Showing posts with label Linux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linux. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Free eBook - Getting Started with Ubuntu

For the right people and schools, a Ubuntu build of the Linux operating system can be a good cost-saving alternative to Mac and Windows operating systems. What holds some people back from trying Ubuntu is a lack of understanding of how to use it. That's where Getting Started with Ubuntu comes in to help those folks that want to try Ubuntu for the first time.
Getting Started with Ubuntu is a free 165 page ebook produced by a team of writers and editors. The manual covers everything an end-user would need to know about how to use Ubuntu. You can download the ebook for free or order it as a bound book from Lulu.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Seven Places to Find Free eBooks
Audio Owl - Hundreds of Free Audio Books
Flat World Knowledge Provides Free Textbooks

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Free Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference

As some of you know, my school rolled out a 1:1 program using ASUS Eee NetbooksrunningUbuntu. Our students have quickly figured out how to use Ubuntu. Some of the faculty, however, have not adopted Ubuntu as quickly as the students. This morning I discovered a free ebook that I will be sure to share with my colleagues. Keir Thomas'Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Referenceis available in print form from Amazon or as a free PDF download here and here.

For the teachers in my school, chapters two and three are all they will probably ever need to read. If you are looking to install Ubuntu on your personal computer, Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference will provide you with everything you need to know to get started.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sugar on a Stick - Run Linux from USB

I resisted the temptation to title this post "Sugar on a Stick is Sweet" because that title might not have been descriptive enough. Sugar on Stick is a new release from Sugar Labs that will allow you to download to a USB drive and run from it the Sugar Linux environment. The Sugar Linux environment is best known for its use on the OLPC XO laptop. Although I haven't tried Linux on a Stick yet, (Iplan to as soon as I get another USB drive), but I have used and have had students use an OLPC XO with the Sugar Linux environment. My students who tried it found it easy to use and particuraly liked the user interface. To see screenshots and read more about Sugar on a Stick, check out the Ars Technica review.

Applications for Education
Sugar on a Stick could be a good, fairly easy way to bring the Linux environment to your school's computers. If you're in a school that is not ready to take the full plunge into Linux, you could use Sugar on a Stick to have students and faculty try it out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Qimo for Kids is Ubuntu for Kids

This morning in my Twitter stream I saw a link to Qimo for Kids. Not knowing what Qimo for Kids is, I had to take a look. This is what I found out, Qimo for Kids is a Linux Ubuntu-based operating system designed for use by kids as young as three years old. The system's primary features appear to be an intuitive interface and pre-loaded educational games. I have not had an opportunity to install Qimo for Kids and I would love to hear comments from people who have installed it and tried it out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apple Updates Products, But Doesn't Shrink Digital Divide

Disclaimer: I like most of Apple's products, in fact I use a MacBook for 90% of my work.

Yesterday, the blog-o-sphere was buzzing with the news of Apple's newest product updates. There are definitely some nice improvements to the Mac line of products. The entry level MacBook now comes in an aluminum case instead of plastic and the display has been improved. The MacBook Pro will have vastly improved graphics display as compared to the current MacBook Pro. All of the Mac laptops now have multi-touch track pads which is cool, but not a difference maker for me when choosing a laptop. Read more about the Apple product updates here, here, or here.

What Apple didn't reveal yesterday was a rumored $800 MacBook. However, Apple did announce that the retail price for the entry level MacBook has been reduced by $100 to $999. Unfortunately, the education discount for students, according to Allen Stern at Center Networks, is now only $50 instead of $100. This still represents a $150 decrease in price over the old pricing structure. As of this writing the Apple Store website has been down for over 16 hours so I have not been able to confirm Allen's report.

I like most of Apple's products and I use them a lot and I think that Apple does some very good things for the education community. However, the prices of their products put the products out of reach for many school districts and for many students. As long as PC makers continue to offer lower cost products, students and schools in less affluent areas will continue to use computers operating on Windows and Linux. Unless Apple begins to offer lower cost laptops or netbooks they're not doing anything to shrink the digital divide between the "have's" and "have not's" of school districts. Then again, maybe Apple likes the divide.

What are your thoughts about Apple and the digital divide? What needs to happen to shrink the digital divide? Do computer manufacturers have a responsibility to help shrink the divide or is it purely the responsibility of state departments of education and local school districts?

Update: The Apple store is back online and I have confirmed that Allen Stern was right, the education discount for teachers and students is now only $50 on the basic MacBook.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dell Inspiron 910 Will Have Ubuntu Installed

According to leaked information provided by Ars Technica and Gizmodo Dell's new mini laptop will be available with Linux Ubuntu installed. The Dell Inspiron 910 dubbed the "Inspiron Mini" is designed to compete with the Assus EEE PC. The price of the Inspiron Mini is being reported as low as $299. According to Gizmodo's report the Inspiron Mini should be available next week.

Implications for Education
Dell is one of the few major manufacturers to offer a selection of laptops and desktops with Ubuntu installed. Offering the Inspiron Mini with Ubuntu is going to make the Mini an appealing option for schools considering starting a one-to-one computing program. There are significant cost savings when schools buy computers with the Ubuntu rather than Windows or Mac OS which is why I'm always amazed that more schools don't use Linux computing environments.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Windows XP to be used on OLPC's XO Laptop

The BBC and TechCrunch have both released news in the last few hours announcing that Windows XP will soon be available for the OLPC XO laptop. Michael Arrington at TechCrunch is speculating that Microsoft may have made a hefty donation to OLPC in order for this to happen. Meanwhile, Jonathan Fildes at the BBC is taking a more market-driven approach to the story. Fildes reports that some developing countries (the target market for OLPC) have insisted for a while now that OLPC make Windows an option. As always the true story probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Putting my personal bias against Windows aside, I think this is a good move for OLPC and for education in general. I've been able to put aside my ani-Window bias because the cost typically associated with Windows licensing seems to be removed for OLPC. The BBC reports that the cost of adding Windows XP will be approximately $10 bringing the total cost to roughly $198. While I would prefer to see more kids learning and adopting Linux, if making Windows an option for the OLPC XO laptop gets more computers in more kids' hands around the world then I'm all for it. Yes, it does create a potentially large group of students predisposed and trained to use Windows, but if that is what it takes to improve education in developing countries then I'm willing to put down my anti-Windows flag.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Learning Tech from Students

When it comes to technology and new computer applications students are fearless. If you have a new computer application that you're trying to learn, ask your students they'll help you.

Right now I'm sitting in workshop being presented by two middle school students at FOSS VT. One of the students writes a blog about Linux applications. His blog is very good and he is rightfully very proud of it. He was excited to share the blog with the workshop participants. If you're a network administrator, tech integrator, or are just interested in Linux check out The Linux Blog. (The student is hoping to get to over 1000 page views very soon).