Thursday, July 24, 2008

Another player on the mini laptop market

An add in a local newspaper pointed me at the Acer Aspire One. It is yet another mini notebook. With a weight of under a kilo and 8,9 inch screen it seems quite a nice product. I found a review at cnet. It certainly is a nice price at 299 euros, shame about the trackpad buttons and the weak battery.
I am still happy with my Asus Eee, but the 7 inch screen is still rather small and I am disappointed with the updates Asus has provided for the Xandros operating system. I do hope Acer will do a better job with the Linus Lite OS they are using on the Aspire One. It is interesting that the hardware manufacturers are the ones responsible for supporting open Source operating systems...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Utrecht University has chosen for Blackboard as VLE

It is now (sort of) official: Utrecht University has chosen to use Blackboard as its Virtual Learning Environment. Blackboard is already in use at a number of departments besides WebCT en BSCW.
The decision was prepared by a project group which was asked to compare (the shortlisted options) Sharepoint and Blackboard Next Generation. Important arguments in making a choice where: Blackboard offers all the required functionalities out-of-the-box, whereas using Sharepoint would require a lot of programming and customising. This would not only make it a very expensive option in the short term, but also requires upkeep and adaptations in the longer term. Sharepoint was also considered less suitable due to the steep learning curve for staff. This is related to the fact that it is not purpose-built for teaching and learning and does not fit in the 'classroom metafor'.

The decision is notable if you take into account that Utrecht University will be using Sharepoint for the public website, intranet and (in the future) teamspaces.