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Ten tweaks for a new Acer Aspire One

Take charge of Linpus

Reducing security risks from open source software

7. Install VLC

The AA1 comes with a video player app, but it's not the best. VLC is far superior but not available through Package Manager. Linux software archives are called 'repositories', and VLC is missing from the ones pre-programmed by Acer.

Installing with Yum

Installing with Yum: here we're installing the Nano text editor but VLC's install looks much the same

The VLC website will tell you to use the Livna repository, details of which are included in a .rpm file you can download and install. Once you have, open the terminal as above and type sudo yum install vlc. You'll be asked some questions along the way, but eventually you'll have VLC installed and ready to play a wider range of video formats than the AA1's Media Master app can.

VLC can be run from the Advanced Menu, or you can add it to the desktop, as above. If you choose the latter, you'll find VLC's .desktop file is down as livna-vlc.desktop. You can change this to vlc.desktop using the command line. Type cd /usr/share/applications then sudo mv livna-vlc.desktop vlc.desktop to change the file's name.

8. Mount your NAS box

The AA1's Thunar file manager is fine, but it can't access folders on your network. To do so, you need a little command-line trickery. First, click on the My Files icon in the Files section of the desktop then create a new folder called, for instance, NetFolder.

Right-click on the empty space next to the new folder and select 'Open Terminal here' - this is another way of accessing the command line. Type sudo mount -t cifs //[fileshare IP address]/[fileshare name] NetFolder, filling in the IP address and name with the those of your server or shared folder, minus the square brackets. Hit Enter, and the AA1 may ask you for a username and/or password - these are the magic words that apply to the shared folder not to the AA1.

Thunar File Manager with SMB fileshare

The Thunar File Manager with an SMB fileshare

Assuming there are no errors - check your network connection and your command-line typing if there are - going back to the File Manager and opening the NetFolder folder will reveal the server's contents. Run VLC, select Open File, navigate to NetFolder and select a video to play over the WLAN.

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