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My personal blog

New Arrivals

A few days ago my new laptop came in the mail: a ThinkPad E540. Mine is configured with a core i7, 16 GB ram, 16 GB SSD cache, a 1 TB HDD and a matte full HD screen. It was a custom order via the lenovo webshop, so it took about three weeks to build and ship it.

First impressions

My first impressions were very good. When I took it out of the box, it felt very solid. The case, is as expected from a ThinkPad, very rigid and doesn’t bend or twist. The keyboard feels solid. It has decent key travel and the room between the keys is just perfect for me. The comfort of the keyboard is very important for me since I used to have some RSI symptons in my wrists. On my desk I type with a Microsoft 4000 keyboard. That keyboard has provided some solace to my pains, swithing to Programmer Dvorak a few years later made my pains go away, even on laptop keyboards.

Linux

This laptop shipped with Windows 8 (yuk!). Since I use Fedora Linux as my primary OS one of the first thinks I did was installing it. The initial installation was a breeze, but then some problems sprung to my eye. Suspending to RAM didn’t work. Although the power led started to fade, the fan kept spinning and the system was stuck in this limbo. A second problem arose when I wanted to use the wired network interface. After resuming from suspend all packets would drop.

Troubleshooting

The first issue turned out to be a bug that was introduced after a firmware update. A workaround is to disable USB 3 support in the firmware. Fortunately the two USB 3 ports still function as your regular old-fashioned USB 2 ports.

I couldn’t find much information on the second issue, so I tried unloading the kernel module driving the interface: sudo modprobe -r r8169 before putting my laptop into suspend, and re-inserting it after resume: sudo modprobe r8169. That seemed to fix it, so I wrote a service to unload the module before suspend, and load it after suspend.

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