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posted Jul 19, 2010, 7:36 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Sep 30, 2010, 12:45 PM ]
On the recent trip to California, we brought total of 3 laptops with us, and two things I've learned: the airplane's tray was not designed for a laptop and none of our laptop batteries can last the whole trip of 5hrs. My laptop is only 15.6" screen size, and definitely not the biggest one out there, but still the drop down tray on the airplane is just too small for it, drinks and foods should be on the other tray, if it's available. Very fortunate that Hương had booked the ticket early enough & arranged the seats together so that we can negotiate the sharing. When we stopped in Chicago, we all scrambled to find an outlet to charge up, preparing for the up coming long stretch of flight. I quick realize that we should have a netbook instead, and that's the true mobility computing power!

We have been monitoring the Craig's List for a netbook for Thuỵ, since he can use one to type up school papers for couple hours a week, and perhaps play games for the rest of the time. A netbook is a smaller version of the laptop, everything is smaller: keyboard, screen, storage space; however that also allows the netbook to stay unplugged longer. On Saturday morning, we bought an Acer Aspire One AO-A110L netbook from a seller on local Craig's List for $125 (Thuỵ helped with $25). It runs Ubuntu Remix 10.4, and the screen is pretty sharp. We tried with Skype video and the Atom processor keeps up with the video flawlessly. The only flaw of this used netbook is that it does not have the wifi chip. Whether something wrong with the chip, or it was not there, I did not want to open it up, so we're using the USB wifi dongle for the network connection. That solution is not that bad. I tried it with the online Monopoly, and won several times!

Then on Sunday, when we browsed the Target Ads, we notice that it was selling the Acer netbook for only $199! It's a newer version, bigger storage space (160GB vs. 8GB), and only $75 more. We jumped at the opportunity, bought that one for Thuỵ and will try to sell the used one. I now take possession of the used netbook, and enjoy it every minute, until we able to sell it, but I doubt it; for I've enjoyed it too much.

Netbook Information


Model: 532h
OS: Windows 7 Starter

Drivers Upgrade:


Model: A110
OS: Ubuntu Remix 10.4

Drivers & BIOS Download

Steps to re-flash the BIOS
  1. Prepare USB drive:
    Change the file name from 3310.fd to zg5ia32.fd. Copy zg5ia32.fd and Flashit.exe to USB flash drive. Put the BIOS boot files on FAT format USB drive.
  2. Ensure that the AC adapter is plugged in.
    Insert the USB flash drive into a USB port.
    Press and Hold down the Fn and the Esc keys together and press the power button. 
  3. When the unit's power light comes on wait a few seconds and release the Fn and Esc keys.
    After the keys have been released the power light will start to blink.
    During the BIOS update process the display will be blank.
  4. Let the unit run and after approximately 1 to 7 minutes, the unit should reboot and the BIOS will be updated.
My wish list to upgrade this netbook


Quoc-Anh Vuong,
Sep 30, 2010, 2:07 PM
Quoc-Anh Vuong,
Sep 30, 2010, 10:37 AM