Since we'd made the part previously, we didn't have to spend long measuring the size of the aluminum brackets that we'd have to cut and shape, and were able to knock up a new (and stronger) part relatively quickly. Now the laptop rides on the bus with me every day, where I can sit and tweak the stack of papers I still have left over from my PhD to get published. Huzzah!
This also gave me an excuse to reinstall Mandriva, upgrading it to the new, shiny Mandriva 2007.1 spring release. Unlike a lot of other beta-ish releases, it came with a decent set of development libraries, and the hardware worked quite nicely out of the box. The only gripe I had was with the needlessly complex Drak3d tool to set up the 3D desktop. I got it working like this:
- Do the default mandriva install - don't touch anything
- Don't do the drak3d thing from KDM - this will lead to nightmares
- Instead, just login as root (without any 3D stuff) and run drakconf
- Go to Hardware->Configure 3D Desktop Effects
- Select metisse/compiz/beryl/whatever
- Logout, login as normal user
- Voila, instant 3D without any mucking about with config files
Beryl is very, very shiny. Its fast, and the tilable windows are actually really useful on a small screen. I play with the spinny cube thing on the bus, and it makes the other passengers nauseous. Yes, that includes you, random bus traveller, reading over my shoulder. Go back to reading MX or something.