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  1. #1
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    Toshiba AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2

    Toshiba AC100 netbook

    Greetings!

    This thread is for all that pertains to the Toshiba AC100 netbook, which comes with Android 2.1, and has a much cleaner Toshiba supported upgrade to 2.2

    It is one of those flawed jewels that niggle me - my inner engineer wants to fix the niggles so that the true beauty of a neat solution can be uncovered. The hardware is top class, and the updated software (whilst not ideal) performs pretty well. Take a look inside here. That motherboard is teensy! So it is cheap to make, oh yes.

    Why it's great:

    It's light, thin, well made, fast to respond and runs for hours and hours in normal use. Oh, and it's hackable.

    Nvidia Tegra 2 platform - this is one of the new generation ultra-low-power 2-core ARM9-based Systems-On-a-Chip (SOC) with nVidia graphics that has a power/performance ratio which should worry Intel. More info here and here

    The benefit of Tegra 2 is that despite a 2-core CPU and proper nVidia graphics Toshiba can claim 6~10 hours of battery life; so I was seriously shocked when the (fully-charged overnight) battery was still showing a green bar after 12 hours. Never turned it off, honest! It eventually quit after 13 hours and 50 minutes of use. Amazing.
    OK, I was not running a Battery Benchmark, or playing video continuously. Mostly loading, testing, and unloading software from the Tosh app store. No, the Google store is not enabled by default. Working on that.
    My point is that in typical use it runs an hour longer than my Acer Aspire One with its humungous 9-cell battery, and therefore weighs a ton less. It also performs most tasks faster than the Atom, and has not clogged up despite a mere 512M of RAM.

    There are hints as to why it works so well here - I'm not that surprised, ARM design clean CPUs and have been doing it for years.

    Why have Tosh withdrawn it?

    Android 2.1 was an unfinished installation job when they first shipped - it really would not stay in standby, there was no Flash, and so on. Froyo 2.2 fixes all this, just upgrade it via the Toshiba updates. It Just Worked.

    To be fair, 2.2 is a lot better, but not yet perfect. One needs to play to its strengths, use the dedicated navigation keys more, and mouse around a bit less. The on-screen buttons are often positioned to cause maximum annoyance to mouse/touchpad users because one is forever skittering from one corner of the screen to another. Not a problem with a touch screen 4" across, it's tap, tap tap with the fingers, and done. Chivvying the cursor across a screen with a slow-ish touchpad is less fun. So I use the dedicated keys.

    The update to Froyo only arrived recently,. By then it was too late for the many disgruntled retailers.

    So... what is it good for?

    Hacky heaven, I hope!

    At under 200 (ymmv) it is now seriously affordable.
    I'd really like to try Android 3 on it, and would cheerfully give a light GNU/Linux distro a go - maybe Lubuntu?
    There's already been work done here

  2. #2
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    Device(s)
    Toshiba AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2

    Original Poster
    Right - I managed to bork the Toshiba Market somehow, and have performed the painless wipe and reboot from the settings menu. Still not found a Shell Terminal App that suits, and not managed to access the Android Market or gain Root, yet. <sigh>

    Successes include finding some games for the family that suit us - Andoku 2 and 250 Solitaires work well.

    Without a touchscreen the interface is still a bit weird, but learning the keyboard shortcuts is making a big difference. Android is a really capable platform, I'm just not used to it yet - although a GNU/Linux installation is on the menu I'd prefer it to be dual boot.

    It's a learning curve!



  3. #3
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    Device(s)
    Toshiba AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2

    Original Poster
    Toshiba Market Place borked itself again, in a new and interesting mode. <sigh>

    A full recovery did not restore function, but I have contacted Toshiba support by 'phone, and found intelligent and helpful people there who (whilst admittedly not that familiar with Android) went away and found answers/suggestions for me.

    OK, another full factory recovery did no better than the first, in fact I seem to have lost some YouTube app functionality and my Flash is now out of date on many sites. Guess I must have updated that at some point, now it's no longer on the system. But I do have backups!

    Toshiba were of the opinion that they had a server problem in the Toshiba Market Place cloud, and said they were working on it. Most impressed to find the Toshiba Places site posting a 'back soon' place holder an hour later. Clearly some action was taking place. I hope.
    But... TMP still not working this morning. Have also discovered that the Android Web browser and Opera browser will now no longer access the Toshiba Places site at all. Think this is part of our problem.

    Wish me luck! Ben



  4. #4
    Hey!

    So pleased I found this forum! I've also been having problems logging into toshiba 'places' as it is now called rather than toshiba market place. It did an automatic update to it the other day. Did a full factory reset and logged into toshiba places via my PC to change my password but the android app on my ac100 will not let me progress any further?

    I am, like you, a proud owner of this smartbook that now seems quite rare! I am still willing to give this little wonder the benefit of the doubt however as I much prefer it to these tablet forms everywhere! I may phone toshiba soon though if I cannot access 'places' through android. Wish you luck Ben in contacting them, and excellent review of the device too!

    Regards, Robin

    PS: this review may interest you, though it's in russian, the lady reviewing gives a good rundown and is also pretty fit lol!!! http://turbogaga.ru/?p=761



  5. #5
    Hi Flymo...
    I bought an AC100 from Ebay today and have set the upgrade running.... It is incredibly slow..... At this rate it will take several hours.... Is this normal? I run Linux Ubuntu on my desktop and have always found it to be pretty rapid.... My name is Mo, by the way



  6. #6
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    Device(s)
    Toshiba AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2

    Original Poster
    Hello Mo,
    Sorry for delay, been away for a bit....

    No, it did not take several hours - but it was a significant portion of an hour, iirc.

    The Toshiba server side seems to be a bit, ummm... intermittent? Very nice people on the help line, and they have indeed fixed Toshiba Market Place so that it works again. But it's one of those things that would not have been broken (never mind broken for days) if there had been anyone awake inside Toshiba.

    I have a second AC 100 that I plan to upgrade from 2.1 to 2.2 in a week or so (away again for a while) so will be able to take a look at how it is working and report back.

    Ubuntu has already been hacked onto these machines - to prove a principle, but it worked, just. I'm trying to get the tools together to emulate this and/or go for Android 3.x - hence the second machine.

    How have you been getting on recently? Ben



  7. #7
    Hi Ben and thank you for replying.....

    I managed to get the update loaded in the wee small hours of the morning.... One of the problems, apart from the naff server, was that the kiddies were on holiday here and we are at the very end of a Broadband Exchange range..... I also had to rest to factory several times as it got half way through before giving up the ghost.

    Once it was installed I loaded all of the new goodies and it seems to all run very nicely.... Although it is not always intuitive and seems to assume that I know what it wants me to do when I don't.... Guess I'm just spoilt by the user-friendliness of Ubuntu.

    The only problem that I really have is the Touch Pad which seems to be incredibly sensitive.... I've played around with the speed but find that it either ignores my finger completely or goes off somewhere I didn't tell it to! I'm not used to touch pads so that is probably my fault for not really understanding how they function.

    I've ordered a Kensington wireless mouse which should make life more precise... Wouldn't dare do Internet Banking at the moment for fear of accidentally sending someone thousands of pounds that I don't have! Have also ordered an anti-glare screen protector as I find this can be a bit of a nuisance when the light is on.

    I'm interested in the Ubuntu work you've been doing.... Have been following progress on that... Good luck.

    I found that Opera Mobile "froze" a couple of times when I tried using it so have mainly used the installed Browser and haven't used E-mail etc yet for the same reason I've not done the banking!

    Oh... And I can't for the life of me figure out how the "Reload Page" works.... There is not function key of indicator as far as I can see.... Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Mo



  8. #8
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    Device(s)
    Toshiba AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2

    Original Poster
    Hi Mo,
    Well done for getting it upgraded!
    Yes, I too find Android very different to use, but learning the short-cut keys has helped considerably. After a couple of weeks it felt much more natural, but even 2.2 is a bit clunky vs. a full-featured desktop. Only reasonable, really, Android was originally targeted at 'phones.
    Yes, the touchpad is too 'fast' in my view. Do not love them, but have been using them for ages. You may find a trackball is most consistent, once you get used to one. The asymmetric, corded Logitech one is our favourite, but they do want money for it!
    Hope the wireless mouse gives satisfaction - the wireless ones have been a bit iffy in our experience - meese, joysticks, whatever. Granted, that was a long time ago.
    The 'Reload' thing in Opera.....
    *Think* that the menu key (bottom row, between the '\' key and the Right CTRL key) should toggle a menu bar at the bottom of the Opera screen which has a reload symbol in the middle. The spanner on the right of this menu bar gets you all sorts of options.

    I'm on our AA1 right now - and I've been promiscuously swapping between browsers, so forgive me if I'm conflating it with another browser.

    I do like Android, but I'll start to love it once I get root in a full 'bash' environment and can grab things from a proper repository.

    Is your Toshiba Market Place working now you have upgraded?

    All the best, Ben



  9. #9
    Hi Ben.... Sorry for the delay but have been trying to get my ancient car through it's MOT... Cost loads of money.... Yuk.

    I've looked briefly at the Market Place but not sure what I should be doing there? Will check it out when I have some time....

    I bought an anti-glare screen filter and now also have a sweet little Kensington Ci65 mouse, both of which have made the AC100 experience even better...

    One thing that I find annoying though is that the cursor is so tiny.... Against a white background it really does get lost and I find myself searching all over the screen to find where I left it!.... I gather there is no cure for this dilemma?

    BUT today I had a really nasty and extremely unpleasant shock in that I have had the NEW GOOGLE EXPERIENCE foisted onto my screen... Despite the fact that it is supposed to only be ready for Android 3 and I only have 2.2...... It is AWFUL.... Can't select/edit/delete text from the search box... The searches are really limited and it feels as though it was designed by a kid for a kid..... And there doesn't seem to be any way of getting rid of it....

    There are loads of very unhappy people out there in Tablet and IPad land....

    Will have to use Opera until something is done about it....



  10. #10
    Hi can anyone help , i have a AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2 os but find it impossible to install Skype , i get so far but then a message appears saying a mobile
    phone is not recognised for this application , i have tried several variations of installing but keepgetting this message , please can anyone explain in simpistic terms , what to do next



  11. #11
    Member
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    Device(s)
    Toshiba AC100-10U upgraded to 2.2

    Original Poster
    Hi birchy - we've not tried Skype on Android - we have successfully used the 'Fring' alternative that comes with the AC100, and we're gradually using up our (PC-based) Skype credit before leaving for good when it's gone. So we can't help you, sorry!
    Microsoft have bought Skype, did you know? Not very good karma to feed the evil beast
    Ben


    Last edited by Flymo; 10-12-2011 at 02:55 AM.

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