The install on this machine was very straight-forward. I didn’t need any special parameters to boot the Live CD for installation, and it configured the wireless card (atheros ar5005g), and the video card (ATI Radeon Xpress 1100) correctly.
At this point, I am only having the following issues:
1. Synaptics Touchpad doesn’t always allow you to highlight text, or drag windows, etc.
2. hibernate does not bring the machine back into a usable state. (GNOME acts like it is coming up, but… I haven’t fully explored this).
3. the hard drive light comes on constantly. (This worries me, as my last Acer exhibited this same behavior, and only lasted 10-11 months with some suspicious (hardware?) problems… ). Or, is it a HAL, Kernel, two IDE drives on same cable behavior…? ).
Here are some links that were helpful in setting up my Acer 5102:
1. disable ipv6
2. install 32-bit firefox, flash, and java: