Jul 152011

Do you have an old computer laying around your house? Do your kids live on your home computer? Does your home computer gets infected with viruses often? If your answer is yes to these questions, then its time for you to clean up that old computer laying around your house and install Ubuntu.

What is Ubuntu? Ubuntu is a distribution of Linux which is a free and open source operating system. Ubuntu has all the same features your regular operating system has and the best part is that you don’t have to pay for it. With Ubuntu your family can play games, visit websites, play music, write term papers, and create spread sheets and presentations compatible with Microsoft Office. If you plan on using this just for your kids to play games and web browse, I would encourage you to install Edubuntu. Edubuntu is and extension of Ubuntu designed for educational purposes. Not only is it practically immune to viruses, Edubuntu has tons of educational programs from Math to Typing.  Edubuntu runs on modest hardware that may not be capable of running Windows. Why not recycle that old computer or dual boot your existing computer?

If you would like to try out the Edubuntu without installing it, you can try it online through your web browser. Try online  Edubuntu.

Before installing Ubuntu, you need to evaluate the computer you are going to use for it. Here is a list of requirements for your computer to be able to run Ubuntu.  As you can see, doesn’t require much in the way of resources.  A 10-year old computer would work just fine.

  • 1 GHz x86 processor (Pentium 4 or better)
  • 512 MB of system memory (RAM)
  • 5 GB of hard-drive space
  • Graphics card and monitor capable of 800×600
  • Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port (or both)
  • Internet access is helpful

After you evaluate your computer, head over to Ubuntu and download and burn Ubuntu ISO to a cd, dvd or usb flash drive. Here is a complete guide on downloading and installing Ubuntu. Once you have completely installed Ubuntu, you want to check for updates. To check for updates go System>Administration>then Update Manager. Once you have successfully updated Ubuntu, you can now install Edubuntu. Depending on your child’s grade level,  you can install separate packages ranging from preschool to college.

Here are the grade level packages.

  • ubuntu-edu-preschool – Preschool ( < 5 years old) educational application bundle
  • ubuntu-edu-primary – Primary ( ages 6-12) educational application bundle
  • ubuntu-edu-secondary – Secondary ( ages 13-18) educational application bundle
  • ubuntu-edu-tertiary – Tertiary ( university level ) educational application bundle

To install a certain package you will need to open a terminal window (which can be located under Applications> Accessories>Terminal).  Once you have a terminal window up, type sudo apt-get install  ubuntu-edu-preschool (this is only for preschool level if you want to install a different package type in “sudo apt-get install ubuntu-edu-” and then the package name, for example “sudo apt-get install ubuntu-edu-tertiary” for the university level.

Instead of throwing out that virus-ridden old Windows machine, go green and recycle it with Edubuntu!

 Posted by at 1:38 pm
Apr 272011

The advantage of creating a PDF with form fields is to allow users to fill out the form electronically instead of writing the information manually. PDF forms are more convenient for users and eliminates constant confusion with individual’s penmanship. The form can be filled out, printed, or re-PDF’d and electronically submitted.

There are many programs that can help you create PDF with active fields with prices ranging from $50 to over $400. The Program that is being used for this article is CutePDF Professional. We like CutePDF Pro because its user friendly and inexpensive. The user interface is simple and easy to use and allows you to insert check boxes, text fields, and signatures into your PDF.

Creating a PDF Form:

1.) Download & Install CutePDF Pro (CutePDF Pro is a paid version).
2.) Create a Word Document (Microsoft Word, Open Office, etc.).
3.) Save and Print PDF to desktop(Print with CutePDF Writer).
4.) Open PDF file with CutePDF Pro.
5.) Adding text fields to document (Form editing then text fields tools).
6.) Once you are finished adding fields (etc.) to your document save as a PDF to your desktop.
7.) You should have a PDF file with active fields similar to this (PDF/fields)

You can now distribute the PDF form to users for them to complete and return to you. As a user enters data into your PDF, they are not able to save it. They can either print it or create a new PDF using a free PDF utility such as CutePDF Writer. Happy PDF’ing!

 Posted by at 9:08 am