NetBook News and Updates

Asus 1000H / 1000HE Eee PC Bios Recovery guide

The Asus Eee PC 1000H was one of the most popular netbooks. Mine has been working fine until yesterday when it did not boot. I freaked out a little. A quick search online revealed that its BIOS was corrupted. I have made an Asus 1000H Eee PC Bios Recovery guide where I have explained how to flash and do the recovery of Bios.

1000h bios recovery

1. Go to Asus support site and search for 1000h in the product box.
2. Download the BIOS for Asus 1000H. You will get a zip file. Download it and unzip it.
3. You will find a ROM file. Rename it to 1000H.ROM or 1000HE.ROM if you are using that netbook.
4. Get a USB drive or an SD card with 1GB or less storage. If you are going to use an SD card, get a card reader.  
5. Format it with FAT file system. FAT32 or NTFS would not work.
6. Put the file into the root folder. Do not put it into any folder.
7. Take battery out and plug in the USB / SD card with card reader. Press the Alt + F2 key repeatedly and press power button. 
8. The system will beep once to tell you that it can found the BIOS. Follow the instructions on the screen.
9. It takes around 3-4 minutes for the flash to complete. 
10. Here is a video that shows the entire process.

Acer Aspire D250 BIOS Recovery, recover it from brick

Something went wrong with your Aspire D250 BIOS? Download the latest BIOS from support.acer.com and follow these instructions to recover Acer Aspire D250 from brick state.

1. First format an USB stick with FAT, if this option is not available use a smaller USB stick (eg 1Gig)

2. Download the latest BIOS, and put both FLASHIT.EXE and the BIOS file in the root directory of the stick. Do NOT rename the BIOS file, it should be KAV60.fd

3. Now connect the USB stick to the AA1. Turn the AA1 off, DISCONNECT the battery but leaving the AC adapter connected. Press Fn+Esc, keep it pressed and press the power button to turn the AA1 on.

4. Release Fn+Esc after a few seconds. Press power button if it begins to blink, otherwise do nothing. The AA1 will now initiate the BIOS flash, do not interrupt it under any circumstances. The AA1 will reboot shortly after. Wait patiently.

Acer Aspire D250 BIOS

The BIOS has been flashed and all settings reset to default.

Lenovo S20 30 Specifications, touchscreen netbook with 11.6 inch display

Lenovo has launched a couple of cheap netbooks today. After launching the 10 inch E10-30 sometime back the company has launched IdeaPad S20-30 which sports a bigger 11.6 inch display.

It is a windows computer that runs on either Intel Celeron or Pentium Bay Trail SoC. Prices start at 270 euros for the base model. Today we have all of its specifications.

Lenovo S20-30 specifications

11.6 inch touch screen display
Resolution of 1366 × 768 pixels
Intel "Bay Trail"-based SoCs – choice of Celeron N2830, N2930 (4x 1.83GHz, Turbo up to 2.16 GHz) and Pentium N3530 (4x 2.16 GHz, Turbo up to 2.58 GHz)
8 gigabytes of RAM
320 or 500 hard disk drive and an optional SSD with 32GB capacity
Two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port
802.11n Wi-Fi and Ethernet
Bluetooth 4.0 and a SD card reader
24 watt hours

Lenovo S20 30

The S20-30 comes pre installed with Windows 8.1 64 bit operating system. It is being sold for 269 euros in Europe.

Sony Vaio P and Windows 8.1 Drivers, Performance

My Sony Vaio P is aging and I do not use it much. Today, I installed a new life into it by installing Windows 8.1. I downloaded the 32 bit version of Windows 8.1 and installed it using USB pen drive. Installation took around 45 minutes as Vaio P is a slow dog, thanks to its ultra slow Intel Atom Z520 processor (I’ve the base first generation model).

Sony Vaio P and Windows 8.1 Drivers, Performance

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Acer Japan Trots Out Aspire V5-132P-F14D

Acer Japan has released Aspire V5-132P-F14D / S, an 11.6 inch laptop. Priced at 55,000 Yen ($ 542), this laptop features Intel Celeron 1019Y 1GHz processor (2MB cache), touchscreen panel, 4GB RAM (up to 6GB RAM possible), 500GB HDD, USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, SD card slot, and 3 cell battery.

acer Aspire V5-132P-F14D

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Foma powered Eee PC 1003HAG launching soon in Japan

Asus will start selling from 16th May, a new Eee PC, the 1003HAG, in Japan. The model features:

  • a 3G WAN Module to be used with NTT DoCoMo Data network
  • 160 GB HDD
  • 1GB RAM
  • Intel Atom N280 processor
  • Wifi
  • Webcam, and other usual Eee PC features

However it comes with a price tag of 550€, which is quite expensive price for a netbook.

[ASUS]

Global netbook shipments to reach 50 million units in 2010

Global notebook shipments will reach approximately 200 million in 2010. According to Acer chairman, JT Wang, nebtooks will account for 25% or 50 million of total netbook sales.

As the netbooks get more powerful everyday, more and more people are buying netbooks as they are much more mobile than carrying a back-breaking notebook.

[via digitimes]

Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix REVIEW – Mixed Impressions

I’ve always been a huge fan of Ubuntu due to their ease of use and virus-free environment. When we came to know that the Canonical has unveiled a special netbook edition specially tailored for the netbooks, I could not stop myself installing the it on my EEE.

Installation

The installation was pretty much seamless.

  • First download the image file from the ubuntu’s servers
  • Download Disk Imager from here
  • Use the Disk Imager to ‘write’ the image file to your flash drive (should be atleast 1GB)

One much required improvement over the previous installations was the fact that the dialog boxes and windows were fully visible. You no longer have to do the ‘ctrl+f7’ key combo to move the windows around just to click on ‘Proceed’.

One thing to note is that although Ubuntu suggests that you install netbook edition on an Atom processor, but the installation also worked fine on an EEE 701 running Celeron processor.

Boot Time

Since the video speaks (and show) more than pictures and words, here is the video of EEE 1000HE booting the Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix. It takes just 24 seconds to fully boot up. Earlier versionns like Ubuntu 8.10 used to take nearly 1 minute to fully boot up.


Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Edition booting on an EEE 1000HE from Taran DS on Vimeo.

Web Experience

Since it is called netbook edition, it should provide great web experience to the user, right? Ubuntu 9.04 comes with the excellent Firefox browser. The browsing speeds have improved by miles when compared to previous versions.

But, flash player has not been included! What were the folks at ubuntu thinking? Flash is widely used everywhere on web. You will see ‘install missing plugins’ bar on the top of the webpage, which uses flash anywhere in the website. Clicking that bar will display the list of  plugins required to play flash. I tried all of them and firefox was unable to install any of them. This called for manual installation, something which would be little difficult for the normal user.

How can it say "installed" when it was not able to find the plugin?

How can it say "installed" when it was not able to find the plugin?

Anyway, these are the steps to install flash player:

  • Go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
  • Save it to Desktop
  • Click on the ‘deb’ file to start the installation
  • Restart the browser and the flash should now work fine

For Instant Messaging, it comes with rock solid application called Pidgin, which supports a wide variety of IM services.

Applications

The Ubuntu 9.04 Nebtook Remix comes with an array of applications. Here is the screenshot of the netbook remix launcher.

It also comes with Openoffice suit and I did notice that it opened more quickly than the previous versions, which is nice to hear.

So, how much space does it takes?

It takes nearly 2GB. It should easily fit in an EEE 701 and you will still have ~1.8GB space for applications.

What was annoying?

Other than the lack of flash support, there were few other annoying problems too. The speaker volume was set half way. I spent nearly an hour figuring out what could be the reason about such low sound volume. Later on, I saw that you must click on small speaker icon and then adjust the volume from there. See the following screenshot:

After that, I wanted to try out its multimedia capabilities. The movie player application started and alerted me that there are no MP3 codecs. How could folks at ubuntu forget to bundle the MP3 codec? Anyway, the problem was quickly resolved as it itself prompted me to download the codecs.

Pros:

  • It is FREE
  • FREE support
  • Boots faster
  • Apps launch faster
  • Basic apps like web browser, email-client and office suit already bundled
  • Easily download hundreds of apps via package manager

Cons:

  • No codecs in movie player to play even basic stuff like MP3

[Download Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix]

update from folks at Ubuntu:

We cannot ship codecs as they cost money. You can but them in the Canonical store. We cannot ship Flash as it is not open source software. You can choose to install it from the repos or go to Adobe. We did not overlook these items.