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usb cardreader on thinkpad 600E

I've just put a new sid install on an old thinkpad 600E. The kernel it has
loaded is 2.6.15-1-486.  A couple of oddities, in addition to the usual
non-functioning sound:

1.  I cannot mount an SD cardreader on the USB.  If I use the irqpoll
kernel option, the USB is mountable, but all sorts of other things are
broken -- sometimes irrecoverably (one time I had an infinite loop of
'cdrom ... appears confused...' messages, another time 'eth0 interupt...'
messages, in any case the only way to recover was to remove the battery
and unplug from the power adapter).  The usb is recognised and sdb1 is
mountable if the devise is plugged in at bootup, but not otherwise.

2.  The ctl-alt-F2 etc access to consoles is inactive when xorg is running.

Anyone recognise these problems?



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