My first real experience with Ubuntu was at the NECC (now ISTE) Conference at San Diego. There was a booth sponsored by the local Ubuntu Users’ Group and they were doing demonstrations and giving away Live CD-ROMs to anyone who cared to take one. Like most computer conferences, I took a couple of CD-ROMs, threw them into my conference bag and then moved on. I figured that one of them was Ubuntu and the other might be a resource CD of some sorts.
I recall going back to the hotel room and trying the Live CD to try out this Ubuntu thing and really liked it. Even run from CD-ROM, it performed better than my installation of Windows on the oldish laptop that was due for a refresh.
When I returned home and got a new laptop, I put a full-blown installation of Ubuntu on the laptop and I was hooked. It was only then that I looked at the other CD-ROM and it was something called Edubuntu. I ran it from the CD-ROM and it looked and felt like Ubuntu only with more browns and reds in everything.
But, as I started to poke around, it was Ubuntu. Even more though, there was a collection of educational software included that wasn’t on the Ubuntu CD-ROM. Now, I got real interested – interested enough to poke around and read about it and to find another old computer destined for the scrap heap to install Edubuntu on.
With the version 12.04 release of Ubuntu, there’s yet another copy of Edubuntu with the same version. The distribution is far more sophisticated now – you can even try it out in your browser without the step of downloading it.
Read on and you’ll see that there is another nice selection of educational applications to go with the release. Open source and free software is the order of the day and there are titles you won’t find on any other platform.
I know that trying a new operating system can be a nervous time. And, you paid for the latest and greatest when you get a new computer. You just can’t buy a new computer without an OS. Vendors want you to be successful from the get go. I’ll give you that.
But, what will you do with the older machine? Before you toss it because it got slow and sluggish and was the reason for needing that new machine, why not put a copy of Ubuntu on it and see if you can’t breath some life back into it. Even better, if you have kids, why not put a copy of Edubuntu on it? You may just be incredibly please – and you immediately give your kids a whole suite of educational applications to work with.