Sony Vaio related gnome components

Hi gnomers!

I have a couple of questions that are all related to laptop
functionality more specifically to a Sony Vaio FZ 240 e/b. Gnome has
lots of useful features and/or components which are working very well
with my laptop and some others are working not so well. Normally I
don't use gnome at all, only the sawfish window manager, but since
gnome does a couple of things well I would like to take those

1. This vaio model has volume control buttons on the keyboard and when
they are pressed a nice window appears with visual feed back to the
user displaying a volume scale and the current value. The buttons
actually work I can use them to set the volume level. Which gnome
component is responsible for these? These are 2 issues, one is the
fact that the buttons work and the second is the visual feedback.

2. The gnome menu has menu items for hibernation and sleep. What do
these menu items actually invoke?

3. Gnome has power management features, there are menu items for
setting what should happen when the power is low. Apparently there is
the option for shutting down the machine securely if the power is
critically low but this doesn't work. The machine keeps being turned
on until the battery is totally flat at which point it switches off.
Again, which gnome component is responsible for making this work? And
what code gets really executed?

4. Screen brightness. There is a gnome applet as well as some menu
items for controlling the screen brightness. This also doesn't work.
The applet, for example, ideally should have access to the brightness
but through what means? In other words in an ideal situation when this
feature worked, what is the mechanism through which the screen
brightness is set?

So what I would like to know for each of these components if it was
easy to use them without running gnome. This is actually what I like
in gnome, I don't have to run the whole thing usually, only the parts
which I find useful.


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