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33% (1)
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67% (2)
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Acer eMachines 250

Introduction

Acer eMacnines 250 is a small and cheap (230€, incl tax) netbook manufactured in 2009.

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Specifications

NameAcer eMachines 250
ProcessorIntel Atom N270
Screen10.1 “ 1024×600 LCD-LED
RAM1GB
HDD160GB
Optical DriveNone
GraphicsIntel 945GME
NetworkEthernet: Atheros AR8132, WLAN: Broadcom BCM 4312 802.11b/g

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical Drivenone
GraphicsYesexternal monitor not tested
SoundYes
EthernetYesJust plug in and go!
WirelessYesRequires restricted drivers
Bluetoothnone
56K Modemnone
USBYes
Firewirenone
Card ReaderYesAt least SD works
ExpressCard SlotNot Tested
CameraYes

Notes

Installing Linux on this device was tricky. It has no optical drive, so installation must be done using USB stick. (There is a ethernet bootup possibility, but this I could not test). Unfortunately, both networking interfaces require closed-source and rather restricted drivers. None of Debian Lenny, Squeeze nor Slackware 13 installers could enable eth0 nor wlan0 (status in March 2010).

The wlan chip is rather straight-forward to get into use, but requires internet access. For some (to me) incomprehensible reason, Broadcom does not allow distribution of their windows driver. Luckily at least in Ubuntu, there is a packet called b43-fwcutter, that downloads the driver from somewhere and cuts it up into Linux-usable parts. (Many thanks to the fellows who have taken the effort to do this!). But the catch is, you need to have access to an other machine to get the driver! Se instructions from kernel.org.

This is how I got it to work:
1) get Debian's USB install image and netboot images.
2) install the netbook image as instructed
3) when the installer warns about not being able to contact apt-repos just ignore and install the base system
4) on the other machine, install b43-fwcutter package, and allow it do fetch the driver.
5) copy files lp0bsinitvals15.fw, lp0initvals15.fw and ucode15.fw from /lib/firmware/b43 to a USB stick. Also download wireless-tools Debian packet to the USB
6) Install with dpkg -i the wireless-tools on the eMachine, and copy the three *.fw files into /lib/firmware/b43
7) run “ifconfig wlan0 up && dhclient && apt-get vim xorg fvwm” (or what ever your fancy is)
8) enjoy

I will never ever buy a laptop with Broadcom chips in it again.

Now that Debian is fully installed, the eMachine does feel quite nice. What especially surprised me positively, is that many quick buttons (Fn+F?) seem to work “out of the box”. E.g. Fn+F7 toggles the touchpad on and off - works! Fn+F4 suspends the laptop - works! (and the device actually wakes up too ;) Screen brighness adjustment - works.

The notebook does feel quite warm at the bottom, but the fan speed control works. Most of the time the fan is really quiet, albeit it is still on all the time.

Summary

This laptop is only for the l33t. Newbies to Linux or those seeking a easy to install laptop, get some other model!


Discussion

sdf, 2014/12/20 03:51

Whilst web based, you'll get a powerful admittance to the plastic bags announced as a result of Chanel as a result designed for on the Chanel Plastic bags Catalogue.
http://chanel1112.tumblr.com/

http://www.roughbeasts.com/wp-blog.php

http://www.milesie.co.uk/asp/buttonf.htm

William, 2014/12/16 12:47

Getting this to work was tricky.Your guide helped me a lot.
http://mental-maths-trick.blogspot.com/2014/12/i-need-math-tutor-for-my-daughtersonhow.html

Adam, 2010/10/04 09:01

I have the em250 running Ubuntu 10.04, other than the microphone not working everything is perfect.

Tamás, 2010/08/16 10:20

Cool, one of my friends is getting this netbook (actually a bit better version: with upgradeable RAM and 1.3 MPixels

Michal, 2010/07/14 08:20

I've got this laptop also.
Use ubuntu 10.04 and everything will work.

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acer_emachines_250.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/11 14:01 (external edit)
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