Helpful tip to new Linux Acer Aspire One owners:

Before you even open the box, be sure to buy a 2Gb USB stick to use for system recovery. Follow the instructions in the recovery DVD manual to create a recovery image on it. Take it with you wherever you take the Acer.

My Linpus-based Acer Aspire One worked well for about three days, until I allowed Live Update to update the system. After the update, the Network Manager disappeared, along with all wireless AND wired networking capabilities and the ability to recognize USB drives.

The recovery DVD instructions explain that if you don’t have a USB DVD drive, you can create a recovery drive from a USB memory stick. However it has to have a usable capacity of 1GB or greater. My only USB stick is just 1GB which I of course tried, but found that the end result was not bootable. Although it was late Sunday night, I found a 2GB drive at the local Walgreens for $19.00, which helped immensely with the feelings of frustration.

The recovery CD booted up just fine on an Intel iMac (insert the DVD, restart the iMac, and hold down the “C” key until the DVD boots), and it recognized the USB memory stick. It takes about 6 or 7 minutes to create the recovery image, but it booted up perfectly and restored the Linpus system without any problems. My networking is back, and I’m going to be very careful about allowing updates from now on. And, I’ll keep the USB stick handy, just in case.