There is a Revised Version=

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=17AeNygkJrwXAOEvkGHEIiNxufY_ApdMYZmRs-7LWtUk

Ditch the OS and Go Straight to the Internet

This document has 9 parts:

  1. Dilemmas, Circumstances, Solution & Goals
  1. Description
  1. What you need
  1. Setup
  1. Some thoughts/suggestions...
  1. Tweaking Settings, here is what we do at Mogadore
  1. Stuck?
  1. Rational / Explanation
  1. Staff & Student Info (How to Use & Share Documents)

Dilemmas, Circumstances & Goals

Current Dilemmas- computers that no longer have horsepower to support newer web browsers, the need for more Internet access & tighter budgets in districts

Recent Circumstances- many traditional software applications are being replaced by Online Services / Cloud Computing (Google Apps for Education, Live@Edu, Renissance Place for Accelerated Reader, etc.)

Solution- create 'Internet' direct devices.

Goals

Description

BrowserLinux (BL) is a fast, free and small (<90 Mb!) Linux distribution for surfing the web.

Basically you only get:

We have had good performance on older (11 years) computers with Pentium IVs with 256MB of RAM. I think you might be able to squeak by with 128MB but would not suggest it.

Because BL loads and runs from RAM web browsing performance rivals that of even dual core and faster machines.

If you have seen the Google Chrome Books, think of this as the frugal version with same basic concept and capabilities but for a lot less money!

What you need:

Setup-

Browser Linux (BL) suggests you do not do a full install to hard drive. So we...

  1. Create a bootable CD from Browser Linux iso (we are currently using version 4 browserlinuxCL11.iso , not the newest version 5, if you would like a copy of our customized iso file with both Chrome and FireFox click here for mogadore.iso)
  2. Boot from CD on the desired computer
  3. Make sure you can browse to the Internet (to test DHCP and NIC drivers)
  4. Tweak all settings ( * see below for steps)
  5. Run GPart-partition-manager (on the BrowserLinux disk under /Apps/More) to create partition or repartition the Hard Drive
  6. Do a shut down and accept all of the default settings for saving your settings to local Hard Drive
  7. Reboot
  8. Use Remaster Puppy script ( /usr/sbin/remasterpup2 ) This file nameame may vary-- pupremaster, remasterpup, remasterpup2 depending on version you are running http://browserlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=423&highlight=remaster) to make new ISO image with your settings.
  9. Save newly created ISO on a USB drive
  10. Use ISO from USB to burn new CDs one for each of the computers we want to run Browser Linux on.


Some thoughts/suggestions...


Tweaking Settings, here is what we do at Mogadore

  1. First, If you end up with a "speckled" or an un-viewable desktop after booting you need to redo the video probe.
  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del
  2. You should be sent to command line prompt
  3. Type xorgwizard then press enter
  4. A gray screen with two choices at bottom will pop up chose the  xorg button
  5. The video will be probed and you will then be given a choice of resolutions to select (or it will think it knows the correct one and choose for you)
  6. After you choose appropriate settings you be be again sent to a prompt
  7. Type xwin to restart video, you then should be able to view desktop.
  8. If there is a problem with the selected settings it will pop you back to prompt and you will need to repeat steps b through g
  1. Check local, time and date settings, adjust settings if necessary (if the computer will be used in a Foreign Language classroom we set the language of system to match. This means that all program and system menus will be in Spanish, French, etc.)
  2. Change desktop background All/Wallpaper (we created default.png image file for our new wallpaper then had it available on our web site. From BL we went to web then downloaded and saved default.png file to  /usr/share/backgrounds)
  3. Change Browser’s Starting or Home Page setting on Chrome or FireFox
  4. Install desired Extensions/Add-Ons for Chrome or FireFox
  5. Add desired Bookmarks
  6. Tweak Chrome or FireFox settings options as desired
  7. Install the extra fonts package- /Apps/Install Microsoft Webcore Fonts
  8. Add desktop shortcut and icon for shutting down
  1. Find  file usr/bin/wmpoweroff 
  2. Create a shortcut on Desktop for it
  3. Use a downloaded .png image for shortcut’s icon. (We used http://techtrickz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Switch-Off-icon.jpg and converted it to a .png graphic first)
  4. Edit icon shortcut text to “Click here to Shutdown. Please also turn off the monitor power.”
  1. Add desktop shortcut for included Galculator calculator
  2. Printing--
  1. Install HPLIB CUPS software for printing--
  2. http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=40225
  3. http://www.datafilehost.com/download-16675fea.html
  4. Start CUPs configuration (it will open in a window in your browser)
  5. Setup specific printer(s). I have had much better luck with PostScript capable printers/drivers
  6. Test printer
  1. Install numlockx-1.1.pet to automatically turn on keypad NumLock when booting-- (http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?mode=attach&id=26870) 
  2. Wireless-- if always using the same  access point BL can be setup to auto reconnect
  3. Reboot and when prompted save all settings by answering affirmatively to all prompts
  4. After restarting computer- run remastering script ( /usr/sbin/remasterpup2 ) to create a new customized ISO

Stuck?

If you ever want/need to start fresh and all remove settings from a computer’s Hard Drive

  1. Boot from BL CD
  2. Press F2 as soon as booting process begins
  3. On command line type--  puppy pfix=ram then press enter key
  4. Computer will continue booting from CD only  ignoring all saved settings on HD and will not mount HD
  5. Run GPart-partition-manager (on the BrowserLinux disk under /Apps/More) to delete existing HD partition and all saved files on HD, then create new partition.
  6. When you reboot or shutdown you will be prompted to again save setting to HD

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Rational / Explanation

One of the big changes in our district that lead to our interest in an Internet Browser only computer was the roll-out of Google Apps for Education (GAEE)  in our district. We provide full accounts for all staff and all students in grades 6 to 12 and limited accounts to grades 2 to 5 with just Docs and Calendars, but no e-mail.. We also were accumulating a lot of older computers that were too slow for everyday use, had outdated OS (Windows 2000) and did a poor job with online multimedia. This perfect storm lead me to the “discovery” of BrowserLinux.

Because of the free cost of the software and the already existing, but outdated, computers we allowed teachers to add as many as they wanted or that could physically fit in their classrooms. This lack of rationing technology and no limit in numbers because of cost was a huge surprise to them!

********************************************************************************************************

Staff & Student Info--

I then had to explain to the staff and students what these re purposed computers could and could not do. Along with that I created step-by-step instructions for Students and Staff on creating , sharing and editing Google Docs. I have included a copies of the teacher and student versions below.

Just a few notes of explanation:

Student Classroom Computers

* This information applies to the student computers found in many classrooms..

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

* Where are all the icons?

* How do students do word processing, spreadsheets or PowerPoint type presentations?

What can they do from the Documents page in GAEE?

How do they share a document with a teacher for grading?

Why would they want to create and save documents on Google Apps Docs

What can they do if they get stuck or cannot figure out how to do something?

Why all of this online stuff, aren’t paper and pencil easier?

What if their keyboarding (typing) skills are not fast enough to get assignments done this way?

What else can they do with the Browser?

If they have forgotten their GAEE user name or password, what they I do?

How are they ever going to remember all of this stuff?

“Turning in” Work by Sharing a GAEE Doc (Google Doc)

The first part of these instructions are what will be provided to the students.

The second part, in red text, is provide only for teachers.

  1. First, if not specifically assigned by your teacher, check with your teacher to make sure this method of submitting your work is OK with them for this specific assignment.
  2. Log into your GAEE account (Google Apps).
  3. Go to the “Documents” page (link is above the Wildcat logo on your e-mail page)
  4. Click button labelled "Create a new▼" (or if you have already created the document with another program click “Upload...” an existing document. Instructions on uploading an existing document are given below*).

*Choose the type of document you want to create (in Google Apps a “Document” is a word processing document)

Create your document.

For assistance in using any of the document types, visit-

  1. The Google Docs Help Center (click on “Help” on top menu bar)
  2. The GAEE Apps Help Link on our Portal Page
  3. The Atomic Learning- Google Docs page at www.atomiclearning.com/k12/google_docs (you will need the district user name and password to access Atomic Learning)

When you are ready to turn in your document to your teacher, use the "Share" function to share the doc with your teacher(s).

  1. Click on  the  “Share” button  in upper right corner  
  2. Click on  “Sharing settings”

The Sharing settings" dialog box will then open. This is where you select who you would like to share the document with and whether that person will have view only or editing capability.

Teachers only--

  1. When you log into your e-mail you will receive a message that a document has been shared with you.
  2. Click on the “Documents” page (the link is above the Wildcat logo on your e-mail page) and you will see the document, the student’s name and the date the document was last edited.
  3. You should now have access to view, edit, add comments, print or download their document.

To add comments, open the document then...

  1. highlight the word or words you want to comment on
  2. click Insert on top menu
  3. click Comment on drop down menu (you can also use Ctrl-Alt-M keyboard shortcut)

A small comment box with yellow background will open in the right margin. Type your comments into this box.A small comment box with yellow background will open in the right margin. Type your comments into this box.

A small comment box with yellow background will open in the right margin. Type your comments into this box.

  1. The three little icons at top of box let you...
  1. edit your comment
  2. delete comment and box or
  3. close and hide the comment box

  1. In addition to commenting you can actually make changes in the student’s text and you can...
  1. use a different color text or background to distinguish your writing
  2. use  “strikethrough” from “Format” menu to cross out words without deleting them
  1. Below is an example from the Google Docs help center at http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=168131

Google Docs also have a revision history, where you can view or revert back to any earlier version of the document. Revision history displays both the person doing the revision and the time/date of revision.

After a teacher has reviewed a student’s doc, all the comments, changes, etc. will be viewable by the student when they log in again and open their document.

If you would like to keep a backup copy of any document or would like to use a program installed on your computer to make changes to a document, you can use the File..Download function in the individual document’s menu

For more information on this and other Google Docs questions visit:

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=15114

* For information specifically on Uploading existing documents visit:

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=15133

For information specifically on Comments visit: http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=52527

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Student Version-

Student Classroom Computers at HS & Jr.HS

* This information applies to the student computers found in many classrooms at the High School & Jr. High.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

* Where are all the icons?

*How do I do word processing spreadsheets or PowerPoint type presentation?

What can I do from the Documents page in Cats Apps?

How do I share a document with a teacher for grading?

Why would I want to create and save my documents on Cats Apps

What can I do if I get stuck or cannot figure out how to do something?

Why all of this online stuff, aren’t paper and pencil easier?

What if my keyboarding (“typing”) skills are not fast enough to get my assignments done this way?

What else can I do with the Browser?

I have forgotten my Cats Apps user name or password, what should I do?

How am I ever going to remember all of this stuff?

“Turning in” Work by Sharing a Cats Apps Doc (Google Doc)

  1. First, if not specifically assigned by your teacher, check with your teacher to make sure this method of submitting your work is OK with them for this specific assignment.
  2. Log into your Cats Apps account (Google Apps).
  3. Go to the “Documents” page (link is above the Wildcat logo on your e-mail page)
  4. Click button labelled "Create a new▼" (or if you have already created the document with another program click “Upload...” an existing document. Instructions on uploading an existing document are given below*).
  5. Choose the type of document you want to create (in Google Apps a “Document” is a word processing document)
  6. Create your document.
  7. For assistance in using any of the document types, visit-
  1. The Google Docs Help Center (click on “Help” on top menu bar)
  2. The Cats Apps Help Link on our Portal Page
  3. The Atomic Learning- Google Docs page at www.atomiclearning.com/k12/google_docs (you will need the district user name and password to access Atomic Learning)
  1. When you are ready to turn in your document to your teacher, use the "Share" function to share the doc with your teacher(s).
  1. Click on  the  “Share” button  in upper right corner  
  2. Click on  “Sharing settings”        
  1. The Sharing settings" dialog box will then open. This is where you select who you would like to share the document with and whether that person will have view only or editing capability.

  1. After you have completed sharing the document, the teacher(s) will have access to it via their Cats Apps Docs.
  2. In addition to viewing and/or printing the document, they will also have the ability to “grade it” electronically by adding comments that you will then be able to view in your original document.  
  3. After a teacher has reviewed your doc, if they make comments they will appear as highlighted words in the text and as notes to right of the text in your copy of the doc
  4. If your teacher requests that you make changes to the document, there is no need to repeat the sharing procedure as they will continue to have access to the document for further grading.
  5. If you would like to keep a backup copy of any document or would like to use a program installed on your computer to make changes to a document, you can use the File..Download function in the individual document’s menu

For more information on this and other Google Docs questions visit:

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=15114

* For information specifically on Uploading existing documents visit:

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=15133

For information specifically on Comments visit: http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=52527