Micron GoBook2

In the spring of 1999, I bought a Micron GoBook2.  It came with Win98 pre-loaded, but being a Linux weenie, I decided to load up RedHat and see how it worked. With some assistance from the excellent Linux on Laptops site I have it going and it works very well. I use Linux at work on some rather high-end PIII systems, and Linux on the GoBook is an excellent adjunct to that environment.

RH 7.1

Starting out with RedHat 5.2 I've kept the system current with the latest releases and now I'm running 7.1 (Seawolf). I'm quite pleased with the overall performance and it just keeps getting better as more of the system's features are supported with each revision.   Here are the details:

X Server

This time around, the installer figured out my video subsystem and set up the correct driver without any guidance from me.


RedHat's Soundconfig utility finds the Maestro2e sound subsystem without difficulty and sets up the modules.conf correctly with Zach's driver from the kernel. You do need to run sndconfig by hand - it's not part of the normal install process.


PCMCIA card services work out of the box without modification. They even found my 802.11(b) card and started it up without assistance!

Power Management

The installer sets up apmd, but it doesn't seem to have particularly agressive defaults. The hard-drive stays spun up continuously, and the laptop doesn't suspend during long periods of no use. I'm going to have to look at this more closely.

Modem & Ethernet

See below - I've not used the modem or Ethernet cards for a while now that I'm using 802.11(b).


The installer found the IR subsystem and seems to have set up the kernel IRDA drivers, but I haven't bothered trying to do anything with it yet. See below for my previous forays into this area.


This is the reason to go to a 2.4 kernel! The USB subsystem in the GoBook is not properly initialized by the BIOS, so unless you have the 2.4 kernel's new PCI subsystem, the USB controller doesn't come up right. With 2.4, the GoBook's USB is all there and working fine. I've used it to hook up an Ezonics EZCam-USB using the kernel CPIA drivers and gqcam.


See below.


Still no word on how to get these bad boys working.

RH 6.2

X Server

Standard RedHat CDs don't include the correct X Server for the Neomagic chipset that the GoBook2 uses. You'll need to get the XFCom_Neomagic server from Precision Insight's ftp site here.

For those who want it, here's the XF86Config file I've set up for my machine.


I've been helping with the developemnt of a device driver for the ESS Maestro 2E sound system in the GoBook2. It works well on my laptop and is quite functional. Although still in development, it is nearly complete and is currently included with the 2.2 and 2.3 kernels. For more info, check out my Maestro web page here.


RH 6.2 has excellent support for PCMCIA. You'll find it works best with some slight modifications to the /etc/pcmcia/config.opts file. I've included mine here.

Power Managment

It appears that Power Managment is enabled by default in the standard kernel shipping with RH 6.2. APM works correctly on my GoBook2 without recompiling the kernel. You will need to use Linuxconf to enable APMD which controls sleep/wakeup etc.


The GoBook2 comes with a 3Com/MHz 56K PCMCIA WinModem. As all informed Linux users should know, most WinModems are not well supported by Linux, so I ended up swapping this card for another I had which works just fine. (For the curious, its a 3Com 3CXM056-BNW Noteworthy modem. I haven't seen this sold anywhere - it came bundled with another machine I have.)


Adding Ethernet access was painless. I bought a D-Link DE-660 for about $50.00, fiddled with the PCMCIA (see above), plugged it in, configured the interface in Linuxconf and it worked.


The GoBook has an IR port and the 2.2.x kernel has IRDA built in. After some fiddling I've sent some data between the GoBook and my Palm III. Check the excellent IRDA Homepage for more details.


A USB port is present on the GoBook, and USB drivers are under development in the 2.3 kernel. Until this is in the stable kernel I haven't tried messing with it.


I know, the GoBook doesn't have a SCSI port, but that can be fixed! I picked up a Zip Card - a SCSI PCMCIA card that is sold by Iomega for use with their Zip drives. It turns out to be a re-labled Adaptec 1460 which is supported by the PCMCIA drivers. I was able to mount PC formatted Zip disks with no fuss whatsoever, and I'm looking forward to trying out some other peripherals I have laying about.


The GoBook2 has a set of three HotKeys across the top of the keyboard. Under Win98 these can be used to launch applications. I'd be interested in writing a device driver for these, similar to that available for some Toshiba models. If you have any info on the hardware behind these keys, drop me a line.

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Eric Brombaugh