Monday, February 17, 2014

It’s Aliiiiiiive!


I was moving through my backup plan to give my old macbooks a second life when I had an (embarrassing) epiphany regarding Chromium.  I am installing Xubuntu on these old laptops using my home network and it’s slow going. I am using my little router and my one spare network cable to hardwire the macbooks in order to pull down updates during the process. Nine macbooks in, I realize that I should have done the same with Chromium.  Afterall, Chromium is based on Linux, and I wouldn’t install a linux build without a network connection, right? Thinking back, I probably didn’t try this with Chromium because of my “no network cable” experience with our Chromebooks. But then, this is Chromium on old third party hardware, not Chrome on proprietary devices. So embarrassing.

I tried Chromium again, this time with the macbook connected physically to the router. Magically, the wireless card was recognized. I can now see the network, which is critical for a web only device, but things are still not perfect.  The trackpad doesn’t work - the cursor doesn’t even appear.  After unsuccessfully trying the solutions posted here and here, I’ve given up on the trackpad. Instead, I just plug in a mouse and it works great.

The verdict on Chromium is still out.  I can tell you that it is a lot faster to load Chromium than Xubuntu.  I am going back to “plan A” because I basically want the laptops to serve as a Chromebook writing lab. I really like the idea of managing users via the GAfE control panel and wasn’t looking forward to locking down the Xubuntu system.  We’ll see...