Tuesday 1 June 2010

Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04 is the frontrunner...

Jolicloud is really a great OS.  It runs smoothly.  It looks cool.  Everything 'just works' out of the box.  But it is based on Ubuntu 9.10 and there seem to be some battery issues.  Not a big deal, but this Eee 1005PE gets 12+ hours out of its 6-cell battery and using Jolicould that was cut by about half.  Otherwise, it is sweet.

I am in love with Meego.  It is fast.  It is beautiful.  I think this will ultimately be the one to beat.  But for now, it is really intended for developers.  There is practically no support available.  There isn't a lot of software available.  I couldn't find a terminal.  I don't know which packages it uses (I seem to remember reading Intel-Moblin using  .deb then switching to .rpm but that was ages ago.)  For now, it isn't ready to hand out to schoolkids on classroom laptops.

Lubuntu, Puppy, there are lots of other options out there that will make these machines bump and hum a lot faster than UNR but it seems to be the best compromise.  (Actually, it didn't even find the wireless drivers out of the box) but it is current, slick and really well supported.  We don't pass the machines out until August, so I have time to change my mind, but so far, 10.04 is it.

The kids in my classroom have had no trouble figuring it out.  Some of the kids in my class have been installing it on their own.  I have 3 netbook kids with Kubuntu 10.04, 1 with Lubuntu on an HP laptop and 1 with it on a Mac.  They didn't have any trouble working it out on their own and are pleased with the results.  They all set up dual boot systems, but I haven't seen any of them using another OS in weeks.  And it is interesting to listen to their conversations as they argue the merits of one desktop environment over another.  Apparently, we have been teaching them critical thinking and problem-solving after all.

** Despite an evening and a morning of attempts and with help from the forums, I still can't get the wifi to work. Using the same set of instructions, some users seem to have it working and others don't.  Still trying... Not a good sign.

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