Compal manufactures notebooks for others that sells them under their own brand. In America ChemUSA sells them under the brand Chembook and in Scandinavien you can buy them as a Znote from Zepto etc. A Compal CL 56 is thus sold as Chembook 2056 and Znote 4200.
I've got one under the last brand, and I've installed Gentoo linux with succes in most regards. The chip for Ethernet is Realtek's 8139 so that's well supported, while the wlan is Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 which is a lot more of trouble. After the two first days in Gentoo where I still hadn't got any sign form the LED indicator for wlan, I installed WinXP. At first there was still no activity, but then I installed Easy Buttons! I'm still investigating it, because I since then have got indication from the moment the notebook is turned on at some times and sometimes not.
Then there's the ATI radeon 9700. I'm using Xorg's xserver and 2d works fine here, but 3d gives about 1 fps in practice. I don't know if it's just because I'm using Xorg and not XFree86 that I can't get 3d acceleration to work, or it's just the Mobility Radeon 9700 that isn't supported by ATI's drives yet. It seems to me like it's the latter, but I'm also investigating on that one.
The touchpad from Synaptics works, but the scroll functionallity and click on pad that you can get from the driver in Windows, is not something I've figured if is possible on a Linux based system.
Sound works but with only one stream at a time (at least with ALSA), USB and FireWire modules loads fine, haven't look into the onboard modem or tv-out capabilities.
I'm quite happy with its performance in Gentoo so far, and I believe I'll get more of the hardware working in a short time.