) (RAM expansion modules are not available anymore!)
hard disk: Seagate ST9546A, 515MB
graphics chip: C&T 6440
display 9.4" monochrome
pointing device "track point", PS/2 compatible
PCMCIA controller intel 82365
CDROM drive none ;-)
sound support ESS688, SoundBlaster compatible
other interfaces
  • parallel port (SPP and EPP)
  • serial port (16550A chipset)
  • 1 PS/2 connector for keyboard and mouse
  • external VGA connector
  • expansion bus


Currently I'm running a 2.0.32 kernel. The installation once was the SuSE5.1-distribution of which I deleted all unnecessary files until it used only 11MB on the hard disk.


IDE works out of the box. For saving RAM I use the old IDE driver, which works as well.

This is the boot message:

hda: ST9546A, 515MB w/120kB Cache, CHS=523/32/63
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
Hint by
Tom Schlangen:

ich habe mir das teil nachtraeglich von 8mb ram auf 20mb RAM aufgeruestet, und die 504er platte (die uebrigens keine seagate wie in deiner beschreibung war, sondern eine toshiba) vor ein paar wochen durch eine IBM DTNA-22160 mit 2GB kapazitaet ersetzt. diese platte ist im vergleich zu der originalen 504 _sehr_ viel schneller, deutlich leiser, und verbraucht auch noch weniger strom. die platte hat einen merkbaren leistungsschub gebracht, und war wohl das zweitbeste nach der RAM-aufruestung, was man dem blue- note II angedeihen lassen konnte.

die IBM DTNA-22160 betreibe ich im LBA-mode, wobei die abfolge der eintraege (zuerst Advanced CMOS Setup, danach Standard CMOS Setup) wichtig ist, weil man sonst nicht die hohen kopf-zahlen im standard cmos setup eintragen kann. also:

Advanced CMOS Setup
  IDE LBA Mode : Enabled
und trage als geometrie im BIOS ein:
Standard CMOS Setup
  Hard Disk C: Type : 47 = USER TYPE
    Cyln Head WPCOM LZone Sect Size
    524  128  65535 524   63   2063 MB

Advanced Power Management

The APM support of the BlueNote is rather poor: console blanking does not work, power off on shutdown either. Also you canīt view the battery status. Nevertheless you might want to enable APM support, then you should use the following settings:
[*] Advanced Power Management BIOS support
[ ]    Ignore USER SUSPEND
[*]    Enable PM at boot time
[*]    Make CPU Idle calls when idle
[ ]    Enable console blanking using APM
[ ]    Power off on shutdown      


I don't use any PCMCIA cards yet, but
Tom Schlangen wrote to me:

ich benutze auch die PCMCIA-slots, z.b. mit einer billigst NE2000 kompatiblen netzwerkkarte von RPTI.

als PCMCIA-subsystem benutze ich das einigermassen aktuelle pcmcia-cs-3.0.0.tar.gz vom maerz diesen jahres, welches im wesentlichen mit den defaults kompiliert wurde; die symbols lasse ich beim configure aus dem laufenden kernel auslesen. pcmcia-subsystem und netzwerkkarte funktionieren einwandfrei und voellig problemlos, inclusive hot-plugging.

pointing device

The so-called track point is just a simple PS/2 mouse to Linux, so you should enable PS/2 mouse (aka "auxiliary device") support in the Mouse Support (no serial mice) subsection of Character devices configuraion.

This is the track pointīs boot message:

PS/2 auxiliary pointing device detected -- driver installed.


As my system is equipped with only 4 MB RAM, so X11 wouldn't be such a good idea...

sound support

The built-in sound chip is a ESS688, which is covered by the SoundBlaster driver. Use the following settings:
<*> Sound card support
Old configuration script  (For: SM Wave, PSS & AudioTrix Pro) -->
[ ] ProAudioSpectrum 16 support
[*] Sound Blaster (SB, SBPro, SB16, clones) support
[ ] Generic OPL2/OPL3 FM synthesizer support
[ ] Gravis Ultrasound support
[ ] MPU-401 support (NOT for SB16)
[ ] 6850 UART Midi support
[ ] PSS (ECHO-ADI2111) support
[ ] 16 bit sampling option of GUS (_NOT_ GUS MAX)
[ ] GUS MAX support
[ ] Microsoft Sound System support
[ ] Ensoniq SoundScape support
[ ] MediaTrix AudioTrix Pro support
[ ] Support for MAD16 and/or Mozart based cards
[ ] Support for Crystal CS4232 based (PnP) cards
[ ] Support for Turtle Beach Wave Front (Maui, Tropez) synthesizers
[*] /dev/dsp and /dev/audio support 
[ ] MIDI interface support
[ ] FM synthesizer (YM3812/OPL-3) support
(240) I/O base for SB Check from manual of the card
(9) Sound Blaster IRQ Check from manual of the card
(1) Sound Blaster DMA 0, 1 or 3
(1) Sound Blaster 16 bit DMA (_REQUIRED_for SB16, Jazz16, SMW) 5, 6 or 7 (use 1 for 8 bit cards)
(0) MPU401 I/O base of SB16, Jazz16 and ES1688 Check from manual of the card
(-1) SB MPU401 IRQ (Jazz16, SM Wave and ES1688) Use -1 with SB16
(32768) Audio DMA buffer size 4096, 16384, 32768 or 65536
[ ] Additional low level drivers

Very important: By default, built-in speakers as well as the microphone get activated when loading the driver, which will result in an ugly feedback. My solution for this problem is a blind plug in the audio in socket to disable the microphone.

parallel port ethernet adaptor

The parallel port ethernet adaptor I use has nothing to the notebook itself, I donīt even know if the adapter was sold by Vobis, but I use it for connecting the notebook to my network, and there are probably other people using the same combination. Luckily, the type I have is supported by Linux. It is a clone of AT-Lan-Tecīs AEP-100L as it is described in section 5.9.1 of the
Ethernet-HOWTO. For including the driver into your kernel choose AT-LAN-TEC/RealTek pocket adaptor support in the Pocket and portable adaptors subsection of the Network device support. Unfortunately you canīt compile the driver as a module, so you have to do without printer support

Ensure that Parallel Port (LPT1) in the ADVANCED CMOS SETUP section of the BIOS is set to SPP Mode, else the driver refuses to work.

This is the greeting of the adaptor when booting:

atp0: Pocket adapter found at 0x378, IRQ 7, SAPROM 00:40:95:0F:41:59
atp.c:v1.08 4/1/97 Donald Becker (

general support

Klaus Jähne, last change: 01.02.2004