"Save me, oh God, from people who have no sense of humor."
— Ludlow Porch

Acer Aspire 1420P Running Linux

Like those of you who are hitting this post, I received an Acer Aspire 1420P at the 2009 PDC in Los Angeles, California. I have searched and have not found any other posts about the Acer Aspire 1420P so I assume that the lappy wasn't ever released outside of the 2009 PDC in LA.

Suffice it to say, the Acer 1420P was a seriously nice touchscreen lappy/tablet with a; "meh" microsoft operating system running on a crappy touchy version of Win 7.

In fact I gave this lappy to my daughter as a 2009 Christmas present. She used it for a year, then handed it back to me when I gave her a 15" Macbook Pro for the next Christmas.

It sat in my (crappy computer) pile for a while until I recently realized that it is in fact quite a capable computer. This is the log of my trying different flavors of Linux on this laptop. My goal is to have a lappy/tab computer that I can hold while watching TV / drinking coffee / smoking barbecue / welding art / well, doing whatever I want.

I am particular to Suse linux, but will try Ubuntu first. The biggest hurdle will be enabling the touchscreen on the machine. I suspect that Ubuntu will fail... then I will try Suse, which I also expect will fail. I will let you all know what is the best Linux OS for the Acer Aspire 1420P. Bear with me.

Update Oct 10, 2012: 

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS by creating a live-disk flash drive using the Windows version of LinuxLive USB Creator. I installed the Ubuntu iso onto the flash drive and booted up to the installer with no problems. The installation went very smoothly and I was running Ubuntu Linux in under an hour. After the installation, the touchscreen worked fine. I was impressed. Then, I noticed that there were some problems with Firefox (I could only use as a search engine) and other niggling issues that were preventing me from having joy. Then I ran the updater and noticed that there was an upgrade available for the version of Ubuntu I had just downloaded. >:(

After running the upgrade, all of the problems disappeared, except the touchscreen no longer worked. I played with it for about an hour, trying to find a solution, but didn't have any luck. I was impressed that ALL of the hardware on the machine was supported out of the box, except for the touchscreen. Bluetooth worked, Wifi worked, all of the alternate functions of the 'F' keys worked! It was pretty cool. 

Next... Suse

Update Oct 10,2012... Later

Ok, Suse was a bust. I couldn't find an easy way to create a flash drive installer for Suse. All of the instructions I found were to burn the iso to a disk and boot to the live disk in order to create the USB flash drive. Um... Hello... I need a USB flash drive in order to boot Suse!

So I chose Kubuntu as my second install. I used the same tools to create the Kubuntu flash drive that I had used to create the Ubuntu flash drive. After running the install on the Aspire 1420P, everything looks great. The touchscreen works fine as does all of the built in hardware. I am running the updates now and hope they don't break the little bocks. 

After the update, the touchscreen still works, but upon closer examination, the taps by your finger and the stylus, seem to be something other than normal clicks. they are also not exactly right-clicks. For instance, tapping on the "K" menu icon shows a little window that says,

"Kickoff Application Launcher.
Favori tes, applications,
computer places,recently
used items and desktop

Not exactly useful. Using the mouse, I can't reproduce the same results, so I expect that the touchscreen is doing something completely different. 

Update Oct 11, 2014: 

Yesterday I installed Fedora 20 on it while watching television. The Fedora 20 flash drive instructions were great. In fact I did it on my 27" iMac. I have never had so much luck with Linux live flash drive creation before. Especially not on a Mac. Good job Fedora.

The installation was a breeze. I still haven't gotten the touch screen working, but the laptop works great under Fedora. After two years, I am looking forward to actually getting the touchscreen to work.