[Nottingham] Acer Aspire One A150 'blog'

David Aldred david at familyaldred.org.uk
Tue Jan 13 17:33:26 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 13 Jan 2009, Martin wrote:
> First impressions were:
> I did the usual check that the battery was locked in place and plugged
> in the mains adapter and switched the mains power on to start charging.
> The red AC power battery charge light lit up. I then switched on the
> netbook itself whilst still charging.
> It booted up into a setup sequence where you select/set what language,
> password, and the time & date.
> The password must be alphanumeric only! The error message for anything
> else entered is unhelpful. I guess the password is for root or the local
> user but I've not needed to use it so far. There's no indication what
> the password is for.

I think the restriction on alphanumeric is lifted once all the updates have 
run.   Worth checking at that stage....

The Acer Linpus has a broken security system; the user called 'user' has the 
password, but also has full sudo powers without a password.   This can be 
fixed, but not just by changing the sudoers file, as some services are 
started after the desktop loads by the non-root user scripts!

You're planning to switch to Mandriva anyway, so it's probably not worth the 
hassle of making the changes. 

> Repowered later as a check before taking it back and... It took a long
> time to boot up, and with much disk activity, but the Linpus screen
> eventually appeared.
> So it DOES work after all.

There is an issue which some people have found with the One locking up, but 
not usually quite like this.   The BIOS appears to be at fault in some cases; 
a BIOS flash cures them!

> The default is for an American keyboard (misplaced @, # & ~ for
> example), easily reselected in the settings. 

That's only the default on the US models, of which the ZG5 is one. 

> The screen and keyboard are very good. The sound is crap through the
> integral speakers but adequate to be useful, but not for HiFi music.
> Headphones are required for that. The wireless simply works but it can
> get hung for an overly long time on a failed connection attempt.

You'll find that some wireless issues are resolved with the updates. 

> There are three power schemes for "High Performance", "Balanced", and
> "Power Saver" but nowhere to select which is actually used. It seems to
> be always set to "Balanced".

Upgrade kpowersaved!

> The Live Update was very very slow (about two hours to update). So slow
> that I had to keep prodding a shift key to avoid the netbook timing out
> into standby. Is the Linpus update server overloaded?

Was this today?

Acer put out new patches on Tuesdays; I haven't checked yet whether there's 
one out today.   If there is, every Aspire One user gets a little 'update me' 
icon - and the majority click it.   I wait until Thursday at least!

Check this too: http://macles.blogspot.com/2009/01/live-update-problems.html

> The 'keep it simple' looks good but it is a little too simple for my
> taste. 


> Also, feedback is lacking. If an operation isn't instantaneous, I 
> like to see what is happening and see how far along for progress. Also,
> where do you get any indication of network activity?...
Not on Linpus.  Some other distros have the wifi LED flashing in line with 
activity.   You could install a network monitor....

> The extra SDHC card slot is a very nice touch...

On the SDD models, sloting an SDHC card into the left-hand slot makes it add 
the storage to your /home, which is quite neat.   It would be neater if it 
was absolutely seamless (one or two applications don't like it), but for most 
purposes it's fine. 

David Aldred

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