Acer Aspire OneI've had my Acer Aspire One for about a month now, and I'm perfectly happy with it. It is possible to do hardware modifications to add things like extra ram or hard disk space, or configure a touchscreen. I haven't quite gotten there yet, but here are some cool things you can do to your Netbook to increase functionality, without actually doing any hardware modifications.


Turn it Sideways


This is very useful for reading things like webpages and e-books, you can rotate the screen so that the display is longer instead of wider. To do it, on an Acer Aspire One, simply hold CTRL+ALT and hit any one of the arrow keys. For an added bonus, you can install the application EEERotate to make your touchpad rotate in sync with your screen.

Give Linux a Shot

Did your Netbook come preinstalled with Windows XP or Vista (ick)? Ever wondered what all the fuss about Linux is? Well why don't you try it out for yourself and see if . In this article, I describe how to run Linux on a USB Pen Drive without having to install it on your hard drive.

Output to TV


No one wants to huddle around your tiny 8.9 inch screen when you have a perfectly good Home Theater TV. If you have a newer TV, then chances are it has a VGA-in that you can connect directly to your netbook to do things on the bigscreen. Check out this guide for easily connecting your netbook to your television.

Go Solar


Reduce your carbon footprint, and save moola on your electrical bill by getting a solar panel charger for your netbook. Though the technology is still fairly young, you can get a solar notebook charger that also acts as a bag for your netbook.

Watch DVDs

No DVD Drive? No worries, if you install VLC Media player on your netbook you can copy the contents of the DVD to a Pen Drive and play them in VLC by going File > Open Folder. Couldn't be simpler.

Watch HD movies

Think your Intel Atom based netbook isn't powerful enough to watch 720p MKV files? Think again. The CoreAVC website says that it is the World's Fastest H.264 Software Video Decoder, and I believe it. Before I installed CoreAVC, 720p mkv files were playing at about 1/4 the speed. After I installed it and configured media player classic to use it, all my 720p mkv files played just fine. You can download the 14 day trial CoreAVC codec here to test it out. After your 14 day trial, you'll need to purchase it in order to continue using it.

You need to configure your media player to use the CoreAVC codec. In media player classic for example, Right click on the main window > Options > External Filters, and click add. Add "CoreAVC", then click the Prefer button. Click OK.

Play games with a Wiimote

The netbooks are all about space saving. That's why I think the Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote) is the perfect companion to the netbook gamer, it's tiny, and completely wireless. Configuring it is a snap; all you'll need is a bluetooth dongle (you can pick one up for dirt cheap on ebay), 2 pieces of software, blue soleil and glovepie, and a script to configure your wiimote for your game(s). For full instructions, check out this article:

http://www.wiili.org/index.php/HowTo:BlueSoleil
http://www.wiili.org/index.php/Glovepie
http://www.wiili.org/index.php/Category:Scripts

What are you doing with your netbook?