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Author Topic: Netbook Help  (Read 918 times)

Nightcrawler

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Netbook Help
« on: December 19, 2012, 11:06:49 PM »
Okay, I received an Acer Aspire One netbook.  I got it used with the intent of giving to the family.  Intended use is email, internet, facebook, YouTube, and the occasional text document.  Nothing fancy.

The only problem is, the guy I got it from installed a demo version of Windows 8 on it.  It doesn't have the horses to run it, and as near as I can tell Windows 8 is a terribly cumbersome interface designed to work on a touch-screen cell phone. 

I don't have a copy of Windows anything else laying around right now.

According to the internet, I should be able to hold down Alt + F10 during boot and this will bring up a hidden partition in the hard drive that will allow me to return it to factory original settings.  Likely as a process of the previous owner removing XP and installing Windows 8, this function no longer works.  It just beeps at me like a key is stuck down. 

I can't format the hard drive from inside Windows, either.  Nor, for that matter, can I find the old MS DOS command prompt so I can just type in FORMAT C: (I don't know if that even works.)

So what do I do with this machine?  I'm thinking of installing a free Linux-based OS on it just so I can run it.  I actually have a copy of Ubuntu on an SD card, but can't seem to get the machine to boot from the SD card instead of the hard drive to run it.  Would a Linux-based OS serve this purpose?  As long as I have a functioning operating system, Firefox, and Open Office it should function fine.  (I don't know about installing printer drivers, though, as it doesn't have a CD drive.)

Help me out here.  What do I do with this machine to get it running?  The end users are even less computer-savvy than I am, so nothing that's going to require writing PERL please.
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Evil Jim

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 11:24:59 PM »
Chromium?


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Nightcrawler

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 11:30:19 PM »
Chromium?

Huh?  The metal?  :scrutiny

Oh.  It's an OS.  Huh.  I'll check it out.

EDIT: Checked out.  Anything involving building and working with source code is above my level here.  I need something I can click "install" on and then it will work.  It then has to be easy enough that casual users familiar with Windows XP and 7 can run it.
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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 12:04:34 AM »
Ubuntu has a version for netbooks that runs great.  I've put it on 3 of them, and so as friends... Solid and does just what you want it to do.

You can install it from a Bootable USB Thumbdrive that is easy to make.  Install only takes minutes.
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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 07:44:40 AM »
I'll vouch for the system. George talked me into trying it a while ago. I have not abandoned Win7 for it, but I have my netbook set up for dual boot. It is dead nuts simple to use.

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booksmart

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Netbook Help
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 07:50:21 AM »
You might have to enable "boot from USB/removable device" in the BIOS.

I'll third the recommendation for Ubuntu - it also has decent games for the kids (should there be any). I'll also recommend Mint, another Debian based distro.

Nightcrawler

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 11:13:42 AM »
I'm going to get a thumb drive and try to install Ubuntu from it.  It has a feature on the installer where it'll automatically cause the machine to boot from the removable media (because for all of my dickering with the BIOS I couldn't get it to do so), but the program crashed.  Might not work with an SD card.  Will try a USB stick and see what happens.

Windows 8 seems like it was designed for a cell phone.  I suppose if you're one of the four guys out there with a Surface it's great, but for anyone with an actual keyboard and mouse it's just awkward.
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booksmart

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 02:25:09 PM »
Windows 8 seems like it was designed for a cell phone.  I suppose if you're one of the four guys out there with a Surface it's great, but for anyone with an actual keyboard and mouse it's just awkward.

You have no idea... but check my Win 8 thread for hints and allegations...

Nightcrawler

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Netbook Help
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 01:12:40 PM »
Ok. I got Ubuntu installed from a thumb drive. How do I get Windows 8 off of it?
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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 05:04:35 PM »
I wish I was there to do it for you.
The USB stick can be loaded using the BiOS by making the USB stick the first boot drive.
Then follow the instruction to wipe the HDD and load Ubuntu.




Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

booksmart

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Netbook Help
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 07:37:04 PM »
Yeah, there should be an item on the desktop once you've booted into it labelled "install Ubuntu"...

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 09:51:26 PM »
Yeah, there should be an item on the desktop once you've booted into it labelled "install Ubuntu"...
He wants to wipe the puter and install straight Ubuntu.
Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

booksmart

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Netbook Help
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 11:20:52 PM »
Yup. After the install process starts, it should ask how much of the hard drive you want use. In NC's case, "all of it".

Nightcrawler

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 11:36:39 PM »
I think I have it.  We'll see how it turns out.
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Nightcrawler

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 11:52:06 PM »
I got Ubuntu up and running.

I hate it.

I can't even get the goddamn thing to install a flash player so kiddo can watch YouTube videos, which is 50% of what she does on the computer (the other 50% is Facebook). 

This thing's interface is clunky as hell.  I've only been using computers since MS-DOS 6.0, you'd think I could figure it out.   :facepalm
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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2012, 01:02:54 AM »
Go to the software center and find the video drivers for the netbook you are using. Load them up.
Then find the "Adobe" Flashplayer for your Ubuntu/Linux Version.
It should load it automatically.
If it doesn't you have to load it on manually.
Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2012, 11:39:41 AM »
I don't use Ubuntu but doesn't it have repositories just like Redhat/CentOS/Fedora?  IIRC there is a Software Center program where you can type in "flashplugin" and it will find the installer.
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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2012, 10:48:41 PM »
Puppy Linux and it's up and running.  I just wish there was a way to put the link for Firefox on the desktop.
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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2012, 12:19:42 AM »
Cool Beaners!
 :thumbup1
Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2012, 11:18:48 AM »
You can put a shortcut to Firefox in the Launcher. Is that what you mean?

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Re: Netbook Help
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2012, 05:07:45 PM »
I want to put a Firefox icon on the desktop.  I can't figure out how to do it in Puppy Linux.

Also, I somehow created two separate desktops and don't know how to get rid of one of them. 

EDIT: Figured out the desktop icons.  Can't figure out the second desktop thing, but it may not matter.  I think this will be good enough for the kiddo to do her internets on.
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