The best Linux distro for schools?

In today's open source roundup: Which Linux distro is best for schools? Plus: Wine 1.7.51 released released. And how Chromebooks have improved over the years

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Wine 1.7.51 released

The Wine project is a helpful tool for folks who need to run Windows applications and games in Linux. The latest release of Wine is version 1.7.51 and includes better support for some Windows games and applications.

Marius Nestor reports for Softpedia:

Prominent features of the Wine 1.7.51 release include support for the new Universal C Runtime DLL, an XAudio2 implementation via OpenAL Soft, support for drop-down menus in the standard Open Dialog, the addition of a grayscale rendering mode in the DirectWrite implementation.

According to the changelog, Wine 1.7.51 addresses a total of 37 issues with Windows apps and games that had been reported by users since the release of Wine 1.7.50. Among the Windows applications that received improvements, we can mention CNET Download App, 4th Dimension 6.5.4, Heredis 9, Project64, LTSpice, Microsoft Visual Studio 2015, PunkBuster, IVONA Voices, FlipViewer, Notepad, and TP Link CPL.

Wine 1.7.51 also brings improvements to numerous Windows games, among which we can mention SimCity2000, Diablo 2, Sonic Generations, Afterburner 3D, Tales of Pirates II, Bioshock Infinite, Age of Mythology: Extended Edition, GRID, DARK (2013), El Matador, Exodus from the Earth, Stranded II, SpaceRace, O2Jam, Guild Wars, and Guild Wars 2.

More at Softpedia

How Chromebooks have improved over the years

Chromebooks are more popular than ever, and they've improved quite a bit since they were first released. A writer at Lifehacker looks at how Chromebooks have gotten better over the years.

Eric Ravenscraft reports for Lifehacker:

Chromebooks have come a long way since they were first introduced. While they used to be laptop-shaped browser machines, they’ve grown capable enough to actually stand up to other laptops. I didn’t expect to love my Chromebook, but it’s replaced my laptop for most of my work.

Chromebooks don’t stop working when you lose your internet connection (at least, not any more than your regular laptop will). Most of Google’s apps—including Docs, Sheets, Keep, Calendar, and Gmail—can work offline. In addition, many of the apps mentioned in the last section can work offline, including Evernote, Wunderlist, Sunrise Calendar, Pocket, and Kindle.

Of course, you can’t do everything when you’re offline, but you can still work. In fact, I wrote this very section while disconnected from the internet in Google Docs. The only downside, however, is that Google requires you to manually enable offline access for some of its services.

...they’re also amazing at what they do. Previously, when I wanted a device that I could sit on the couch and read on, or a device I could take with me to work on, I’d use a tablet. Tablets were lighter, they had much better battery life, and the apps were nicer. Now, I have a Chromebook that can serve this same purpose. It may not be able to replace my Windows desktop, but it has quickly superseded my laptop, tablets, and even occasionally my phone for most mobile tasks.

More at Lifehacker

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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