I'm starting to think the netbook is cursed or something. I've discovered, first, that despite being listed as 11.6" it doesn't fit in 11.6" cases...and 12" cases are about three inches too big.
More infuriatingly, my own screwing around has caused a deeply strange wifi problem. I was annoyed at having to try repeatedly to bring wifi up, and updated NetworkManager...which promptly placed a block on wlan0 that I can't lift in Linux. Of course the block doesn't appear to exist in Windows.
So far, I've tried booting other/older distros via USB to see if their NetworkManager/Wicd could control it (nope), then installed & asked rfkill to "unblock" it. I now know from experimenting that the Fn+F3 combo controls a hard block on phy0, but that acer-wireless has a soft block that won't go the eff away.
Edit: evidently OpenSuSE 11.3 will lift it. That makes even less sense, but if it works, I'm installing it: I want to explore Linux when I feel like it, not when major components fucking break.
LibreOffice won't recognize the existence of its dictionary (I've tried more things than I can keep track of to fix THAT problem) and I can't get OpenOffice of any version to install. Since that's not enough, while typing in hand-edited changes to my writing, I've noticed the computer copies don't match the printouts, plus a good quarter of them have inexplicably lost all text formatting.