My frenzied acquisition of technology continues apace. I’d been dithering around trying to choose the best sub laptop for months – there was nothing that had everything. I wanted it to weigh as little as possible, be as small as possible, have a 10″ screen, long battery life, good keyboard, web cam and mic, integrated connectivity including 3G, big processor, don’t mind about storage but want plenty of USB slots and a storage card slot with SD compatibility. I eventually chose the Acer Aspire One. Matt bought it for me and when it arrived from Amazon he gave me it – I’m writing from it right now.
There’s a more in-depth review on Trusted Reviews.
Mine’s pearl-coloured (£10 off the price) and cost c. £200.
I decided a new computer was going to be a turning point – I would do the decent thing and move to linux (which is why I thought 512Mb would be OK, and it seems to be). The AA1’s a dinky little bit of kit and the hardware is really pleasant to use. But getting to grips with the software has been all-consuming so far. I seem to have a better awareness of what is possible with linux than my technical acumen would indicate, so I tend to arrive at How-To type pages which perfectly fit the bill of what I want to do, but miss out crucial information – like this one. (I’m certainly not complaining – these people aren’t providing services, they’re blogs and I’m grateful). The AA1’s user community is smaller than the Asus Eee’s.
Ever since acquiring the thing I’ve been blundering around in the terminal (command line) interface following instructions found on the Web. This is not the best way to learn but what the hey.
So far I’ve installed Firefox, enabled a kind of start-button thing on right click (but not yet sorted out a desktop), got myself onto our wireless network at work, set up dual monitor (but not managed to fix it so I can have different resolutions on each nor move out of clone mode), installed Skype (left off to keep prices down), sorted out all my add-ons in Firefox and made some small theme adjustments. Haven’t managed to install software which plays AVIs, or install GIMP properly (but I have half an inkling about how to). I think the best thing I’ve done was find out about and enable circular scrolling which actually works as expected. I think I can sort out the fan-speed which might be nice – currently sounds like a fly in a jar.
Setting up these things requires using the terminal. Web browsing, blogging, multimedia-viewing, creating standard documents are all absolutely perfect, easy, intuitive and straightforward, though.
I can see that doing anything more sophisticated in linux as a novice could be pretty consuming. I inch along. Macles* and Acer Guy in combination with their commenters has been helpful. Time will limit what I can do so it’s going to be slow going. But despite my early apprehension it’s proving to be quite satisfying in an in-at-the-deep-end kind of way. Having said that, I can’t tell you what I’ve learnt. Problem solving and simple replication is what I’m doing right now.
Update: Thanks to Macles* and his/her commenters (they flag problems and carry out troubleshooting), I’ve just installed VLC media player and can now see the AVI format that my Samsung NV6 camera records. Fabulous.