Aspire One utility provides functionality that doesn’t come standard

Posted on 20 November 2008 by

I was baffled during my review of the Acer Aspire One [Portal page] at the apparent lack of power management software that should have been included with the netbook. Aside from some hardware toggles, there were no settings beyond the default Windows power options to help get the most from your battery. I reported a while back on a nice utility that allowed users to control their Aspire One’s fan, but there wasn’t much more in the way of power management.

Luckily there are people out that who are passionate enough about their technology to spend time making good software for them. Take a look at a small freeware utility called a1ctl. For its tiny size, this utility has a lot of features:

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  • no installation needed
  • small memory footprint (~5Mo)
  • complete fan management, with stopped/slow/auto fan modes
  • support newest bios, from v0.3109 to v0.3305
  • CPU speed management (XP only)
  • fast screen resolution changes, with 1024×768 scrolled and downscaled modes (XP only)
  • can enable/disable webcam/ethernet/wifi to reduce power usage
  • can be started with windows automatically
  • option to prevent HDD clicks
  • show temperature & battery in tray icon
  • customizable icons & colors via .ini file
  • integrated ACPIEC driver patching to prevent log writing

The best functions of the program, in my mind, are the fan management and CPU speed management options. Users will now have more control over their fan speed and it will allow the CPU to be underclocked reducing battery drain. Of course the ability to toggle webcam/ethernet/wifi is also pretty nice. If all of this wasn’t enough, it seems as though the author of the utility included a patch to a driver that allows the HDD to spin all the way down more frequently (saving more battery life of course). From the a1ctl website:

You don’t need to patch this file to make the program run correctly, however due to this chatty driver, some warnings are constantly written into a log file (due to the temperature polling) causing your hard drive to never spin down and consume power. If you own a SSD drive model, this may reduce its life span due to constant writing causing wear. That’s why it’s recommended (and completely safe) to patch your acpiec.sys driver when asked. This operation can be completely reversed using the ‘unpatch’ button in the configuration dialog.

If you are an Aspire One owner, you should probably also have this highly functional utility. I don’t have the Aspire One any longer to test it with, but fear not: Brian Jarvis of ultra mobile PC Geek says that he will be covering the software after he uses it for a few days (though that few days might be a while longer now if Brian fried his Aspire One).

a1ctl website

[ultra mobile PC Geek]

Latest products in our mobile pc database.

6 Comments For This Post

  1. ProDigit says:

    Seems like a mod of the Eeectl program for the Eeepc.

  2. Sull says:

    hey Benz

    Nice info! These netbooks are really a hoot eh, everyone making them so custom!

  3. Eugene says:

    Dear All,
    I have read nice reviews for Aspire One on your site. I bought one finally.
    However this computer has a major problem-the Atheros wireless card. It switches off after 30-50min of use. Just disappears. Then you need to reboot the computer to get the wireless card working again.
    This problem has been all over Acer chat rooms, but nobody from the persons reviewing the product mentions about it.
    I have tested all available drivers for this card, but no luck.

    Does somebody have a solution for this problem?

  4. RK says:

    You should try experimenting with your router settings.
    I had similar stubborn problems when I got mine.
    If I recall correctly, disabling QoS, using a shared WEP key worked for me. I also played around with the UPNP settings too I think.

    Good luck,

  5. Truth Seeker says:

    I have have AA1, and had the same problem. The first thing I did was go into Device Manager. Highlight the Atheros network adapter and right click, then click on properties. Click the “Advanced” tab. Select “Power Save Mode” from the list, then set it to “Off”.

    I also updated my Atheros driver, and all is working well now. The version of the driver on Acer’s website is not the latest. You need the latest version- which is v7.6.1.149.

    I’m sorry, I don’t remember where I downloaded the driver- but it isn’t on the Acer website. I found it through a link that was posted in one of the Aspire One forums:

    A quick Google for that particular driver turned up a few other places it is posted on the net. I’ve been using it for several weeks and it’s been working great.

    Hope this helps.

    Truth Seeker

  6. automotive jacks says:

    It’s the first time I commented here and I must say you share us genuine, and quality information for bloggers! Good job.
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