Start of the 2009-2010 school year

Well we are 6 weeks into the 2009-2010 school year, and our first year of 1 to 1 with Apple MacBook laptops. That’s right, we switched our program to Apple this year. Last school year we surveyed the students, as well as potential students, and decided to conduct a trial year with Apple. So far, so good. We’ve had no virus issues on Mac, and Apple’s management tools are great! I think that Apple’s Remote Desktop program is quite possibly the greatest management program ever written, especially for the cost.

We have installed Windows XP on the MacBooks inside Sun’s VirtualBox software. Academic institutions qualify for their Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL). We considered using BootCamp, but by using virtualization the students don’t have to reboot their computer in order to change operating systems.

The hardware is not as great as we expected it to be. We had more out of the box problems than we had with HP or Toshiba laptops. Once the initial problems have been fixed, they have been very reliable — so far.

Students and staff have been asking what we are going to do for next year. It’s a little early to say with 100% certainty, but we aren’t ruling out anything. We have to look at the economy, our budget, and the fact that we can purchase netbooks for a fraction of the price we spent on previous notebooks. Ubuntu Linux on netbooks looks like a great solution. We’ll see what the future brings.

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