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SubjectRe: PROBLEM: conflict between apm and system clock on Inspiron 8100
Hi Stephen,

I have timed the "cat /proc/apm" to take at least
36ms on my inspiron 8100 using an external clock. I
shut down my ntp daemon so the clock is free running.
I then did "ntpdate -q clock". With no calls to apm
the number returned is rather stable over a few
minuites with multiple ntpdate calls. I then execute
10 times "cat /proc/apm" and do "ntpdate -q clock"
again. I take the difference and divide by 10. That
gives me an average of about 36ms, or 3 to 4
interrupts missed for each call.
Last night I also ran though all of Dell's BIOSs. I
installed each of the 8 or so of them on there web
site. A few of them broke apm, but none fixed this
problem. If we are sure the BIOS is the problem, I
will continue to pester Dell. So just to verify, you
are *not* disabling interrupts in the kernel for an
apm call? I am still trying to understand the code.
I have also tried kernel 2.4.2-2. I don't remember
this problem with an earlier installation I had on
this laptop. It turns out it is still a problem with
that kernel version. I am currently using 2.4.18-10.

Thanks,
Mike

--- Stephen Rothwell <sfr@canb.auug.org.au> wrote:
> Hi Frank,
> On Wed, 28 Aug 2002 17:04:33 +0200
> Frank.Otto@tc.pci.uni-heidelberg.de wrote:
> >
> > Alan Cox wrote:
> > > On Mon, 2002-08-26 at 18:00, mike heffner wrote:
> > > > Well, isn't that a nice feature. Is there a
> > > > workaround for this hardware?
> > >
> > > A thinkpad ;)
> >
> > Unfortunately, that's not true -- I just got an
> IBM Thinkpad R32
> > which exhibits the same behaviour as Mike's Dell
> Inspiron 8100,
> > it's only a tad worse. When I have the
> battstat_applet running (which
> > checks the battery every second), kernel time runs
> about 3% slow
> > compared to the RTC (which seems to be half-way
> accurate on my machine).
>
> Don't do that then. Why would you need to check the
> battery status
> every second? Check every 30 seconds. Does your
> battery even update its
> status more often than that?
>
> > The cause seems to be definitely APM. If I shut
> off battstat_applet
> > and apmd, kernel time and RTC are in sync. With
> only apmd, I lose about
> > 15 seconds per hour. With battstat_applet, I lose
> 2 minutes per hour.
> > With
> > while true; do cat /proc/apm >/dev/null; done
> > the system runs at about 1/4 of the right speed.
> Using a kernel with ACPI
> > eliminates the problem (of course, you lose almost
> all power management
> > functionality too).
>
> Interesting ... Howlong does "cat /proc/apm" take?
> On my Thinkpad T22 I get:
>
> # time cat /proc/apm
> 1.16 1.2 0x03 0x01 0x00 0x01 99% -1 ?
>
> real 0m0.009s
> user 0m0.000s
> sys 0m0.010s
>
> while ...
>
> # time ./tppow
> Battery 0 present power units mW[h] design capacity
> 38880 last full charge capacity 29260
> status 0x0 rate 0 cap 29172 voltage 12485
>
> real 0m0.311s
> user 0m0.100s
> sys 0m0.000s
>
> tppow is a C implementation of the disassembled APCI
> method for reading the
> battery status. It does not disable interrupts but
> does talk to the
> embedded controller in the Thinkpad.
>
> > BTW, I have set CONFIG_APM_ALLOW_INT, and on
> startup the kernel even says
> > "IBM machine detected. Enabling interrupts during
> APM calls." Doesn't
> > seem to help, though.
>
> This just means that we enter the BIOS with
> interrupts enabled, it doesn't
> stop the BIOS from disabling interrupts ...
>
> --
> Cheers,
> Stephen Rothwell
> sfr@canb.auug.org.au
> http://www.canb.auug.org.au/~sfr/


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