This post has produced some interesting responses!
I dont claim to understand exactly what your problem is, but if you have a laptop with APM power management, there are a few things you could try. For example, towards the end of a standard VL installation, you are asked if you would like to enter extra boot parameters. One such optional boot parameter is "noacpi". This step will place appropriate appends in etc/lilo.conf. If that option has already passed, you can also manually edit (append) lilo.conf to enable the power management of your choice.
Actually, I have used the noacpi boot parameter. It is the only way to keep acpi from loading. However, I do not gain the full use of APM by doing that. What I do get is a message during boot up that states "setting up AMP OK".
However when I check to see if APM is properly setup I get a message back "no apm support in kernel".
Additionally, the BIOS settings continue to be ignored. So no loss and no gain by doing that in this case.
I had a Thinkpad P1, years ago, with only the trackpoint thingy. I found that once you get the hang of it, you simply can't stand going back to a touchpad... Roll Eyes If this is your case, and the laptop is out of warranty, I would google for instructions on opening it up, then just cut the wires to the touchpad... Wink
EDIT: In fact, that would be a nice excuse for a thorough internal cleaning job... Grin
Thanks Joe! I think I will use your suggestion. Kill that touchpad and clean up. As much as I use this old box it will probably benefit greatly from the cleaning. I am with you on the trackpoint. I started using trackpoint on old IBM laptops years ago and got used to it. There is no other built in pointing device comparable as far as I am concerned.
I would prefer to avoid downgrading the kernel just because VL 5.8 Standard works quite well on this box and I like the software available for use with this OS. The only issue other than the subject of this post is XFCE4 which runs surprisingly well on this old laptop. The problem is that XFWM4 cannot properly render Windows and Window frames for certain applications. Among these apps are anything run in WINE. Certain games like anagramarama and frozen bubble also suffer from this issue. XFWM4 renders Windows and frames that are badly distorted when running these apps so I have had to fall back on other window managers. Otherwise I would just run XFCE4! VL 5.8 is a beautifully crafted OS and a great pleasure to use.
Only the old IBM and an Asus P3 500 have been really strong and durable, all the rest (Toshes and HPs) have barely made it to the full 2 years.
I will be happy if this old HP lasts two more years! It was built in 1998. I got it used with the original install cd, manuals, external drives and Win98 book with certificate of authenticity still in the original shrink wrap. It looks like this laptop was issued to a corporate employee that had no use for it. A card identifying the employee by name, number, location, etc was still in a sleeve glued to the bottom of the laptop. The laptop itself bore no sign of wear on case or keyboard and the display is flawless. So maybe I have some time before this thing gives up the ghost. I am with Headacher though, I like the old IBM laptops.