Behold! The power of ubuntu
So I was pretty bummed when I heard that the school was putting the kibosh on ordering any new computers this year (in hopes that we got 1-to-1 next year). But then inspiration came in the form of ubuntu—it turns out that my school phases out almost 100 old pc desktops every year, and so I was divert 10 of them to my classroom. After trying to start a couple of them, it was clear that they were on their last legs, as far as XP was concerned, but all it took was a clean install of ubuntu to get them all zippy and sparkly like new computing beasts.
Moreover, I discovered the program we use for data collection, Logger Pro, is available on for linux. Also, a big thumbs up to the new vernier labquest mini. It’s tiny, USB powered and doesn’t force you to deal with the annoying LCD interface and limited computer connectivity of the Labquest.
For comparison, my “new” ubuntu machines
cold start-login-fire up logger pro: 1 min 02 seconds
My 2 year old XP laptop: >5 minutes, and I had to give up since the latest driver for the new LQ mini wasn’t installed.
Next step is to get my ubuntu server running and then I’ll have a full fledged cluster, ready for all sorts of fun.
Seriously, if you’re wondering how you can get more computers in your classroom, seek out your nearest source of computers just ready to be thrown out. No doubt you can transform them into a fine computing experience.