Linux for hairdressers, part one.

Hairdresser Web Apps on Jolicloud

(“Part one”? “Hairdresser“? Get it? Yeah, I know — sorry…)

This isn’t a knock against all hairdressers, per se — but mine is not only a Linux n00b, but also a bit shaky on computer and Internet fundamentals. However, unlike some of my other friends she freely owns up to her ignorance and wants to learn. Thus she is the perfect subject for a netbook Linux usability test.

The hardware for this test shall remain constant until we settle on a distro she likes — and Windows is not an option, obviously. I’m loaning her my Eee PC 900, partly because it’s svelte and white and deliberately because of its relatively ancient pre-Atom processor.

The operating system was a little trickier, but two front-runners immediately sprang to mind.

It would be sexist to call MeeGo “girly”, but with the cutesy characters and generally white colour scheme I’m hoping you agree that it’s a bit more inviting to the new user than the dark and busy UNR layout of Jolicloud.

Yet Jolicloud got the nod,  entirely because of the web apps/Prism (or whatever they call the Chromium equivalent). My choice was justified the moment I showed my hairdresser the above screen; her exact words: “Oh cool, I recognize those!”

I do have three issues with Jolicloud. all of which could easily be fixed. The first is that near as I can remember there’s no option to automatically login to a user account on startup, like there is on Easy Peasy and (I think) the stock Ubuntu Netbook Remix Edition. The second is that I find the almost-constant system updates quite intrusive, though this will hopefully change once Jolicloud gets to a 1.0 release. And the third is relatively minor — who else wants an bookmark Jolicloud web app?

Since delivering my netbook to her last Friday I’ve checked in on my test subject once to see how she’s doing. Apparently my hairdresser got confused by the BIOS screen and booted into that, not knowing how to escape.

Hey, she’s nothing if not eager. ;)

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