Jolicloud – a good OS (operating system) for netbooks
I have something of a reputation of being an early adopter. This is not true, having only just bought my first Blu-ray player, I did not buy the first generation of the iPhone and I have not rushed out to buy a Nexus phone or order an iPad. Having said that, one device which caught my early attention was the Asus EEE PC. I quickly bought one and indeed persuaded my boss that we should buy one for any of our 60 staff who wanted one.
I specified the Linux version, and most staff were very pleased with what was for many their first use of Linux (Xandros Linux). Several of us wiped it to install Ubuntu, and since then I have tried many other distributions such as Open Suse, Linux Mint, Mandriva – amongst others. At last I have found a version which has been designed for the Netbook PC from the outset. It is called Jolicloud, and is now in final pre-release version . The interface is very similar to that of Ubuntu NBR, but I have found it to be much quicker, especially running the Chrome browser. I am also pleased with the screen resolution which brings my Asus 901 to life (by the way, this is probably my favourite gadget and one I use every day).
There is a particular focus on cloud computing and social networking. The inteface for installing additional applications is very easy to use. A constant bar at the top of the screen shows a great deal of useful information. The opening screen has a panel on the left showing groups or categories of applications, and the right-hand panel shows all the locations that the computer is connected to. All of this customisable, at least to a certain extent.
Tariq Krim and his team in Paris have done an impressive job on this OS. If you have a Netbook, but are running Windows, then go to the Jolicloud web site and download a version to run off a memory stick. This will allow you to boot from it, run Jolicloud and all its applications without touching your installed copy of Windows. Linux has come of age, allowing the user to install, automatically pick up the drivers required and to use without any recourse to either a command line interface or a compiler. I can thoroughly recommend Jolicloud. (Oh, did I mention in boots in 15 seconds?)