Sunday, January 3, 2010

Posting from my Dell Inspiron mini 10

Well, I’ve had this for 24 hours now.  It’s probably going to be returned when I head to Best Buy next week.  Not because of any flaws in the netbook – I’m pretty addicted to it already.  But although the earnest Best Buy guy promised it was upgradable and sold us 2 gig of RAM, this mini is definitely NOT upgradable.  I woke up this morning to pieces of the Dell all over the table as husband made that discovery.  I’ve had my XO for several years now and never took it apart like that – and the XO is designed for that. 

Still, the netbook is proof positive that I’m sorta giving up on the XO for now.  It is a wonderful piece of technology for what it is designed for.  However, if I may state the obvious, it was not designed for my situation.  I badly would like to get a stack of XOs for my classroom, but I would eventually come up against something I couldn’t solve – how to print, how to mesh, how to make abiword work.  And although I LIKE the fact that I have to rely on the community and learn how to make it work, I’m also realistic about what I have time to do and not do.  I’m already struggling at my job because I don’t turn in the TPS reports – I mean the curriculum based measurements – on time, which is whenever they ask for it, which is usually by yesterday.  Part of me wants to construct knowledge, but part of me knows that dammit, we don’t have time to construct.  My school and my job depend on prepping kids for a test that doesn’t care how they feel about knowledge, or school, or themselves.  It just knows 4 things about them, whether it considers them  Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, or Advanced.  And all my kids are working against disabilities that the test doesn’t care about.  Will a bunch of XOs raise test scores?  Will the tech people support a bunch of XOs? 

It’s too much, I think, for a first year special ed teacher with her job in jeopardy to try.  At least this year. 

I haven’t given up on XOs.  But really, I just need something that works easily all the time.  Next year, if I’m still around, I’ll apply for a stack of XOs.  But until then, I have to go for ease and what works for my situation. 

Netbooks and XOs

So, after a few years flirtation with my beautiful green XO laptop, I've given in and bought a Dell Inspirion 10 Mini with a purple bike pattern on the top. It runs Windows 7.

So, I'm sitting here, typing in bed, with my Dell when I usually am messing with my XO or, lately, my Palm Pre. But man, life is so much easier with this Dell so far. I'm not fighting the XOs clunky's operating system. I love the XO for what it is. It launched the netbook trend. I still feel fine handing it over to the kids and letting it be experimented with, dropped, drooled on. I'll still be able to throw it in my backpack without worrying about it. I don't think I'll let the kids use my netbook at all.

I'm amazed though, at how easy it is to use, so no fuss, like my XO. But it's so much more functional. I can type on it. It does not make me fight the internet every time I want to get on.

Still, in deference to my XO, I installed Open Office instead of shelling out for yet another copy of Micro$oft Office.

I'm going to see how the Open Office works out with interfacing with school software.