LinuxNiche

The ramblings of a Linux geek

Feb 23, 2009 - 4 minute read - Comments - Linux

Adventures of an Acer Aspire One

Just some more rambling.

So, after making my last post on my new Acer Aspire One I went to bed :).

Then this morning I started really testing this thing out.  I did realize that at the “Step By Step” tutorial that I linked in my previous post they recommended an Intrepid Backports driver for the wireless card.  This did appear to work too.. but when trying to copy over a ton of data from one of the home machines to this tablet it kept dying on me.

But not only would the tablets wireless die.. my router would puke all over itself and every machine in the house would disconnect.  Was really odd and frustrating.  Then I saw in the Ubuntu Wiki that this behavior was seen before with those drivers, and the latest Madwifi drivers worked better.. and I can attest – they sure do.

So I loaded the Madwifi drivers instructed at the Wiki everything was peachy.. even had the new Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface running.. which isn’t actually that bad at all.  I’m not a fan of the “bubbley” cute look but UNR isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  It was about this point I realized I hadn’t actually done a full upgrade of the system since the install (whoops).. so of corse I tried that; and this is where stuff went funky.

About half-way through my updates my Netbook decided to just lock up on me.  Power off and back on brought me into the new kernel; where I proceded to allow apt to finish it’s configuring; completely oblivious to the fact that my wireless was dead again.  When I noticed that and immediately realized it’s because I was in a new kernel, I also realized I had deleted the madwifi files AND the Ethernet card wasn’t being auto detected in this new kernel (no idea why?).

So long story short.. after fighting through getting apt to reconfigure the half-installed packages, and the Ubuntu Netbook launcher crashing constantly on me, I rebooted into the old kernel and still had problems with the wifi (?).  Not sure how I ended up totally screwed there.. but at least the eth0 was back.. which I traced back to being the “r8169” module, so I added that to the end of /etc/modules.  Anyway, got online, re-downloaded the madwifi tarfile and stored that away into a “wireless” directory for the next kernel upgrade.

Oh, I should note after the upgrade I also had to disable the factory Atheros drivers that ubuntu wants to use, again.  (It’s outlined in the steps). So.. Let me be another lesson to everyone again: Make sure your crap is UPGRADED COMPLETELY before installing a bunch of crap from new repo’s *bangs head on wall*.

Anyway, after the reboot – my eth0 was back and once I configured the madwifi, again, it also worked beautifully.  Been on it most the day installing various software and am even currently ripping a DVD I own to an AVI file to watch on here; while copying about a dozen avi’s from another machine – and a 800MB tar file from yet another machine.. all to this little netbook; and it’s STILL usable.

Little sluggish, sure, but usable.  I must say.. for a 1.8ghz ATOM with 1GB Memory.. I’m impressed.  It does of course take 1:40 hours to rip a movie, but hey – we have to cut it slack somewheres.

So far I’ve had one complaint – The sound is too quiet for me.  Even cranked all the way up, it’s difficult to hear if there is background noise.  Also – I see a lot of people complain about the fans on the Acer.. I didn’t notice them until I listened for them and sure enough – they were always on.  They are quiet enough to just blend into the background and unless you’re hypersensitive or in a silent sound-proof room I don’t imagine them being a huge issue.. they are high pitched though.

And in any case.. the acerfand process in the Step by Step guide worked as advertised and shuts them off if you’re REALLY that annoyed by them.

The new trackpad layout is still annoying.. I find I don’t use the left click button hardly at all.. a quick double click and hold emulates holding the mouse button, and then just tapping the pad once emulates a click.. so most everything you need short of a right click is done right on the pad.  When doing it that way you don’t even notice the buttons have been moved.

Well, to close up I suppose I’ll shoot you some screenshots:

netbook

synaptic

acidrip

Tags: aspire

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