Tag: Edubuntu

A Day in the Life 22

My doodle-a-day has taken a vacation since I first I messed my neck up and now my knee (again–I couldn’t do my exercises while my neck was out so now my knee is out) and now I have several web based projects going at once. I will get back to it by the end of the week–really.

The good news is that some of the websites I am working on are paying and others are ministries–which I love because I enjoy doing both–I get to help out at home by getting paid AND I get to use my talents to glorify God and help others in ministry–how cool is that! The weird thing is that this requires me to spend free time pacing (which I can’t do because my knee is out again so every time I need to think I get up to pace and have to stop because it hurts) or playing logic puzzle games–like Tetris or Poppit because my brain works better when I do that sort of thing. So, I am doing less drawing right now so I can focus on coding.

Also, my husband just got work orders for a second job he has taken on as a contractor, doing what he loves–helping design a video game. God miraculously provided this job out of no where and it is such a blessing–we are trying to get out of debt plus have a few things we would like to do that require that we have more income. The best part is now he has three jobs that bring in income (f you don’t count the comic) all of which he does from home! God is SO good!!!!

On the other hand my crazy kids are up to all kinds of stuff. Issac is playing all kinds of logic games on Edubuntu and keeps coming in and asking for how to play new ones that I downloaded for him.

The girls are, well, I am not exactly sure what they are doing. They seem to be pretending to follow a treasure map that is encrypted in a very large story book while dressed in outlandish leotards,striped and flowered tights, tutu’s and mismatched socks–think Punky Brewster then mix it up some). I asked them to explain and they couldn’t–instead Rachel started reading random instructions out of the book (parts of the text at random and then interpreting them into instructions) and Esther started following them. I don’t know. I doubt I will ever know. I’m sure it all makes sense to them.

Running Edubuntu from a Live CD

logo.pngFor screenshots of Edubuntu check this out.

So, with  all this talk about Edubuntu, I realized that maybe I should explain how to go about downloading and running it.  In fact, there is a bit of a trick to it which I have messed up more than a few times because I am a ditz like that–enough so that I went ahead and made a few cd’s for people who want them instead of explaining to my less technically-minded friends how to go about it.  (I have wasted plenty of cd’s because I “forget” how to burn an image.)

Before you download and run it there are two things you need to do.  (It doesn’t take much space to run so most people will not have issues with that.)

  1. Reboot your computer.  When it is starting up there will be a splash screen that tells you what type of processor you have.  As long as it doesn’t say 64 somewhere in there you should be good with the regular install.  (You can also check this by going into your control panel, system, and looking at your computer info.   AMD 64 requires a different setup which is the second one listed.)  Most people have a regular 32bit chipset and can run the first version.  If you can’t tell I suggest downloading and running the first chipset (or if you aren’t sure, email me and I will be glad to make you a cd and send it to you or you can order one from their site.)
  2. You need a cd burning software that can burn a cd image.  You are not burning data or an audio file you need to burn an .iso which is a disk image.  Nero Burning Rom can do this as can Sonic.  More than likely the program that came with your cd burner can burn a disk image but you need to tell it that is what you want.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to burn it as a data cd.  It won’t work.  I know because I ALWAYS forget and mess this up several times before remembering that I need to “Burn Disk Image”.

Now you can go the website and download.  You want the personal version, not the server.

Once you have downloaded and burned the cd all you do is put the cd in the cd/dvd player before rebooting.  Reboot and if your computer can boot from CD then it should automatically take you to the Edubuntu screen.  There it will give you several options but you likely won’t have to do a thing.  It will auto start in 30 seconds.  It will sit there a while–remember, you are running an entire OS from a cd, but it will start.  Just wait (probably about 3-5 minutes, on older machines like ours it takes a bit longer).  Once it boots you are good.  The screen looks quite a bit like a Mac (at least what I remember Macs looking like–it has been a while.)

Now you can play the games and run the programs without needing to install the software.  If you decide you love it you can install from there but I wouldn’t advise it unless you don’t mind losing what is already on computer or have everything backed up and I would recommend reading the docs on the site before doing so.  You can’t run Microsoft programs on an Ubuntu machine and have to convert your mp3s to .ogg format.  It is great if you don’t use Microsoft software and tend to use open source anyway or if you have a second computer for the kids (like us, we have 4 computers, two are old ones that belong to the kids.)

There are a few games that say they are missing bits.  If you install, it is easy to update those–they use other software that is normally already installed on a Linux machine.  If you don’t install you can’t update those but the rest is still well worth it.

I will talk a bit more about the games available in a future post.

A Day in the Life 19

My neck is out and my back aches. Sigh. We got a big snow and I shoveled even though my neck was twinging so my dad could get in the driveway. I only shoveled a little but it was too much and now. Sigh. I am off to spend several hours flat on my back playing Harvest Moon because I can’t sit up for long. Before I go I want to share a couple things:

This morning my “teaching himself to read” child called me over to the table where he sat eating animal crackers.

“Look Mom, this says low fat!”

“Did you read that yourself?”

“Yup.” He grinned and went on eating.

As I said he has been having me “read” a hymn book to him. He likes to help me read the words, which are divided into syllables so he can easily sound them out. He then helps me sing the songs. It is very sweet. (It had never occurred to me that all the old hymn books I collect from yard sales would make such great easy readers.)

My little boy has taught himself to read!

Also, all three kids are very into Edubuntu and are spending lots of time playing GCompris and and several other great educational games. The other cool thing about Edubuntu is that you can go to the Edubuntu site, download the isntaller and burn the image to a cd–which will allow you to run the whole thing off the cd without installing over your copy of Windows. We have two copies running though one of the machines still has Windows on it. It is amazing to see what they are learning from this wonderful program.

A Day inthe Life 17: Edubuntu update and other random stuff

So, we installed Edubuntu–which is a HUGE hit I may add. It took our poor little old computer, which could barely cope with Windows XP and made it into a speed machine. Also, the kids have spent the evening and morning trying out all the educational software that came bundled with it. In fact, Rachel, much to my husband and mom’s utter joy, is engrossed in KTurtle (the LOGO/Turtle like software I mentioned yesterday.) My husband is thrilled because she has an analytical mind and he has wanted to teach her programming, because, well, he is a programmer by nature and by job. My mom is thrilled because way back when I was small she used to teach LOGO in Catholic school. Rachel is thrilled because she discovered the handbook and is having no small measure of success making things appear on the screen.

Esther has been exploring the installed games and other software–finding Kstar–an astronomy program which lets you look at the stars and constellations at any time and any place with other bonus features. She also discovered a chemistry program (it lets you explore all the elements on the periodic table, showing the actual element, plus the atom and other features. (If I had had this program I would have passed that portion of chemistry). She also found Mine–a Gnome version of Minesweeper. This was a wonderful introduction to logic for my least logical child.

Especially exciting is that Shamus is taking a real interest in all these programs and helping them make the best of them. He has been wanting something he could work with them with and this is perfect, not to mention introducing them to some of the things I am not so good at. 🙂

I was up half the night with “I feel like I am getting sick and can’t sleep” insomnia and am thus a little less useful than usual (I am just proud that I vacuumed.) I intend to do a sketch today, I really do. We’ll see if it happens. In the meantime I am off to join the kids who discovered that I got my new Special Edition Pride and Prejudice (which was only $15!!!! and which came with a “making of ” book and a beautiful folio.) They started watching without me so I am off to join them. Of course I am a bit thrilled because my 6, 8, and 10 year old want to watch a 5 hour long rendition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! Okay,. the 6 year old will wander off and is currently crashing cars while keeping one eye on the movie but he isn’t complaining about it. 🙂

Edubuntu, too?

So, we downloaded and made a Live CD of Ubuntu. We got it running on the kids’ computer which is awesome because we could test it before installing it. For those who don’t know a Live CD is one where you can run your system off the cd instead of installing the OS over your old OS.

This is good when you want to test several flavors or are not sure it will work with your hardware.
The kids were thrilled with it and were ready for me to go ahead and install it. However, I had also found Edubuntu which is Ubuntu designed to be used in educational classrooms and specifically with kids in mind. It has all sorts of neat kids programs and educational stuff already installed. So I made them wait while I downloaded and made a Live CD of Edubuntu so they could try that out as well.

As much as they loved Ubuntu plain vanilla they loved the marble chocolate swirl of Edubuntu.

Already they have tried out KDETurtle (a take off of the old Logo program my mom used to use to teach her computer class in Catholic school–Turtle and LOGO are a very basic program where you write a mini program and see it work right on the screen.) My husband the programmer is THRILLED!!!!! Esther spent half an hour trying out the little programs and changing colors and whatnot. They have also spent some time working with Gimp, an old favorite of mine–if you need a high quality photo editing/drawing program and have no money The Gimp is for you.

Edubuntu has plenty of other wonderful educational programs bundled with it that the kids are exploring. GCompris , another old favorite is pre-installed which is pretty fun since Rachel vaguely remembers playing it. It also has Hangman and other games designed for older kids including several math programs and a typing tutor. It comes with the whole slew of KDE Games and Gnome games including a ton of basic computer games similar to Tetris, connect 4, etc.

The most exciting thing to me is that it automatically found our internet connection and network. I suspect once I install I will have to fuss with it but the Live CD is working out great. The kids are begging me to do a full install but I want them to mess with it first and see what they can and cannot do.

So far Edubuntu is a winner.