Freebee Friday: Linux for All
Why pay cash money for a notebook or desktop operating system and basic apps when you can get it all for free from Ubuntu? In the Bantu languages of Africa, the word Ubuntu encompasses a philosophy of worldview and relationships among people. For the computer it is nothing short of an economic miracle for schools, because it is a freebee that is every bit as powerful as Windows or the Mac OS.
To start, Ubuntu can be run from a memory key or loaded onto a computer, and because its hardware requirements are minimal compared to PCs and Macs, you can use old machines that were thought to be worthy only of the junk heap. The typical system requires at least a 700 MHz Intel Celeron or newer processor, 512MB of RAM, VGA graphics and 5GB of hard drive space to store the code. In other words, it can be the ultimate in recycling old equipment that will do perfectly well for computer labs, libraries and even public Web access locations throughout the district.
Ubuntu 12.04 is the current latest version and it takes free software to a new level with a polished look and feel. It comes with Firefox’s Web browser and you can also load it with Google’s Chrome browser, Blender for graphics, Empathy for staying in touch and Libre Office for working with a variety of reports, homework assignments and writing projects. Plus, you can set up 5GB of personal storage per user for free, making it the best bargain in school software.