We couldn’t wait for out IT guys, who are swamped at the moment, so we went ahead and installed the gOS on an old ThinkPad we had laying around the office. Here are the benefits, as I see them initially:
- low cost leveraged against high performance: Whether it’s me or the machine, there is very little I need in terms of offline apps to handle my everyday activities, so this OS works well for someone who has an understanding of where to go to find the solutions they need.
- it looks like Mac OS X: and who wouldn’t love that!
- Salvage: the machine we installed it on was a mess, capable of frustrating a student and teacher with slow startup time, limited battery life while running CPU-hogging software and the fan was always kicking on. Nothing like that with this install. Silent as it runs, fast enough, and at least 2 hours of battery life (although I can’t find where to check that out yet).
What does this mean for us? In our district, we are short on actual machines, so the fact that we can recommission older machines using this OS is huge, but we still run short on machines per student. This type of OS, which is made up of almost entirely Google Apps, forces the hand of the user to have Google accounts, which I also like. Several teachers in our buildings are planning on make that as compulsory as having pens and notebooks next year; this machine would be perfect for that.
I am taking it home this weekend to see if I can poke some holes in it as a student would. We’ll see how that goes. Any suggestions for possible experimental scenarios?