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Blue Skies Thread, Chrome will bring about the ICT revolution in schools in General; @ SPM - angling for a job there? HTML5 may have fixed some of the issues but it is still ...
  1. #181

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    @SPM - angling for a job there?

    HTML5 may have fixed some of the issues but it is still not the only solution, if security was everything then everyone would be running BSD on extensively tested hardware. As to just as efficient, that is also debatable, I don't care what you say that interpreting layer still adds overhead, even if it is only once or more likely every time to keep the whole JS JIT alive.

  2. #182

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    No, I'm not a fanboy - I'm doing my job. My job is to provide a network with which teachers can do their job easily and effectively. That job is teaching. If I remove Java, they lose access to a number of pieces of software which they use to teach with. If I remove Flash, we lose access to masses of sites. If I remove Chrome, they end up with a lower quality experience of the web. If I spend my entire time focussing on security, rather than balancing security against practicality, then I will be sacked, plain and simple. My employer wants a facilitator, not an obstacle.
    I think this is bang on. I come from a corporate background, there everything is locked down as mush as possible. Having just completed my 2nd term in a school, I've had a big change of mind. More and more I'm coming round to the idea that IT is about flexibility and allowing users (Teachers) the freedom to experiment and innovate in the way they want to use IT. I now see my role as providing a stable, reliable platform on which users can operate in the way which suits them. (Which is sometimes a pain in the backside, but the corporate "lockdown" model is a sure way to stop technology being used).

    I think.

  3. Thanks to Jimmer3568 from:

    dave.81 (2nd April 2013)

  4. #183

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    We've had some Chromebooks on trial and in our experience they have easily outdone the laptops/netbooks/tablets we have trialled with the same group of junior school students. We have purchased some to replace the netbooks that were stolen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPM View Post
    I don't think this number is accurate. 1% of the market, which I think is from web usage statistics certainly is a lot more than 500,000.
    Chrome OS hasn't even managed 0.1% according to the latest stats...

    First real-world usage figures suggest Chromebooks are struggling « ZDNet

    In its first week of monitoring worldwide usage of Google's Chrome OS, NetMarketShare reported that the percentage of web traffic from Chromebooks was roughly 2/100 of 1 percent, a figure too small to earn a place on its reports.
    To put things in perspective, as of April 2013 all Chromebooks combined have managed to achieve 7/10 of 1 percent of the usage of Windows 8 PCs worldwide.

    Put another way, that figure suggests that in nearly two years on the market, all of those Chromebooks have achieved a smaller percentage of usage than Windows RT earned as of January 2013, after only three months on the market. Windows RT has been widely considered a disappointment, with OEMs cutting prices for RT-powered devices.

    In both categories, those tiny results suggest a fair amount of pain for the OEMs that jumped in early. Google’s gone all-in for its cloud-based OS, and Microsoft is similarly gung-ho about the future of its Windows RT operating system. But it might be another couple of years before the general buying public is really ready for either one.
    If Windows 8 / RT has 'flopped', I'm not sure what word you would use to describe Chrome OS and Chromebooks?

  6. #185


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    Does HP seriously expect people to buy rubbish like this?

    HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook review: a first attempt at Chrome OS that cuts too many corners « Engadget

    "The company simply made too many compromises when it decided to build its first Chromebook from a recycled PC chassis. While it's reasonably thin and light for a 14-inch laptop, the non-standard keyboard layout and antiquated trackpad are deal breakers. Add a lackluster display and mediocre battery life to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. The Pavilion 14's only redeeming qualities are its zippy performance, decent speakers and solid build quality. Is it worth $329? Absolutely not."








    Then there's HP's trackpad. Oh, the trackpad -- it's something right out of a landfill full of dead Compaq laptops. Welcome back to 2003. The Pavilion 14 is the first Chromebook to ditch the one-piece clickable trackpad that's commonplace today. What you get instead are two overly stiff buttons below a roughly patterned surface -- it looks and feels terrible. Then there's the unused button / indent (and matching LED) in the top-left corner of the trackpad, which is designed to toggle the trackpad on / off in Windows, but does absolutely nothing here. At least two-finger scrolling works -- it's just not nearly as smooth as on other Chromebooks. None of the other gestures illustrated in the tutorial that ships pre-installed with every Chromebook are supported. We're not sure how that slipped through the cracks (see screenshot above), but we're guessing that first-time buyers are going to be quite confused.

  7. #186


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    New Chromebooks are due to be released in October and November.

    ...around late October Google will launch a new set of laptops, together with many of its hardware partners, that will be available in November. (Source)
    The first one is from Acer.

    https://plus.google.com/106333172328...ts/cctmNmWswRd

    Specs
    • 11,6" TFT WXGA High Definition WXGA CineCrystal™
    • LED-backlit 1366 x 768
    • Intel Dual Core 1007u Processor (1.5Ghz)
    • 4GB DDR3 RAM
    • 16 GB SSD
    • Intel HD Graphics HDMI
    • HD Webcam
    • 2 in 1 (SD/MMC)
    • 3 x USB 2.0 / Fast Ethernet
    • 802.11 a/g/n WIFI (2.4 & 5Ghz)
    • Chiclet keyboard
    • Multi-gesture Touchpad
    • Li-ion 6 cells

  8. #187

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Well, I now know of one school round here that has gone chromebook for their byod devices. Wouldn't have been my choice but edu seems full of stupid ICT decisions round here.

  9. #188


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    New Haswell-based ChromeOS devices from Asus, Acer, HP and Toshiba were announced today. Perhaps with these, Google will be able to reach 0.2% marketshare?



  10. #189
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    Still find it a bit amusing that a device that's meant to be lean and light on system resources due to the cloud focus still needs cutting edge CPU power and ends up not much cheaper than a standard laptop

  11. #190


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    Also quite funny is that the Intel Chromebooks have significantly better battery life than Samsung's ARM Chromebook (6.5 hours vs 8.5-9.5). Shouldn't it be the other way around?


  12. #191


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    Why the NSA loves Google’s Chromebook « Ars Technica

    If recent revelations from Brazil are correct, Chromebook plus a government-forged Google certificate equals a man-in-the-middle attack against the SSL security of Google's services—and a way for the government to read all of your e-mails and documents as they pass back and forth through an Internet chokepoint to and from your browser.

    None of this is necessarily Google's fault. But it's a weakness of the browser as platform—by pushing nearly all the computing resources for applications, beside presentation, back up into the cloud, the Chromebook model creates a one-stop shop for attackers or observers to inject themselves into your computing world.

  13. #192


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    HP Chromebook 14 to be released 3rd November for $299/£250 « OMG Chrome

    The $299/£250 laptop comes in a choice of three colours (all with ridiculous descriptions) and packs an Intel Haswell 1.4Ghz Celeron 2955U CPU at its core.

    Don’t let the word ‘Celeron’ put you off – these 22nm processors deliver far better performance than previous chips but with far less battery use.

    HP say that the Chromebook 14 is good for 9.5 hours on a single charge (though expect an hour or so lower in ‘real world’ usage).

    Ports wise the device provides 2x USB 2.0, a sole USB 3.0, full-size SD card slot and a HDMI out.

    A 4G model will follow the release of the Wi-Fi only model with a slightly higher price of $349. A 32GB model will also be made available according to an HP rep we spoke to.

    Full Specs
    • 14" Screen (1366 x 768)
    • Intel Celeron 2955U @ 1.4Ghz (Haswell, Dual Core)
    • Intel HD Integrated Graphics
    • 2GB RAM
    • 16GB SSD

    Initial hands-on reviews are tempered, most praising the OS and but not so much the materials housing it. The plastic trackpad in particular seems to bear the brunt of criticism.

    But the large battery price, decent specs and affordable price offsets many of these concerns. Short of Toshiba or Acer’s new models pipping this, the HP Chromebook 14 appears to be the device to beat.


    ^ Why is HP incapable of making a trackpad that doesn't suck!

  14. #193


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    Every Windows 8/8.1 PC is now a Chromebook! If you enable Kiosk Mode, you could boot straight into "ChromeOS".

    Google is building Chrome OS straight into Windows 8 « The Verge

    In the latest dev channel release the UI and functionality is identical to Chrome OS. There's a shelf with Chrome, Gmail, Google, Docs, and YouTube icons that can be arranged at the bottom, left, or right of the screen. Like Chrome OS, you can create multiple browser windows and arrange them using a snap to the left or right of the display or fullscreen modes. An app launcher is also available in the lower left-hand corner.

    While the Chrome browser acts as a Windows 8 application, it's using a special mode that Microsoft has enabled specifically for web browsers. The software maker allows browsers on Windows 8 to launch in its "Metro-style" environment providing they're set as default. The apps themselves aren't listed in the Windows Store and they're still desktop apps, but the exception allows them to mimic Windows 8 apps and access the app contracts and snapping features of the OS. While Chrome will obviously run in this mode on Windows 8, Microsoft does not permit this type of behavior on Windows RT.



  15. #194


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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Still find it a bit amusing that a device that's meant to be lean and light on system resources due to the cloud focus still needs cutting edge CPU power and ends up not much cheaper than a standard laptop
    If the new Chromebook 11 can't cope with many websites today, I hate to think what it will be like in two years. This probably won't stop schools buying them in the 1,000's however.

    HP Chromebook 11 Review « Slashgear

    It is said that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is, and the Chromebook 11 is no exception. Though this diminutive laptop is beautiful and has quite the solid construction, it lags (no pun intended) in the performance department, so much so that even those who have never used a higher-end laptop will still likely end up frustrated when using it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the video below is twice as valuable.

    This audio stutter was, unfortunately, more of the norm than an exception when browsing and watching video and listening to music. While low-load websites like Google.com don’t result in a stutter, stepping up to a website like Facebook, for example, resulted in some minor stutter, and more content heavy ones like our own and CNN.com resulted in pretty harsh stuttering and system bogging. On occasion, such a happening is forgivable, but after the first dozen times it became preferable to stop playing audio altogether rather than deal with the issue.






    ^ Skip to 14:21 in the video above to see more stuttering.

  16. #195

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    Interesting to see how this thread has developed over these couple of years. Some very interesting comments and a worthwhile read.

    My personal take on moving towards using someone else's infrastructure rather than your own is that it's a massive strategic decision that should be taken when, and only when, it's right for this particular organisation. I don't want to be going cloud-based just "because it's the future".

    Another important point is that once you move one service over, it almost certainly won't stop there. I'm going to be so esoteric as to go for a Star Trek reference and quote "with the first link, the chain is forged". It's the start of a very big journey that, as with anything else that massive, ought to be properly change-managed, and my worry is that I see this happening a lot without that process in place.

    Moving from Situation A to Situation B is not the same as starting with B. Arguably the cloud IS the future for a lot of organisations, but then we have to look at why. Often these are either start-ups (or in education, new schools) or organisations that, for whatever reason over the past 6-7 years, haven't opted to develop their core platform such that anytime, anywhere access is already in place and working well.

    Our core platform is a virtual infrastructure (albeit a fairly small one as we're not a big school, two production hosts and one redundant) that has plenty of expansion available and can basically handle whatever's thrown at it - which is what it was designed for and should be a core principle of any system design, be it in business, education, healthcare, you name it. Bought a new service that needs its own server instance, such as Securus? Fine, whack it on the secondary host and give it 4GB RAM to begin with.

    (Aside: this is why I disagree with the SLICT view that IT strategy begins by "generating a vision for education", i.e. how the system will be used. No, no, no... you develop a core platform that can handle whatever it needs to, then you have maximum flexibility for how it will be used and the exact functions can be worked out at a later date with minimal restrictions. Over the decades, the power of IT has always been that it is generic, and therefore has limitless applications when set up properly. I'm not saying the use of the system isn't a very important factor, I'm just saying it's not the only one, nor should everything else under the sun revolve around it as you will, you just WILL miss a number of other important factors if you start thinking about it that way - seen it so many times! It limits your perspectives because IT developments are actually a two-way process, with the industry changing all the time and these changes being fed back into "client sectors", not just the other way round.)

    Anyway... multiple DR options are in place, including offsite backups to another school where we've colocated a server (and are waiting to reciprocate if they ask). Unsure of what a bulk operation will do in SIMS, or whether a Service Pack will break a server? Fine, leave it till out of hours then snapshot the VM, make your changes and see... snap back again if you need to. Or, even better, run up your DR replicas on the redundant host and make your changes there first to test. I can do that with MY infrastructure because I control it completely... if you're only going for a SaaS cloud solution rather than IaaS or PaaS, you don't have those options.

    Then there's a virtual RemoteApp server with access to most of a host's 12 cores and 48GB of RAM allocated to it that obviously makes for VERY fast remote access from home to the complete school environment, and during the day that's also used in school to provide the same environment (guarded by Securus) on e.g. tablets, if it's anything more than simple web browsing that they want to do. Exchange is in place for e-mail and offers a few unique customisations like importing our set lists from SIMS as distribution groups in AD (yes, I know you could use the same PowerShell commands on Office 365). Basically we have a very small-scale equivalent of a "private cloud" setup in place... which is what EVERYONE should have by now, though granted if budgets or senior manglement have got in the way there, it's hardly IT's fault.

    Now, granted, if you haven't got all of the above in place and are concerned about the costs of getting it there... and/or if you're concerned about the costs of employing someone to maintain it (which since there are only two of us and we'd still be needed anyway becomes moot)... then using someone else's infrastructure becomes a very real option and is worthy of consideration. But if you DO already have that, then the question around moving away from it becomes very much "Why?" rather than "Why not?" in my opinion. It must be a choice made by each individual organisation according to their own needs, not a decision that we rush into "because it's the future" (whose?) or "because everyone else is" (why?).

    That is all.
    Last edited by Ephelyon; 8th December 2013 at 02:45 PM.

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