After struggling with getting X running fine on my Best Apache I finally stumbled over a small Linux distribution who had all the latest...Crux! Extremly nice dist I'll say, simple, fast and clean! Give it a try!
Before, I only got X running with the framebuffer server. But now days, I run it with full acceleration in XOrg 6.7.0. No problems at all!
So, to spare you the pain, I started writing this document to help you get Linux up and running on your Laptop. After all, running Linux on your laptop is the only logical choice, right? Who want's to run Windoze for about 40 minutes when you can run Linux and play around in couple of hours... Ok, maybe a bit exadurated, but it is a fact. Things run smoother and faster and yes, longer (when you're on batteries) with Linux. I don't have any numbers to support my outburst, but I'm happy anyway.
However, I don't concider myself a Linux Guru, so the stuff below may seem lika rubbish or simply don't work. If that's the case, let me know, or don't. It's up to you.
Another thing about the modem, it uses the same port as the network. That is the RJ45 on the backside. Pretty lame solution, because then you can't use the modem at the same time as you use the NIC. But, it shouldn't be a problem to make a special cable that makes it possible. I've thought of this, but haven't actually tried it. It is possible, that I know, since the network cable only uses 2 of the 4 cable pairs. And the modem only need 1 pair.
If it's healthy to run modemtraffic along with network traffic in the same cable I don't know, but hey, It's worth testing!
As for the soundcard I don't know of a way to get the SPDIF to work. I don't think it's possible with todays kerneldriver. But, if you use OSS you should be able to get it to work. I haven't tried it myself, but according to their homepage they have support for the SIS 7018 chipset. Note: if you are going to use OSS and use my kernel configuration, disable all soundoption and enable support for loadable modules.
make dep clean bzImage (only make if you run 2.6.X)
... and then copy arch/i386/boot/bzImage somewhere and configure lilo. Don't forget to execute lilo after you've made changes in /etc/lilo.conf.
This is of course if you use lilo, if you use another bootmanager, then you probably know how to do this.
A note on my configuration. Since I use Crux, I use devfs. You might want to disable this if you don't use Crux or another dist that uses devfs.
As you can se I have it configured for two mices. The internal and an USB mouse. I've set it up so that both work at the same time. Then you can insert remove the USB thing and don't have to wory about nothing else but restarting X to get it working.
Another note on the mouse. I hade some problems getting my multiple mouse config to work with gpm. It simply wouldn't work if you had gpm loaded before you started X. To fix this I simply shutdown gpm from my startx-script file and then started it after X shuts down. Just put /etc/rc.d/gpm stop first in the file and /etc/rc.d/gpm start at the bottom. This way, gpm stops before X starts and restars as X shuts down.
I really recommend you to use the drivers found here if you plan to use X. All you need to know is that the Best Apache C has the SIS630S (the 300 series) chipset.