Thursday, October 11, 2007

Found a colleague from the UK and got a good tip on my BIOS issues. Gotta love my Internets!

Now I would never describe myself as a "Mac person". I got strange looks just a few minutes ago from a co-worker when I told her I had never used iTunes (which is really only partly true as I did try it out when it was first released and found winamp to be far superior). Nevertheless the school does have about a dozen of the old colorful clamshell iBooks sitting around with about 128 MB RAM or something ridiculous. In any case I thought I might be able to boot these suckers up like a normal thin client except I didn't know how to get into the Mac BIOS (silly me, BIOS is for PCs not Macs).

So I start googling around stuff like "Mac thin client" and come across the old free software magazine article on Edubuntu and thin clients that has basically been my guiding light for this whole project (nevermind it hasn't exactly guided me flawlessly). Although I'm sure I've read the comments at the bottom of the post before yesterday I'd never noticed a particular comment that mentioned a blog on Edubuntu and LTSP before. For whatever reason I checked out the blog and found out that the author was basically doing the exact same thing as me at an elementary school in England. Best of all he had some insight into some issues I was unaware of (hard to believe considering the amount of time I spend reading about Edubuntu).

I left a comment on his blog in the hopes of talking about tech issues and then wrote my own entry on the BIOS issues. You can imagine my surprise then to find this afternoon that I not only had a comment on my own blog but a comment with a pretty nifty tip for fixing my BIOS problem. Apparently the BIOS is sustained on the motherboard by a battery that I can simply remove and then reinsert later at which the BIOS should be reset. I'm stoked to try this out, but even more stoked to have a colleague who not only knows about this stuff but is interested in it and willing to help out. I guess I knew that the Ubuntu community was pretty helpful but the Edubuntu community is so small that it's nice to find another person in the same boat.

I'm sure I'll be back to complaining about how my scanner doesn't work right, but for now I'm feeling pretty optimistic about everything. (btw, I never did get the iBooks to work). Cheers -joe

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