Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver

Page 50 1.5Kg (With Battery) Built-In 3.G Antenna - Optional 3.5G Modem Mini Card Service Audio More service information, please refer to Olivetti Built-In High Defi nition Sound Card (2 Channel) Built-In Dual 1.5Watt Stereo Speakers Card Reader The above specifi cation is for users’ reference. The fi nal con- 4-in-1 Card Reader. Olivetti Logos 904T Full Specifications: Number of characters per line: 14, Number of display lines: 1, Type: Printing calculator, Colour of product: Black, Width. Status Monitor settings can be configured on these tabs. Sound Notification Tab The Sound Notification tab contains the following items. IMPORTANT To confirm the settings on Sound Notification tab, the computer requires the sound capabilities such as sound card and speaker.

Bottom Line

The basic news is that Linux works on Olivetti Echos and Echos Pro laptops. The OS works, LILO works, the peripherals work. XFree86 3.3 works well with the Chips&Technologies chipset of the Echos series, and but supposedly not with the Cirrus Logic chipset of the Echos Pro series (driver stated as supported, but broken, as of XFree86
I have personally installed Slackware (up to 3.6) with Linux 2.0 (up to 2.0.36) on a Olivetti Echos P100E, and I have confirmation that Linux works on the Echos P100C, P100D, P100E, P120S, P120E and on Echos Pro P133. I’d be surprised now if anything on the Olivetti Echos didn’t work right under Linux. Some parts, such as PnP sound might take a little extra effort.
I no longer have a valid link for an online catalogue of the Olivetti Echos Series. See the links section for a link to Olivetti’s support site. There are still pages for the various models.
If you have comments about running Linux on the Olivetti Echos laptops, you can post you messages here: Add your comments

Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver

About the Olivetti Echos laptops

Olivetti PC Computer with VGA Monitor and Keyboard. Hard disk has DOS 5.0 installed and several games. Has a Creative Labs AWE32 Sound Card Installed. Paradise PVGA1A ISA 16-bit Graphic Card Olivetti (not working) EUR 16.88. EUR 13.50 postage. OLIVETTI M300-04 386 Vintag computer + keyboard.

The various Olivetti Echos and Echos Pro models, ranging from Pentium 90 to Pentium 150, have the following features:

  • Support for 8 to 40Mb RAM.
  • Internal removable disk of either 510Mb, 810Mb, 1Gb, 1.2Gb or 2Gb.
  • TFT or DSTN display of 10.4″, 11.3″, 11.8″ or 12.1″ capable of resolutions of 640×480 (VGA) or 800×600 (SVGA).
  • Chips and Technologies CT65545/CT65548 based PCI video card, 1Mb (Echos) or Cirrus Logic CL-GD7548 (Echos Pro)
  • SB Pro compatible 16-bit sound card with build in speakers and microphone.
  • CD-ROM drive, quad speed or more, IDE/ATAPI, interchangeable with the floppy drive or second battery pack (optional).
  • Two button PS/2 touchpad.
  • Two PCMCIA II slots or one PCMCIA III slot.
  • Interfaces for external monitor, mouse, microphone and speakers. Infrared serial link.

Linux Installation

Any modern distribution of Linux should install fine on the Echos. I have personally installed Slackware 3.1 with no serious problems.
The Olivetti laptops come with a dual Win95/WfW setup, and you have to choose which system you want the first time you boot. The other system is deleted. There is no selection for “none”.
The first time (on a computer I had to return due to a minor hardware fault) I chose Win95, and the installation blocked in a hardware-detect. After 20 minutes I turned the thing off, after which it wouldn’t boot. Linux to the rescue. I made bootable floppies with FIPS (on another machine) and repartitioned, booted Linux from floppies, made a backup of the DOS-partition on a Linux partition (the ramdisk holds mke2fs, mount, umount, tar and the msdos file system), and went for a complete reinstallation of DOS/WfW. I received no driver-floppies for the CD-drive, the sound card og the graphics card, but could extract it all from my backup under Linux. Amazing how Linux always helps when DOS/Windows screws up.
The second time (on the replacement computer I received) I chose the WfW installation, and everything went smoothly.
I reckon a normal installation will be: (1) install selected Windows system at first boot (obligatory); (2) repartition using FIPS; (3) install Linux.
To install Linux from at CD-Rom, you need the cable that comes with the computer to attach the floppy drive to the parallel port. The procedure is as follows. Turn the computer off. Place the CD drive in the bay, and connect the floppy drive to the parallel port with the cable. Fasten the screws firmly. Now turn the machine on and press F2 to enter the setup. Find the configuration menu for integrated peripherals and change the mode of the parallel port to FDD mode. Initially it will probably be “Uni-directional” or “Bi-directional”. Save and exit the setup, and when the system boots, the now external floppy drive will be A:. From this point on your have a normal system with both floppy and CD-ROM drive and you can install as usual.
To revert the parallel port to normal usage, boot, enter the setup, change the parallel port mode to Uni-directional (for normal printing) or to Bi-directional (for use with a ZIP drive or similar), save and exit. I have been told not to attach or detach the parallel cable while the computer is on, but I have done so with the computer in the suspended state (i.e., with the lid closed or by pressing Fn-F2). To switch the mode of the parallel port, you have to boot to enter the setup.

X Windows

The Olivetti laptops uses a Chips and Technologies chipset, the CT655XX models (on my P100E it is a CT65548). This chipset is supported by the Xfree86 SVGA driver.
I have been told that the Echos Pro series uses a Cirrus Logic chipset (the CL-GD7548), which might or might not be supported by XFree86. More information here


The Olivetti Echos come with a SoundBlaster Pro compatible card.
I received no documentation or floppies for the card, but I found some settings in the Windows setup, getting the basic parts to work. All in all I have received the following information on using the sound driver under Linux:

P100ESB Pro, addr 0x240, irq 5, dma 1
P100ESB16, addr 0x240, irq 5, dma low 1, dma high 1,
mpu io 300, mpu irq 10.
P120SSB Pro, addr 0x220, irq 5, dma 1, dma2 5

The situation is more complicated on the Echos Pro, as the sound adapter is PnP, requiring isapnptools to be used.
The Linux sound driver works well (at least for me). It plays .wav files in mono and stereo, I can record sounds using the internal microphone, /dev/audio works and I can play audio CDs without problems. To play audio CDs you don’t have to load the sound driver, but then you can’t change the volume.

Power Management

The Echos offers three automatic power management features: turning off the hard drive, the LCD display, and putting the entire system into suspend mode (pressing Fn-F2).
Power management for the hard drive doesn’t interfere with Linux at all. The hard drive spins down as often as Linux will allow it to. The hard drive spins back up when it is needed. (The drive doesn’t seem to spin down when my 3c589 PCMCIA card is in use — rs).
Turning off the display haven’t been tested, as I run X all the time. The X screen blanker works in the normals fashion, and therefore leaves the backlights on always.
Suspend works, in console mode and under X. Pressing Fn-F2 or closing the cover puts the computer in suspend mode (closing the cover might not suspend if you have PCMCIA cards inserted, in which case only Fn-F2 works). Under XFree86 3.2(A) at 800×600 (256 or 64K colours) the display comes back as expected, and the system reacts as usual.
The laptops supports two different kinds of suspend mode: Suspend To Ram and Suspend To Disk. The “Suspend To Ram” mode shuts down all peripherals but keeps refreshing the memory, thereby using a minimum of power. The “Suspend To Disk” writes the complete system state to disk on a special partition (type STD) and shuts down the whole computer. When the power is turned on again, the bios reloads the saved state. This is intended for emergency shut down when the battery is dangerously low on power. “Suspend to Disk” works, but does cause problems with the sound chip and PCMCIA cards. They have no power in suspend mode, and can lose internal state.
I have no measurements on battery time. Olivetti says 1,5 to 2,5 hours, but it seems to more like 1 hour.
I run apmd 2.4 with no problem. The two user programs, apm and xapm, does cause problems. With xapm running the mouse occationally behaves erratically, and running apm in a tight shell loop virtually kills the mouse. Somehow the opration of the two programs interfere with the mouse. This was with Linux 2.0.0 (no patches).



I only use a 3Com 589 Etherlink III adapter, and it works flawlessly. I installed the Slackware pcmcia package, and had to do no modifications at all, except for IP-setup in /etc/pcmcia/network.opts. The card is detected and initialised at boot time or when inserted, and the card is correctly disabled when removed.
I have a Delkin Devices SmartMedia Adapter for reading the SSFDC cards from my digital camera. It acts as a removable IDE disk, so I had to configure the kernel with support for removable IDE disks and recompile the pcmcia tools. This might already have been done for other distributions (I use an ever more molested Slackware).


Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver

Most Echos models come with a CD-Rom drive. Mine is a TEAC drive. It is interchangeable with the floppy-drive, but only with the machine turned off. Hotswapping isn’t possible. To use both at the same time, connect the floppy drive to the parallel port as described above.
Linux should be configured with support for IDE/ATAPI CD drives.

Docking Stations

I have no experience with these. Nobody have ever written to about it, so …

Other Network Resources

I have found these pages very useful in my work with the Olivetti Echos laptop:

  • The Linux Laptop Home Page with links for a large number of models and to laptop relevant information.
  • XFree86(TM): Home Page
  • Olivetti Computers Worldwide, with various support stuff, including bios upgrades etc. Use the menu at the buttom to find the right model.
    • Echos P100D
  • Information about overclocking (in italian)

About This Document

Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver

This page has benefited from the experiences of several Linux/Echos users, too many to mentionhere. Thanks for all the feedback and information..

Open ends or unsolved problems

I find this document lacking in at least these areas:

  • Precise information on video chipsets for the different models
  • Information on XFree86 and the Cirrus Logic chipsets (does it work?)
  • Precise information on the sound hardware and its configuration
  • Information on the use of docking stations

Olivetti Echos P75 (Model 860c)

Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Drivers

Small notebook with touchpad (which was quite new technology in mid-90s), color LCD, sound card and Pentium processor. It has 8MB of RAM on board, RAM can be expanded by SIMM modules.
Not much is known about this notebook, but I found it has some legacy technologies, such as RTC battery soldered to mainboard (WILL LEAK!) or sound card in external module (in 1995 most notebooks had sound chip soldered in mainboard) and some new things in this class, e.g. bay for replaceable drives.

This computer has one problem, described in some web sites: Many units today suffer the 'white screen' problem. some users think that it's a oscillator-related problem, I think it's connected to corrupted settings flash memory. This memory corrupts frequently and information about screen contrast, brightness and source selection is lost, making white screen (increasing contrast manually resets it to very dark, then brighter) and may even hang system at boot (BIOS can't read what's connected to display part).

Year of unit1995
Year of introduction1994?
TypeLaptop, PC
CPUIntel Pentium, 75MHz
RAM8MB onboard +16MB SIMM
Floppy Disk1x 3.5' 1.44MB in a bay.
Hard DiskOriginally 1.2GB
Other media[with expansion bay]
Graphics and display:DSTN Color LCD 640x480x16bit

Card: Chips 65545

Sound:PC Speaker,

ESS ES1688 sound card

Keyboard and pointing device:Small PC keyboard without numeric part


OS: Windows 95/98

Power supply:

1 - Ground
2 - +12-19V DC, 2,5A

I/O: - Serial port
- Parallel port
- VGA out
- Sound I/O
- Drive expansion bay
- Dock connector
- PS/2 connector
Possible upgrades: Memory (2 SIMMs), CPU (Socket 5).
Additional peripherals: none

Echos P75 has quite modern BIOS with Setup, but BIOS support battery (2,4V rechargeable) must be removed and substituted with something else or it'll leak and damage mainboard.

Unfortunately I can't say more about this computer because I don't have HDD cable for it. It needs 1:1 cable with male-female connectors. Male goes to mainboard, female to hard disk.

Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver

Olivetti Sound Cards & Media Devices Driver

To disassemble:
0. Remove battery, hard disk, floppy/CD.
1. Open notebook, pull out two plastic tabs on the top of keyboard.
2. Open keyboard towards you, carefully pull keyboard's ribbon cable from connector. After removing screw remove shielding/heatsink.
3. Remove sound card from mainboard by removing two nuts from Mic/speaker connectors, then remove the card out the mainboard. You may leave it floating on cables.

Now you can replace CPU (in Socket 5) but if you put something more than Pentium 133MHz it'll overheat. After you changed CPU remember to change DIP switches which can be found under sound card (CPU freq = Bus freq * multiplier):

Switch 1Switch 2Bus freq [MHz]Switch 3Switch 4Multiplier

In some cases BIOS may display all settings >=100MHz as 'Pentium 100MHz', but speed will be as set by switches.

4. Now we have to remove a whole top part - Remove one screw, in bottom-left of keyboard hole, now flip the computer and remove all bottom screws (4 or 5?). Carefully unlatch and separate top part from bottom, disconnect touchpad cable from mainboard.
5. Now you can take bottom part, remove RTC battery and replace it with something better. You have some space near PCMCIA slot, so you can solder diode and go with wires near expansion bay connector to the back of PCMCIA slot where you can put another battery, original is 2.4V.

Reassembly: Remember not to shut sound card between top and bottom part. Remember about touchpad connector, keyboard connector, shield/heatsink, it's really needed.