Well, we went back to the shop and demonstrated the card not working. They took the card, tried it in their card reader (it worked, just like it does in my card reader and in the camera). Then they tried it in the display model of the same machine, and it persisted in not working. After a whole rigamarole of contacting the supplier, who told us to contact the retailer, who told us to go home and ring their central helpline, who told us to contact the supplier (which went on for a while) we went back to the shop again and they got a new XD card, and it worked absolutely fine. The new card is a 2GB card just like the old one.
Things I notice about this:
- The old card doesn't work even after formatting
- The camera boots MUCH faster with the new card in it
- I have no idea what could cause that
Anyway, I take it all back, XD cards do work with the linux acer aspire ones - and now I'm all set for being able to upload photos from my trip to ZendCon next week.