A whirlwind of operating systems


We all knew that it was coming. Microsoft has officially stopped selling its Windows 10 Operating system.

Microsoft Stopped Selling Windows 10, But You Can Find It Elsewhere

My home office, such that it is, is mostly powered by a computer that came with Windows 10 pre-installed. I honestly never really felt that human-computer connection with Windows 10 and the machine became more of a business function. When Windows 11 came along, I jumped and it became a fun computer again. My only complaint is that I don’t use the Edge browser much and yet Microsoft somehow finds loopholes that make it launch in response to particular actions.

I have an older computer that came with Window 7 installed. For me, it was the perfect example of how you should never buy a computer with minimum specifications. It had a very powerful Intel i7 processor but only 4GB of RAM. It never ran Windows 7 all that efficiently. I had to learn to be patient and, if you know me, you know that I’m not a patient person.

Eventually, it became an experimental computer and it has had a number of different operating systems installed on it. They were from the Linux side of the house – Ubuntu, Lubuntu, and Linux Mint were the most recent distributions that got installed.

No matter what I did, it struggled with only having that 4GB at times. If I was just browsing the web, there was no problem at all..

Today, it was kind of cold outside; just the type of day to do some playing around. As I really thought about it, I really do everything in a browser anyway. It was time to play around with an operating system that was just a browser – and I’d read all kinds of things about it – ChromeOS Flex.

Like most operating systems, the instructions to download and install are pretty straight forward – download the installer to an external USB key, boot with the key in it and install the operating system, and away you go. Google even make it simple by providing a browser extension that makes things easy.

I wish that I could say that things went smoothly but I can’t.

I downloaded the installation file four times and each time, the verification of the installation image failed. I was going to give up when I thought of an alternative. Instead of installing the Stable version of Chrome OS Flex, my next download was the Developer version. After all, this was just going to be something to play around with.

This time, things went smoothly. Installation was quick and efficient and when it was installed, all the extensions and settings from my actual Chromebook synched nicely.

I’ve been using my new ChromeOS Flex computer all afternoon and I’m quite impressed with the results. So, this Windows 7 box which was upgraded and then moved to various versions of Linux is now running ChromeOS Flex.

I know that I’m fickle with these things but it is looking good.

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OTR Links 02/02/2023


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Enjoying a reading


Last Friday night, we did something unique for us. We had an author and his lovely wife Linda out for supper and then went into town to a local bookstore to hear the author read from his book.

The author was David Garlick, a retired principal. The local bookstore was the River Bookshop. The book was The Principal Chronicles.

Here’s a shot of David in action. The teaser for the event was to hear him read from his book in the cosiness of the bookstore and the fireplace (seen behind him).

It really was a nice, intimate setting and one of David’s former vice-principals showed up as part of the group. After the land acknowledge, we were off and listening. David asked for requests and I couldn’t remember the title but I knew that it had to do with wasps. So, I put up my hand (he was a former teacher after all), and asked for the wasp story. He knew it immediately, flipped to the short story and started reading. It was a serious story that had a hilarious twist to it. It was a reminder that in the teaching profession, just about anything can happen. (and sometimes does)

We had an interesting discussion with this and a couple of his other short stories. The English teacher in David kicked in and we got into an interesting discussion about censorship and ended up selling some Kurt Vonnegut and J. D. Salinger off the shelves to one of the attendees.

Towards the end of the evening, his wife suggested another story. Most of the stories in the book have humour or a humourous twist to them. This one was quite moving. As teachers, we’ve all had those moments. We’re fortunate that David had written about his so that it didn’t go missing with the passage of time.

It was a wonderful experience that we thoroughly enjoyed.

David has actually created podcasts of each of this stories and they’re hosted at voicEd Radio.

Of course, the printed or digital version of the book is available to purchase.

OTR Links 02/01/2023


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Paybacks


Over the past while, we’e been hearing about how the end of the world is coming for education as students use artificial intelligence to help them out.

What about the teacher? Is there an option for them?

I’m here to introduce you to Teacher Toolkit.

https://www.teachertoolkit.ai/

It’s a collection of tools for teachers. I had a kick of the tires yesterday and was quite interested in what I discovered. There is a free level of access and a couple of paid plans.

I was intrigued with the claim that lesson plans could be created by one of the tools.

One of the fun things to teach is databases. I know that I have created and revised my own lesson a number of times. So, what could artificial intelligence do for me?

I gave minimal instructions to have a lesson created for an introductory lesson.

It took a couple of minutes and here is part of what was created for me.



It was quite impressive.

The lesson, including activities and assessments could be used as is or downloadable as a document where you could tweak it and make it yours. Obviously, you’re going to work with the language to make it consistent with what you really want in a lesson plan.

I liked the completeness of what was returned and it came with references and a whole collection of “21st Century Skills”.

If you’re looking for the “other side” of artificial intelligence in the classroom, this is most definitely worth your time to explore.