Netbooks are such tender things, really. Soft, delicate little machines that give you more word processing ease than a tablet can, but without being as bulky and content-filled as a laptop or desktop would be. I knew when I made my first purchase of a netbook that I was going to be using it expressly for checking email and writing articles when on the go. Back when it got all of its major usage, that’s all I had needed it for as I was traveling a lot.
My Dell Mini 10 Inspiron was a special edition that I bought specifically for the Nickleodeon “Slime” casing. Yes, I’m really mature. It was released with Windows XP and something about it felt a bit too cluttered for such a tiny machine. While it did everything I wanted it to do, it felt like it was doing it terribly slowly and so the search was on for something to expedite the time that the tiny machine was taking to do even the most minute of tasks.
Having very little knowledge of Linux, I was introduced to an install of Linux that was more user-friendly and it could be installed via a USB thumb drive with very little complications. I absolutely loved this OS because it ran as fast as possible and with only minor problems (the wireless card had to be tricked into working), and they were easily fixed.
Eventually, it appeared I was using the netbook less and less and yet my child, who is 11, needed it more and more for homework. Linux is many things, but it’s not user-friendly for children. After everything I had been hearing about the Chrome OS and how Chromebooks were essentially browser and cloud-sharing heaven, I wanted to know if this was something I could install onto this tiny netbook for my kid. Hell, I wasn’t using it anymore and what better computer starter for a child than a netbook? It has barely any space on it to get into trouble with, you can’t download heavy programs, and it essentially can be used for Internet and basic word processing. Why not, right?
After a bit of rummaging around, I found Joli OS. You want to talk about a simplified installation of a Chrome-based operating system? Joli did it. If you can operate Google Chrome, you can operate Joli OS. What I loved even more is that, when I was introducing my tiny netbook to this OS, I had my concerns. Did I have enough RAM? Most netbooks don’t come packed with a ton of memory, and this one was no different as it only housed one gig. Was the integrated graphics card going to be okay? What about space?
When looking into Chrome-based OS platforms for netbooks, I found that most of the websites and forums that touted the beautiful new option were filled with reassuring voices. “Go ahead, try it out. You’ll love it. Don’t worry; it’s safe here and the water is just fine.” And without much more troubleshooting whatsoever, I installed Joli OS onto my netbook.
I could never go back.
Before I knew it, I was grabbing up the old desktops that we wanted to repurpose for use of children in the family. I have a special needs brother who we’ve burned through computer after computer because there was never a way to keep the complications of Windows from becoming problematic for an autistic youth. Finally, we had something we could give to him that he had no possible way of getting into the guts of and reprogramming unintentionally. I took every computer I could find and set to work installing Joli OS and bringing Windows-fried computers back to life. Suddenly, I was brainstorming ways to find old, abandoned PCs to rebuild to simplistic glory again. I became a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein, but instead of bolt-templed monstrosities, I was giving people a way to stay connected.
I urge all of you to check out the beauty that is Joli OS. And even if you don’t have any systems that need repurposing, check out the utilities it has that open up the cloud for everyday use. Want to try out the fast reflexes of a Chromebook that boots up in mere seconds without having to shell out hundreds up front? Try Joli. Have an old computer you want to set up for some kids or perhaps a parent or grandparent? Joli will give them all they need and keep them safe and protected from malware and viruses while letting them keep in contact.
Still not convinced? Take a look at this video of the Jolicloud system that can be used on your desktop now to give the system a whirl before installing the actual OS. It’s beautiful and you can even dual-boot it from Windows if you want to give the actual OS a try. Want to just peek in? Download the Desktop Joli, a seamless cloud client that you will fall in love with.
Do you use a Chrome-style OS? Perhaps you found a flavor of Linux you like? What do you use for your netbooks or older computers — or maybe you’ve heard of some new OS out there? Share with us in the comments below!