JoliCloud Linux Distribution

So, I installed Ubuntu Netbook Edition a while back and really liked it. Well, there was an upgrade to the Netbook Remix a month or so ago, so I tried it . . . not as great. It was a bit sluggish and the layout didn’t suit me.

So, I just heard that the JoliCloud 1.1 OS was just released. I always wanted to try it, but found Ubuntu just fine. Well, I had the HP 1000 just sitting there, so I went for it . . . glad I did.

Install was as easy as anything. Download an ISO file, run a program to save it to a USB drive, then boot the netbook from the USB drive (press F9 at startup). From there, it took about 5-10 minutes to install. Once booted up, it was ready to go . . . drivers (wifi too) included.

I’m toying around with it, but so far it’s a pretty sweet setup. Chromium Browser is ready to go, as is Facebook. A good number of the apps are simply portals to the web, but it actually works nicely.

I’ll try to post again later with updates, but if you have an old netbook or laptop lying around, this is a great use for browsing and simple computing (text editors are amply available). Go for it at www.jolicloud.com!

Sony EX308 Internet Enabled TV

By now, if you’ve read this, you know our family is well adapted to the Netflix streaming bandwagon. So, how do you think I reacted when my wife says, “We need a new TV for the kitchen”. It didn’t take me long to do some research and find a winner. I first tried the Vizio 22 inch widescreen with internet apps. Now, it was pretty cool as far as features, but the screen quality was just too blah. I have a Vizio in the bedroom and it’s much better – even at 3 years old.

So, I went to the old guard, Sony, to see what they had cookin’. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had a very similar setup in their new Bravia Televisions. I read some great reviews of the EX308, so decided to take it for a spin. Sony is moving them out (2010 models) at sonystyle.com. Plus, they make it too easy with financing!

All in all, this is a great TV. Sony has had a solid running in the picture quality department and this one does well (it’s no Panasonic, but their prices were out the roof). I can stream Netflix, Amazon Video, Pandora, Slacker . . . and the list goes on and on. I can even stream from my home network (haven’t set that up yet though.

The set is 720p, but actually I like that in this size (22 inch). The Vizio was 1080p, but everything seemed “softer” on the menus and text. The Sony just feels crisper for whatever reason.

Speaking of menu, the Sony has a very slick interface. It mimics the Playstation 3 menus and is quite easy to use. It does take some time to boot, but you can set the tv to keep power full at certain times of day to avoid boot up times.

All in all, this is a great kitchen (or maybe bedroom) tv. It’s not the cheapest, but is well priced for what it does. It’s not LED backlit, but is plenty for our bright room. It has built in WiFi (usb adapter included). It’s at the far end of the house away from the router, but pulls in streams ok. I might use wired ethernet later (it does offer this).

Good to be a Sony owner again . . . they still got it . . .