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Joli OS 1.2

Breathe new life into an old PC by turning it into a cloud-based computer

by Nick Peers

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:

Minimum 18GB free space 

Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 05 May 2011
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 10803
Developer: Jolicloud
RSS News Feed:
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/jolicloud
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jolicloud
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Joli OS
Joli OS is designed to keep things as simple and trouble-free as possible.

Cloud computing is the next big thing, we’re told. Eventually our computers will be little more than dumb terminals, with just enough power to connect us to the internet where we’ll run all the applications we need through a web browser, with all the grunt work being done by the server at the other end of the line.

If you weren’t aware of the fact, we’re halfway there already. Web apps are commonplace, and offer a foretaste of what might come if the cloud gets its way. Jolicloud is a free service that basically lets you organise and access all your favourite web apps, folders and feeds from one central location. Sign up for a free account and you can start by getting things organised through your web browser. Just make sure it’s a recent browser with HTML5 support, and you’re good to go. There’s also a Chrome mobile app available, with experimental iPad support in place and an Android version coming soon. But that’s not all…

Joli OS allows you to press into service an old computer with the sole purpose of using it to access your Jolicloud desktop, with the added bonus that you can also access files stored on your hard drive as well as in the cloud.

There’s a standalone ISO file (choose the Linux option above) that you can download, burn to disc and then use to install Joli OS on a computer with no operating system. For the rest of us, however, the Windows installer does just fine. It installs Joli OS into its own folder on your boot drive, then adds an option to boot into Joli OS to the Windows boot menu.

Joli OS is based on Linux, so there are plenty of desktop apps – OpenOffice, VLC Media Player and so on – available in addition to the web-based content. These download and silently install in the background using its simple user interface.

Loading times are quicker than those for a typical Windows system, but it’s not quite as fast as we’d like. This isn’t an “instant-on” solution, but if you regularly fire up your computer simply to use the internet, it’s a good alternative to consider.

We’d recommend you have a good play with Jolicloud through your browser before considering whether or not to install Joli OS on a spare computer.

Verdict:

The Windows side-by-side version is simple and fuss-free to install, and Joli OS is easy to use too. Well worth considering if you fancy taking a peek into one possible future of computing. 

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

WhatsApp Messenger 2.12.5

Free Full Commercial Software

WhatsApp Messenger is the world's most popular instant messaging app for smartphones.

You can use it to send and receive text and voice messages, photos, videos, even call your friends in other countries, and because it uses your phone's internet connection it might not cost you anything at all (depending on whether you'll pay data charges).

It's easy to set up and use. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.

You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. Even if your phone is turned off, WhatsApp will save your messages and display them as soon as you're back online.

There's plenty more (location sharing, contact exchange, message broadcasting) and the app is free for a year, currently $0.99/ year afterwards.

Version 2.12.5 brings:

• Per chat custom notification settings and mute
• You can now include videos in your chat backups in Settings > Chats and Calls > Chat Backup
• Mark chats as unread or read with a swipe to the right
• Better support for VoiceOver
• Directly share contacts from the Contacts app and locations from Apple Maps to WhatsApp
• Lower the data usage used during WhatsApp calls in Settings > Chats and Calls 
• Earlier messages now load automatically as you scroll chats
• Improved design for cropping photos and videos
• Location messages now use a large map thumbnail

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: