Expanding on recent posts  , today I inspected the underside and found three easily accessible compartments:
- Hard drive
I have no inclination to chance the HDD unless SSD becomes rediculously cheap. This has a 5400 RPM drive in it which trades performance for energy savings. Given what I plan to be doing with it, a 5400 RPM drive is just fine.
The memory is 1GB. Again, that is just fine for what I plan to be doing, but if I ever have $30 burning a hole in my pocket, I can take this to 2GB. Given that I run Linux on this, that is more attractive than if I ran Windows because Linux seems to do phenomenaly better at using memory to load the core parts. … I feel like I am talking myself into this upgrade. I know that sounds a little crazy to say because more memory with Windows is always better; but I always feel like I am feeding a bad plan when I concede to Windows’ need for memory. Windows needs it, Linux uses it.
The Mini-PCI port is the most interesting piece. There is so much I could do with this: broadband (I think…), SSD, Wireless-N, toothpick storage… the possibilities are endless! Or not. But it is expandable. That is very nice. The thought of having an SSD primary drive with a HDD as my data location has a certain appeal. Though, this would not be any kind of near-term upgrade.
As an amendment to this post, I did find one technical issue. Amusingly wireless networking worked immediately, but wired did not. It is almost always the other way around for me. However, there is a really great amount of documentation that exists for this: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1206649. I am going to repeat the pertinent parts here:
tar -xvzf AR81Family-linux-v188.8.131.52.tar.gz
sudo make install
sudo modprobe atl1e
I received an error from the tar command, but I kept going and that worked exactly perfectly for me. In fact, my wired network registered as connected immediately after running the last command.
Not only did I contribute a bug report, but got the joy of updating the Hardware wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport/Machines/Netbooks#Acer%20Aspire%20One.
In newegg’s infamous delivery speed, I received my AOD250 today. My first impressions are quite good.
- solid seating of power plug
- tolerable keyboard –touchtyping is relatively easy (I just typed a few pages in a story I am working on, and my typing suffered very little)
- nice display
- Kubuntu 9.04 installed beautifully with no more hitches than normal — better than my old HP laptop
- touchpad buttons are not as hard to press as some reviews claimed — but I like the resistance
- wireless networking worked instantly (under Kubuntu, that is)
- bluetooth is toggled by a hardware button … very nice (and KDE 4.3 nicely picks up on that and displays the BT system tray icon when BT is enabled)
- Comes with1GB of RAM — and I’m not sure why people are instantly upgrading to 2GB as this works nicely for me. However, it is only $30 …
I have a few instant nits though:
- “End” is Fn+PgDn, “Home” is Fn+PgUp — I use these two keys a lot; these two things are becoming the top annoyance (but not enough to say not to buy one of these)
- USB ports don’t seem to hold things squarely, but I seldom use them
- hardware switch to shutoff touchpad would be nice — Fn+F7 toggles the touchpad; not as convenient as a hardware switch, but tolerably serves the purpose (updated 2009-09-06)
- wired networking isn’t working right now (see this post)
- the glossy screen is tolerable, but I can imagine it being intolerable if I were backlit or sitting outdoors (hmm…)
- the touchpad can be a little fussy about the “touch click” — but it appears to err on the side of less sensitivity; I would prefer it erring in that direction
Overall, the install of Kubuntu was easy, and this is working exactly as I expected. In my first few hours of owning it, I liked it! As if it isn’t already apparent, I plan to keep updating this post. I will ultimately post a review on Newegg.