Having recently installed Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Linx) on my partner’s Acer Aspire 3690, I was, as usual, impressed at how much of the hardware worked out of the box. Pretty much everything worked, from wi-fi to volume keys. There were only a couple of things that didn’t…
Suspend (to RAM)
This didn’t work. The screen turns off (I think the laptop is wired this way), but the fan doesn’t power off and the machine doesn’t power down.
Eventually, I found this in the syslog:
PM: Device usb1 failed to suspend: error -16
PM: Some devices failed to suspend
The USB device referred to is the built-in webcam. After quite a bit of googling I came across a kernel bug that explained it all (and turned out not to be a kernel bug). The built-in webcam (lsusb says it is: “ID 0402:5602 ALi Corp. Video Camera Controller”) resumes immediately after being suspended, causing the suspend procedure to fail.
To fix it, I added the following script to /etc/pm/sleep.d (don’t forget to chmod +x it):
# fix the suspend issue on Asus Aspire 3690. The built-in camera (device ID
# 0402:5602, "ALi Corp. Video Camera Controller") issues a wakup during the
# suspend process, aborting suspend. So lets turn it off.
# To install, make this script executable and move it to /etc/pm/sleep.d
case $1 in
echo disabled > /sys/bus/usb/devices/1-4/power/wakeup
Yes, flash again. :o(
The Acer Apire 3690 is not a powerful machine, but it is easily capable of playing video. Unfortunately, the latest version of Adobe’s proprietary flash plugin at this time, 10.0.45.2, which ships with Lucid, can run away with the CPU and bring the browser to a crawl. The BBC iPlayer is the worst culprit. Sometime between 30 seconds and 5 minutes in to a video, CPU usage jumps to 98% and firefox becomes unresponsive.
I haven’t fixed this entirely, but I have managed to alleviate the problem slightly.
A pre-release version of flash player 10.1 handles flash movies that have gone awry much better. Update: flash player has been updated to 10.1 in Lucid now. It pops-up a message box to let you know that some actionscript is causing the flash player to run slowly.