Basic Netbook Orientation

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Contents

General

  • The new 'Dell Mini 10v' laptops do not run Windows
  • They run the latest 'Ubuntu' Linux Operating System with the Edubuntu add-on packages plus much more.
  • All the applications and OS are Open Source - i.e. Free
  • A list and brief description of all the installed applications is here
  • Linux does not suffer itself from viruses (laptops therefore run comparatively faster due to having no need for anti-virus) but if you download an infected file and copy it to a Windows laptop it may still infect the Windows laptop.
  • Linux does not run Windows applications although many free/open-source alternative applications are available on Linux.
  • Many of the free/open-source applications that exist on these laptops are also available for Windows.

Start Up

  • Press the power button above the top-left of the keyboard.
  • Wait for around 30-40 seconds

User Login

  • Once the laptop has started up and the wireless network has automatically connected, you will be asked for your school Year. Select one and click OK (or just double click it).
  • Next select your pupil name then click OK (or just double click the name).
  • Note: Pupils can read and delete each others files.
  • You can double-click 'Change user' on the desktop to repeat this logging-on process or to change the pupil who is using it.

Logging in as a different User

  • You can just restart the laptop or follow the below instructions.
  • DO NOT use the menu 'Log out' option.
  • Close all applications.
  • Double-click the 'Change User' icon on the desktop.
  • You will be asked for your school Year. Select one and click OK (or just double click it).
  • Next select your pupil name then click OK (or just double click the name).
  • Note: Pupils can read each others files.
  • You can double-click 'Change user' on the desktop to repeat this logging-on process or to change the pupil who is using it.

Shutting Down

  • Press the power button above the top-left of the keyboard and then, using the touchpad, select 'Shut Down'.
  • Wait for around 6 seconds.
  • If the machine is frozen and really cannot be shut down, hold the power button down for 10 seconds.

Stuck?

  • If you have saved your work and get stuck you can just Shut Down and Start Up as described above to get back to where you started.

Starting Applications

  • The 'Start' menu button is a button at the far bottom-left of the screen (Note: the icon doesn't actually say 'Start').
  • Applications are categorised per subject area or into general application categories.

Starting the VLE

  • Double-click on 'Web Browser' on the Desktop - the VLE is set as the default home page.
  • Tip: You can zoom in by pressing the 'Windows' button (bottom-left of the keyboard between the 'Fn' and 'Alt' keys).

Saving Work

Important: If you do not save files using one of the below methods they will be deleted when the laptop reboots. No backup are made of these deleted files.

MyFiles

  • Files in here get saved to user's area on the server share and backed up nightly.
  • Only accessible in the School
  • Do not save confidential information or files in 'MyFiles'.

Emergency MyFiles

  • Files in here are stored locally on the laptop get deleted after 30 days with no backups.
  • Only use when there is a network or server problem and you cannot logon.
  • You should then probably find the same laptiop next time and copy file files to your MyFiles area.
  • Do not save confidential information or files in 'Emergency MyFiles'.

Saving to a USB Stick / Memory Stick

Follow these instructions if you wish to save or load files from your own memory stick / USB stick.

  • Insert the stick
  • A folder icon showing the USB stick will appear on the desktop after about 5 seconds.
  • Save and Load files into that USB stick folder as required.
  • Ensure that before removing the stick, right-click the Desktop USB stick icon and select 'Safely Remove' otherwise the files may become corrupted.

How to save

  • Almost all applications will allow you to choose where to save - choose 'MyFiles' (sometimes in the Desktop folder) then a suitable folder within that (e.g. Documents or Pictures etc).
  • Some applications don't allow you to choose where to save, these will automatically save in 'MyFiles' (e.g. TuxPaint)

Application Settings

  • All application will be reset when the laptop is rebooted.
  • If the default settings need improving then please let support know to get them changed centrally.

Printing

  • Print outs are sent to the Photocopier in the office.
  • By default, to save costs, printing is in black and white.
  • Colour printing can be enabled on each use as follows:
    • When the printer dialogue pops up, select the 'Advanced' tab
    • Change 'Normal Greyscale' to 'Normal'
    • Print as usual.
  • Some applications (e.g. TuxPaint) just print without popping up a print dialogue. In this case to get colour do the following:
    • Save the picture
    • Find the saved picture in MyFiles/Pictures/tuxpaint/saved/ and double click
    • Print in colour as above.

Backups

  • All files saved under MyFiles are backed up every night.
  • Backups are retained for around 60 days.

Accessing and Restoring Backup files

  • Any user can get to the backup files as follows:
    • Open 'MyFiles' on the Desktop
    • Click the 'MyFiles Backups' on the bottom-left of the file browser (or, click the bookmarks menu in the file browser and select 'MyFiles Backups').
    • Clicking 'Latest' folder (for yesterday's backup) or clicking the dated folder for deleted or changed files from previous days.
    • Clicking through to their Year and name will get their backup files.
    • You can then Copy and Paste the file back into their MyFiles folder if required.

Other Notes

Adding a Mouse

  • You will only be able to use a mouse which has a USB plug on it.
  • If you have a spare mouse just plug it in and it should just work automatically.

Charging

  • The laptops need around 3 hours to recharge. Fully charged, a laptop will run for 6-7 hours (when new).
  • Please ensure that the children plug the charger cables back into the laptops when they are returned.
  • Please ensure that the laptop number matches the number on the shelf.
  • The laptop trolleys should be left plugged in to charge overnight - please ensure that the mains plug from the trolley is plugged into a mains socket when you leave for the night.

Using a Laptop at Home

You can take these laptops home to work but bear in mind a few things:

  • Saving to 'MyFiles' will not be available.
  • It is probably best to save your work to a USB stick to prevent the laptop deleting any saved files upon rebooting.
  • A few applications will not connect to the Internet from home. Firefox Web Browser will work fine.
  • Check the battery charge level (hover your mouse pointer over the small battery symbol at the bottom-right of the screen) because you will not have a power supply (they are all wired into the charging trolleys).

Support

  • Due to the generic nature of this page, the detailed support information has been removed.
  • Please find the support process on a poster in the staff room.
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