Did I mention before that the package selection tool (originally from Fedora) that comes with the Aspire One sucks big time? Yesterday, I came across zebra barcode reader I could use this together with the built in camera to keep track of the books I lend to various people. Zebra was of course not packaged and compiling it required C++ bindings for ImageMagick. Those I could not install due to dependency problems. I spent more or less the whole day installing this/compiling that/upgrading the other. In the end, I had zebra running (only to learn that ordinary bar codes are either too small to be resolved by the web cam or bringing them closer to the cam is too close for the camera to focus. Bummer. But enlarging the barcode on the copier made the computer recognize it but somehow defeats the purpose) but left the Aspire One in a state unable to boot.
Luckily, it only did not boot into X but I could still get a prompt and mount an external disk and backup my home dir. And now I install Ubuntu to it. I will continuously update this post as I keep going.
Step one was to get the installation disk onto a bootable USB stick. UNetbootin is a wonderful tool for this it only took me some time to find it. In the first go I ended up with a "Missing operating system" error when trying to boot from it. Fortunately, Bug #277903 in usb-creator (Ubuntu): “Missing Operating System [message at boot]” has the solution: Remove the partition using fdisk(!!!) and create new one using gparted. That worked. Now I install from that stick.
Stay with me and keep fingers crossed!
Update: I had expected to have to wait for long times fighting with various bits and pieces and having time to blog the solutions as I found them. But there were no solutions to find. Everything I tried so far just worked. Without any hassle. So nothing to say except I should have switched to Ubuntu already much earlier. OK, two things do not work so far: The mic (for skype for example) and the bluetooth USB stick. But I have not really tried.