ubuntu-ing out

In yet another uber-geektastic feat of nerdgirlism I have purchased an Acer Aspire One.  If you aren’t familiar with the precise model of what I am referring to let me help fill you in…

The Acer Aspire One is a “netbook” which is a catch marketing phrase for a sub-compact notebook which is another fancy marketing phrase for a really tiny, cheap laptop.

Yes.  Another laptop, although you would have to be a really small person if this thing fit in your lap.

Anyhoo.  I got this as a little project to help polish up my Linux skills which have become a bit foggy between all this time spent on Vista and OSX.  Plus, let’s be honest, I can’t see a gadget and not be able to play with it.

Straight out of the box the Acer is super cute.  I was a bit miffed when I realised that I could have ordered it in an obnoxious pink.  It also comes in black, blue and the white that I got.  I ordered the spec with 120GB and 1GB of RAM, but it can also be ordered with an 8GB solid state drive.  I opted for the larger storage capacity in the end.

The default operating system is Linpus linux which is branded Acer.  It basically is like Fisher Price for operating systems.  The boot time is super smoking fast, but since I am a geek it drove me crazy in about 2.4 seconds flat.  


Which then led me to Ubuntu.

For those non-geeks out there, Ubuntu is another flavour of the Linux operating system.  I guess that is all you need to know because otherwise you might fall asleep and wonder what the F I am on about.  Anyways, it’s free and open source and probably the most non-geeky version of the most geeky operating system out there.  In other words, don’t try this at home unless you are familiar with what I am talking about in the first place.

Spent less than an hour to install Ubuntu after making a USB fob bootable and downloading the 700 MB file and with a few tweeks of my terminal window the drivers were installed and seem to be working fine.  That was by far the easiest Linux install ever, but nothing for the fainthearted or non-geek crowd by any means.

Now the little netbook is up and running with Ubuntu and Canonical’s Netbook Remix which is optimised for netbooks (der, hence the name).  Also installed Skype, Dropbox and attempted Adobe Air (which doesn’t want to execute).  Thusfar the little guy is just chugging along.  Very very cute and very lightweight.

The verdict?

I am pretty impressed with this netbook and very impressed with Ubuntu.  Linux installs have always put me off because I have never been able to get drivers to work properly, but so far I haven’t had this issue with Ubuntu.  I wouldn’t replace my regular computer for this one just yet, but it is a very very cool totally geeky gadget for my collection and I would be happy to take it on a holiday where nothing work related had to happen.

Thumbs up Acer and Ubuntu.

Cost of the Acer: £250 (http://www.expansys.com/p.aspx?i=170108&partner=froogle)

Cost of Ubuntu: £0!  We love free!