Internet folk-hero and librarian Jessamyn got some donated PCs without any operating system on them at her library, so she installed Ubuntu Linux. It took less than an hour to get all three machines up and running (and she even had time to make a video about her experience). I use Ubuntu, too -- it's been my main operating system since last October and I've been completely delighted with it (and yes, I will shortly be writing an article about my experience).
I installed Ubuntu on two of the donated PCs at my library yesterday. It took less than an hour. In fact, if I hadn’t been making the little movie at the same time [with my laptop and my little Canon digital Elph; I don’t have a video camera] it would have taken me even less time. Ubuntu comes bundled with a lot of the popular Open Source software titles like OpenOffice, Gimp and Firefox. The Calef Library has two Windows PCs already so if people need specific software that doesn’t run on Ubuntu, they can use those. I’d like to get them a Mac as well and then they can be the only library (to my knowledge) that is triple platform in the entire state of Vermont.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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