First taste of Ubuntu on Aspire One

biting my fingers... but it all went very smoothly.

biting my fingers... but it all went very smoothly.

UNR stands for Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Yup! I got the latest version installed on my little Acer Aspire One. And this is my first blog post with it. 🙂

Aspire one has two SD card slot on both sides. Why two? Beats me… but originally the one on the left is meant to expand the storage space of the rather small 8GB SSD bulit into the machine. The original Linpus OS actually detects the “expansion” card on the left and combine it with the 8GB SSD and make it looks and feels like a HDD with larger capacity. I plugged another 8GB SD card there. So previously, the machine used to tell me I have a 16GB HDD instead of 2 8GB storage devices. But this does not happens with UNR, I see the SSD and the expansion SD as two separate devices now. Not a big deal.

The big deal is, there is another SD slot on the right. Originally, it is meant for SDs of digital cameras. Previously, I used the slot on the right side for downloading pics or vids off my digicam. But things have to change now. As I was warned by the Unbutu site before, telling me that the SD card reader is not hotpluggable. I did want to prove that… and the Ubuntu gang is right. The built-in SD card reader on the right hand side is NOT hotpluggable!!! I have start the machine with the SD card inserted. BUT! The built-in SD card slot on the left hand side IS hotpluggable! So I guess not I have to swap the position of the “expansion” SD to the right so it can be a permanent fixture and use the left side SD slot for my digi cam SD. Sounds confusing? It is actually not that complicated. 🙂 Luckily, all my USB devices, which includes my USB card reader, are hotpluggable on this machine. I was so worried that I have restart the machine every time I want to view pictures off my CF cards and external hard drive. I guess I can wipe the sweat off my forehead now. 🙂

Compared to the old Linpus, the UNR user interface is much sleeker. And updates and software support are way much better. I updated the H.264 codec for the video player with a click of the mouse. I also install a bunch of other software with no hassle. Just like the desktop counterpart, I looked through the app list and pick what I wanted to install and walla! Previously, I got to hack the stupid Linpus OS to see the app list and most of the time the OS forbidden me to install the apps I wanted. The Evolution email client that comes with Ubuntu obviously works more efficiently that the proprietary Aspire Mail that really sucks. You can’t tell the difference at the beginning until you hit the 1000-email mark in your email library. Aspire Mail takes forever to load when you hit the 2000-email benchmark.

Another warning from Ubuntu is the sound recording is not good. It’s true, there’s some “sparkling” interference (like burning dry wood, feels like really old vinyl recording 🙂 ) in the audio recorded through the built-in mic. Well, the mic is not good to begin with and digital noise is not that serious. Anyway, the major contributor of the background noise is actually the stupid cooling fan. Ya! The cooling fas is actually pretty annoying and energy draining if the machine is running on battery. It starts spinning the moment I switch on the netbook. This is a known mystery on the Ubuntu forum and people said Aspire One does not have a smart built-in fan control to begin with. So I am still seeking solution for this issue.

One last thing, the Firefox on UNR renders web pages better than the previous one. Generally, I am pretty happy with the new OS on this little machines. I guess the freedom and ease to increase the functionality of the machine is good enough to trade off the minor hardware hiccups (the non-hotpluggable SD slot on the right and the forever spinning cooling fan).

  1. this post needs more photos kawan

  • shag: your kawan seldom write such long string of text.

  • Free Gadget Says:

    Nice blog adding this to my twitter now

  • bruce Says:

    Hi, any advice on reading a CF card (Canon camera photos)into a Linpus AA1? I bought a little USB universal card reader but with everything assembled the CF card doesn’t appear in File Manager. thanks.

  • Tuna Says:

    Bruce, i haven’t try reading CF with it. Let me try and see. But I replaced the Linpus with Ubuntu NBR already with my AA1.

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