Finally decided to install the latest version of Ubuntu on my laptop. I tried the upgrade through Update Manager path. Left it to run and by the time I came back from work, I booted to blank screens. The Grub works but that's basically it. So I booted into Windows, downloaded the CD iso and burnt it and did a completely fresh install. This went much more smoother. Everything worked out of the box for my Acer 4810TG Timeline. Wireless, sound, everything that I usually use (Haven't even tried out the webcam since I've never used it).
But then yesterday something strange happen. There was no more volume and chat applet on the panel. So had to search for how I would reset it to the default and found it here. Basically the steps involve:
1) gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/panel
2) rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/panel
3) pkill gnome-panel
That's it and it all came back to normal default. Nice.
One thing I've got to mention is about the placement of the windows controller. At first I balked at the fact that it was on the left side of the windows rather than the right side like usual. And at work I actually switched it to be on the right side like normal using the following command:
gconftool-2 --set /apps/metacity/general/button_layout --type string menu:minimize,maximize,close
But after a while I realized that I don't like it being normal again much. I got kinda used to it being on the left and wouldn't actually mind it, maybe even like it because it does create a sort of a unique experience, could be called a sort of an ubuntuish experience.. :P But anyhow, I didn't bother to learn how to reset it back on the left side at work. But now having formatted my home laptop, I've decided to keep it on the left. Feels more original.. :)