It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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Alas poor shiny-book
mini me + poo
It looks like the backlight on the screen of my netbook has failed. Poo.

It was working over the weekend, but now won't illuminate. Poo.

It's a much loved Eee 901, and I have never seen anything really better: it was light, very portable size, with a very good battery life, yet powerful enough and with a good enough keyboard to do real stuff on. I had it at a meeting some years ago, not long after the iPhone came out, and the iPhone owner at it was jealous. Poo.

I do have a backup - an Eee 900 that was very cheap on Boffer, but it is slower, the keyboard is nowhere near as good, and the battery life is much worse. Poo.

This entry was originally posted at, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.

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I don't like my Eee901 cos the keyboard's horrid. It is black and I could send you the full specs when I get home.

Do you want to make me an offer for it? ;)

I think it is sorted. Thanks to the wonders of Google* it turns out that - as usual - someone else has had a problem too.

The first suggested cure, he says noting this all down for future reference, was changing /etc/default/grub/ 's GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line to be

"quiet splash acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor"

(i.e. changing how the power settings work the backlight) then doing

sudo update-grub

and rebooting. That didn't work, but I have kept it in anyway.

The second suggested cure came after discovering that doing cat /sys/class/backlight/eeepc/brightness produces the output of..


.. i.e. off.

The neat trick of

sudo chmod 666 /sys/class/backlight/eeepc/brightness

means you can write to it via the command line without being root and:

echo 15 >/sys/class/backlight/eeepc/brightness

puts it to full brightness. (The value of 15 comes from the Eee 900's one.) Yay, I can see it again! It has been turned off and restarted, and it still works :) While I remember, I will make that a shortcut and a script..

I would swap a very, very little used Eee 900 for it though... :)

* I don't think JA will ever appreciate how life-changing access to something like it is. Fortunately she knows how to use a library, if she ever has to find something out off line.

I suspect she will come to appreciate how easy having a decent OS makes some of this. I have no idea how you would do some of this in Windows, apart from praying that an unmaintained driver you can't get the source to keeps working...

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