Archive for June, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 on my Asus EeePC 1005PE

June 19th, 2010 No comments

I have to say I am very impressed with Ubuntu Netbook Remix running on my Asus 1005PE netbook. It is snappy, much better than Windows 7 on my DER Lenovo netbook and so far OpenOffice 3.2 has had no problem with most of the Word documents I need to edit for work.

The interface works really well on the netbook and I would not hurry to the standard Ubuntu layout. The way the launcher setup is there in lieu of the standard desktop works really well. That said with all my mapped drives as bookmarks I can no longer see my volumes on the Files and Folders page, but I can’t seem to work out how to get the icons smaller yet.

Out of the box all worked except for the wireless. So I headed over to a tutorial on James Little’s blog and all worked a treat. Thanks again James for sharing this. Sure you have to use a terminal but that is fine and it all works after that, just don’t install linux-backports package as other sites suggest. It doesn’t work and can cause issues with James’ tutorial.

Battery life seems to be around 8 hours which is not as good as the 14 hrs claimed by Asus under their modified Win 7 but it is comfortably enough for my work day.

All in all I have no hesitation in recommending Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Remix. All but the wireless works for me and best of all when on the data projector my students see something other than Windows as an OS.

The biggest disappointment is the 1005PE does not have N wireless. It might in other markets but may machine is only 802.11 b/g. Frustrating as most classrooms have N wireless in them now. Thanks Asus, why is the Australian model not sold with N? And many reviewers say it has N but double checking the Asus website says the Aus models are only b/g.

Elle Macpherson: Prize Goose

June 14th, 2010 5 comments

Right I will admit it, I used to think Elle Macpherson was great, she was a supermodel when I was at school, she was Australian and let’s be honest beautiful. She wasn’t dumb, and then when modelling wound up she went into business. But I am afraid to say she is a goose. In fact I use much stronger words in private. Why? Well in a recent interview with Times Online she admitted she uses Rhino horn. Yes “The Body” takes rhino horn. I will now not acknowledge any discussion about how bright she was because she is a prize fool in my eyes now. How a public figure can promote this is beyond me.

There are 8 Northern White rhinos left, yes 8. Their numbers were shockingly reduced in the last 10 years. Check out the desperate last bid to save them here. There are only 60 Javan rhinos left in Indonesia and the Vietnamese subspecies has about 3 left, with the assumption being they are all females, so that subspecies is gone. The Javan rhino is generally regarded as the rarest species of any large mammal. there are around 1000 Giant pandas and around 700 mountain gorillas left and both are in desperate danger, yet there are only 60 Javan Rhinos. The Sumatran rhino is also in real danger as while there are around 250 individuals left, and their numbers are also in decline while the Javan Rhino’s population is stable.

What is awful is that it is a bloody renewable resource, they re-grow, so if all these hokey herbalists are right, why not cultivate it instead of killing some huge beast to cut off the device that ironically nature gave it to protect itself? Well that is too hard, or maybe they are too dumb to think of it. Or maybe they love rhino horn costing more than gold on a black market. By the way rhino horn is keratin not bone. That means it is the same as fingernails. Chew your bloody fingernails then!

And yet this boofhead feels comfortable telling people she uses rhino horn. Well shame on you Elle, I would love to take you to a rhino carcass with the horn cut off and see what you think of rhino horn then. Maybe you just wouldn’t care, because maybe your choice to use rhino horn illustrates what you are really like.

iPad – I say bah humbug

June 5th, 2010 2 comments

When the iPhone came out I wanted one straight away. After what seemed an eternity Apple finally released a 3G version in Australia and I had to have it. I still think it is a cool device; sure I am no huge Apple fan, but the product is good deserves much praise. Its operation is smooth and seamless and it makes the smartphone experience so much better than the horrible Windows Mobile experience.

But what were they thinking with the iPad? I suppose the idea sounds great, take iPhone and make it bigger so it is easier to read books and browse the web. But that then introduces some problems.

  1. It doesn’t fit in your pocket; the very portability of the iPhone is gone. The iPhone is powerful, multifunctional and small, it is the Swiss Army knife of the phone world. Now the iPad doesn’t fit in a pocket so now I need a bag, to carry it, or a sleeve and then I am always carrying a book. Now if I have to carry a bag why not buy a small notebook or a netbook, with a real keyboard and mouse. Oh I know touch screens are cool and good to use, but the mouse and keyboard on a netbook are more versatile.
  2. Where is the USB port? Friends will tire of me saying this but what a stupid omission, what was an annoyance on the iPhone becomes a cardinal sin on the iPad. Wow look at my cool iPad and when someone wants to give you a photo you can’t take it, unless you get it off the web. So to share photos they have to put it on the web first, or let you have a flash drive to put it on your home computer then sync it to the iPad… seriously that is silly.
  3. For $600+ dollars for the iPad you can get yourself some really cool Netbooks that catually do more than the iPad can and are smaller. These can run lost more useful software and are actually more portable. But true they don’t have the wow factor of the iPad.

I was excited about the iPad. Stu Hasic on his blog Parallel Divergence called it revolutionary, it may well become that. Apparently the Chinese iPed (running Google Android) is selling like hotcakes, but I digress.

I won’t own an iPad, for that money I will buy a netbook and then put Ubuntu Linux on it. To me the iPad is a show off toy that maybe in future versions will realise a niche, but at the moment it is just a toy for non computer savvy people who want a big hard manilla folder they have to carry everywhere.

Categories: Computers Tags: , , ,

David Warlick

June 1st, 2010 No comments

At a DET conference for Head Teachers. Keynote speaker was David Warlick. He then gave another presentation on Professional Learning Networks. An engaging speaker whom I believe really hits on the fact that education is vastly different than it was. The kids we are teaching have to be taught to learn not just taught knowledge. We must equip them to be discerning consumers of the many new learning sources.

Check out his site for more information. Or have a look at his blog 2 cents worth.

Categories: Education Tags: , ,