Ubuntu Netbook Remix on Lenovo s10e

I recently won a Lenovo s10e IdeaPad netbook at a technology showcase in town (thanks again Voda!) but wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.  The model I won was basically a no feature model (80gb drive, no extra ram, no bluetooth) with Windows XP Home, but I promptly through in an extra 1GB stick we had lying around and turned it on.  I immediately noticed the "Lenovo QuickStart" splashtop screen, nice, and then identified XP and started playing.  Five minutes later I was searching for netbook friendly distros.  Actually, my list was netbook friendly distros that had documented XBMC installs (Ubuntu, OpenSuse, RedHat/Fedora).  You may have guessed I use OpenSUSE quite a bit for my job but what many don't know is that I also run Ubuntu and FreeBSD at home.  Since the offerings for an opensuse/fedora netbook distro or remix didn't seem to exist at this point in time I check out the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR).

I must say, I am very impressed.  I have also really appreciated the Ubuntu rollout.  I still prefer opensuse on my work machines but for entertainment/browsing/family machines Ubuntu has always been the pick in our house (edubuntu on kids laptop, ubuntu 8.04 on my media pc).  Ok, enough about that - let's talk about UNR.

I grabbed the usb livecd image (why don't more distros offer these - openSUSE I am talking to you!), plugged it in, turned on the s10e and voila - it worked.  The only complaints that I have, currently, about the s10e is that:

  1. The SD card sticks out the side.  Not cool, so not cool!
  2. You can not boot from the SD card.  Seriously Lenovo - WTF!
  3. My fingers go for the right shift key and always hit the up arrow.  Not a whole lot of fun while in the terminal.  But that is probably just me needing to get used to a smaller keyboard.
  4. The mic doesn't work out of the box and requires some modification (see below).  Also, the mic really isn't very good.  It picks up a lot of background noise and until you play around with the mic and mic boost volume you have to scream into the mic for it to pick anything up at all.
  5. VNC server always crashes.  I haven't figured it out yet but whenever I try to vnc into the s10e session crashes or corrupts.  It really is a pain not having vnc capabilities
  6. Suspend has weird behaviour.  Depending on various combination of using ac power/battery power and suspending or resuming I have had many weird issues like the screen coming back black (need to increase backlight), taking forever to start, or not coming back at all.

FYI: The fix for the mic is modifying the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base(.conf) to include:

options snd-hda-intel model=basic

See https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/344627/comments/8

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