Ubuntu on the Aspire One

Hello all,

after a short break from posting, Messagedfromtheouthouse is now back in action. Work unfortunately was a bit overwhelming over the last two weeks, but after a nice and quiet weekend filled with lounging on sofa and bed and some serious Indian cooking I am appropriately refreshed to get back to the important business of blogging. Anyway, I am sure you all remember that I recently bought an Aspire One, Acer’s answer to the EEEpc, the lovely little white laptop that is giving so much joy to the best girlfriend ever (and millions of happy clients all over the world). Faced with a serious shortage of EEE’s in my vicinity, I went for the Aspire One with it’s chunky 120MB HD and more generous sized keyboard. Fitted with ‘Linpus Lite’, I was moderately happy with the machine, though it’s ancient software suite and garish desktop design annoyed me slightly.That and it’s annoying fan, but that’s a different story.

This weekend I finally had the chance to change the operating system, and after much soul searching I went for Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix (NMR). And boy, the change is immense.

But first things first: the current NMR is based on Ubuntu’s Hardy Heron with some kernel tweaks for Intel’s weird little Atom processor and some proprietary drivers for the built in wifi. The installation is straightforward: download the image, transfer it unto a USB key, boot the AspireOne from the USB key and Robert is your mother’s brother. After the first boot all you have to do is add some personal details and everything just works. Firefox 3, Evolution, Open Office 2.4, all wrapped up in a very tasteful GUI, devoid of the terrible vomit green and orange colours that Linpus Lite was offering.

Battery management seems improved, wifi works, audio works (and somehow sounds not as flat. Maybe due to a different Alsa version?), webcam works, and now I have access to Ubuntu’s massive repositories and I don’t have to dabble with Fedora’s weird package management system anymore. A win-win situation.

Suddenly working with the AspireOne seems to be much more fun.