Compaq Armada M300

This is my trusty companion for daily work, and it is a good one too, weighing in at a mere 1.5kg (3lb). The fact that it cost close to 30k (NOK, not USD) in 2002, and that I got if for 1500 NOK in 2004 makes it an even sweeter deal 🙂 As it happens be, I believe in the power of free (as in speech) software, and thus unsurprisingly uses GNU/Linux as my operating system of choice. Unfortunately this has some side effects – such as lacking official driver support. On a positive note there exists countless sites dealing with this, and I thought I might give the users looking for help with their Armadas a hand.

The links below will help you figure out whatever problem you have with the hardware. Especially the ones concerning getting the WinModem and IrDA-port functioning are worthwhile.

The specs:

  • Intel® PentiumIII[tm] Processor 500MHz
  • 12.1″ XGA TFT Display
  • 4MB ATI Rage Mobility
  • 320MB SDRAM
  • 12GB HDD
  • Lucent Microelectronics internal 56K Modem (V.90/K56Flex)
  • Maestro MPU 401 Audio Controller
  • Intel Pro10/100MBit Mini PCI Fast Ethernet PCMCIA
  • Touch pad
  • IrDA
  • Docking-station with DVD and floppy.

I installed Ubuntu on the laptop, and most of the above got recognised and configured. The notable exceptions are the IrDA and the modem. The DVD is fine, but you should not try to play DVDs on this one. dmesg will tell you why…

Linux on the Compaq Armada M300

Drivers for 2.4
Drivers for 2.6
Linmodem howto
AT Command Reference
Ubuntu install

The Linux Ir-DA Project
Some info


2 Responses to Compaq Armada M300

  1. Carl-Erik sier:

    Status update:
    The modem part here is outdated. With Ubuntu Feisty (7.04), and probably earlier versions as well, the modem is configured automagically. I haven’t tried to make the Ir-DA part to work in a while, and I don’t really think it does either. But I don’t use it either…

  2. Carl-Erik sier:

    To add to the Ir-DA part (stolen):
    IrDA (infrared communication)

    The infrared device on the M300 is on /dev/ttyS2. This defaults to IRQ 4, but Mikael Hedin pointed out that this needs to be set to IRQ 3 for IrDA to work. I’ve added /bin/setserial /dev/ttyS2 irq 3 to /etc/rc.d/rc.local. Also, under Red Hat, be sure that /etc/sysconfig/irda contains DEVICE=/dev/ttyS2. Then, running service irda start should bring up IrDA (SIR) under /dev/ircomm0.

    I’ve only managed to get SIR working. The M300 has an SMC-based FIR chip («lspnp -v» lists a «SMCf010 communications device: RS-232») but the «findchip» utility (included in the irda-utils package) doesn’t detect it.

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