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More details on the Classmate PC "ecosystem"

As details continue to emerge on the software stack and vendor ecosystem surrounding the Intel Classmates, I get more and more excited about the test unit that is apparently not terribly far from shipping to me (if the PR folks at Intel are reading this, don't hesitate to use FedEx).Sure, I can't wait to see what I can do with a rugged touch screen in a classroom, but almost more importantly, I want to get my hands on the software.
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Written by Christopher Dawson on

As details continue to emerge on the software stack and vendor ecosystem surrounding the Intel Classmates, I get more and more excited about the test unit that is apparently not terribly far from shipping to me (if the PR folks at Intel are reading this, don't hesitate to use FedEx).

Sure, I can't wait to see what I can do with a rugged touch screen in a classroom, but almost more importantly, I want to get my hands on the software. 100 vendors have come on board with Intel to make the Classmate as much of a turnkey solution as possible for meeting a variety of classroom needs. These vendors range from Canonical with its version of the Ubuntu Netbook Remix running on the latest generation Classmates to Smart Technologies with it's Smart Classroom Suite for classroom management.

Magic Desktop will be available on Windows versions of the Classmate, optimized for touch and providing the ability for administrators to limit kids to appropriate applications and keep them out of actual OS settings. In fact, Magic Desktop provides a skin over Windows, keeping the interface much simpler for younger kids.

Kidspiration has optimized their software for the touch interface, again providing tools that can be used out of the box for instruction. In the same vein, Algoryx Software has optimized their Phun physics simulation software to run on the Classmate, calling it Algodoo:

Algodoo is optimized for the Intel® powered convertible Classmate PC and makes innovative use of its webcam for creating physical models from live photos, the touch screen and digital pen input for drawing objects, and the accelerometer for virtual experiments and very direct interaction with the physical simulation.

I'll be posting a gallery of the applications tonight, but for now, suffice to say, I can't wait to play with the real thing. This just might be one heck of an option for that little elementary school I'm trying to refresh next year.

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