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Showing posts from February, 2015

Chromixium - a possible way of reprovisioning old hardware.

I've been playing around with Chromixium over the past few days. This is Ubuntu 14.04 modded to look and feel a lot like ChromeOS. It is possible to install actual ChromeOS on your own hardware - but its a tricky business and I've had limited success. Chromixium, being built on Ubuntu has excellent hardware support right out of the box and is relatively easy to install - taking only 10 minutes or so to be up and running. It might be an effective way of reprovisioning some old laptops...

While it looks a lot like ChromeOS - its still Ubuntu at its core. So some of the advantages of ChromeOS are not there - but on the other hand you can install local linux apps. You can easily install it as a virtual machine using VirtualBox or create a live USB boot stick if you want to give it a whirl. Brief look at it below:


And just for fun, I've booted a 9 year old Windows laptop with the USB live stick. Works really well and runs fast.
Just a shame about the battery life....
One update…

ChromeOS 42 with some interesting Material Design touches

I've been trying out ChromeOS 42 on my Pixel. This is the latest dev channel release and it bring in some interesting Material Design touches - especially to the file manager. This will be a couple of months away from the stable channel - but something to look forward to. If you don't want to risk the dev channel yourself - this is what it looks like:


Building your own public display system

I've been meaning to document how we setup our own public display system for sometime and have finally got round to it. We have 5 large displays in public areas around the school that display information. These are independent and can display different info on each screen. So what do you need?


Obviously - some displays - big TV's or monitors - either will do. If TV's - remember to turn off any power management features! You can get 42" models for <£300 now.Mounts to fit them to a wall - typically around £20-30 mark.Mini PC - anything will do - something that can run Windows.If you have WiFi you don't need cabling - but otherwise a network point near the mounting location.Suitably located power socket.
You need to setup is a system where the PC will boot up, auto logon and then be able to be controlled remotely by someone elsewhere in the school who puts stuff onto the displays. So this is how to do it:

Step one - build the PC
Install Windows and domain join the d…

Google Play for Education in the UK

I've just enabled Google Play for Education on our domain. To do this you need to have either ChromeOS or Android management licences (or both). This will then give your teachers a really simple way to first out Android Apps, Chrome Apps and Books to individual students or groups.

So this is a brief look at what it looks like: