Saturday, August 16, 2008

Edubuntu is Really Cool


My neighbor with two kids who asked about where to find a computer for her kids for cheap. I rememberd that I had an old Dell Optiplex laying around the garage. I thought about it for a minute and rather than telling her she would have to go buy a copy of Windows Vista (because XP isn't available at Best Buy anymore, AND, because this GX-240 won't even run Vista very well), I decided to put Ubuntu and Edubuntu on it and see how it would work for them.

Up until Ubuntu 7.10 you could download a single ISO image for Edubuntu and install it in one shot. Beginning with Ubuntu 8.04 however, Edubuntu is now provided as the "Education" add-on for Ubuntu. So you install Ubuntu 8.04 first, then install the add-on and it makes it into Edubuntu (sort of, still calls itself Ubuntu on the welcome screen).

It works fantastic!

All the hardware was recognized and configured instantly, almost Mac-ishly (how's that for an adjective?) The included games, educational apps and so forth are very good and there's a lot to choose from. The interface (theme, icons, styles) are really nice for kids and make it fun to use. Compared to looking at XP or Vista, which are aimed at older folks (teens at the youngest end of the scale, and that's a stretch), the Ubuntu Education interface is aimed directly at kids 12 and under. It's well designed and darn-near foolproof in that respect.

So, if you have kids and they aren't hooked up to the heroin IV drip line of Windows or Mac, you might want to consider Ubuntu 8.04 and the Education add-on pack. Very cool indeed.
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