To test the user-friendliness of the KPC, we asked a few people to try out common tasks on the machine. While the Linux OS proved to be a little confusing to users at first, we helped remedy this by making shortcuts to some common programs and labeling them in a simpler fashion; for example, we labeled the Firefox shortcut as "Internet". This solved many of the early issues, and for the rest of the day users were satisfied with the performance of the KPC running Linux.
We had several users play music off a flash drive using a headset for listening, while one played a DVD movie. Several downloaded their pictures from the same Kodak C533 camera to be emailed to friends. Everyone used web-based mail, but we did have a few try out OpenOffice.org. While it was obviously not Microsoft Office, users were not unhappy with the results, and admitted that they could live with it and even get used to it. These results were pretty compelling.
The one feature that we found very lacking was USB printer support. It was quite difficult to get a USB printer from HP to work; this functionality was beyond everyone but a true UNIX guru, as several packages were not found by Conary. Overall, however, the experience was better than expected.
In the final analysis, was the KPC "user-friendly" as Shuttle promised? This is difficult to answer, as user-friendliness is in the eye of the beholder. Someone born and raised on a Windows operating system will probably have to re-learn how to find their way around the OS, as well as the right program for the job; once this has been done, though, the KPC is quite user-friendly. In this context, of course, a Windows based machine would of course be much more so. However, the Gnome desktop is similar enough to Windows and OSX that the learning curve shouldn’t be a show-stopper.
- Shuttle's Korporate Perfect Cube (KPC) Hits The Street
- First Impressions, Design, And Style
- The KPC's Hardware: Overview, CPU HD, Memory
- The KPC's Hardware: PSU, USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, Extras
- Foresight Linux And Internet Software
- Foresight Linux: Music, Video, And System Update Software
- Foresight Linux: Testing And Usability
- The Windows Alternative