MimioTeach is quite different from other tested whiteboard models as it doesn’t actually have a whiteboard, but just a receiver that can be placed on any flat surface. It is meant to be used with normal inkboards, but really any surface should work. Touch recognition is done with a pen that makes quiet buzzing noise when it touches a surface. The receiver then listens to the buzz and translates it to mouse coordinates.
Mimio and Linux
MimioStudio and its drivers are needed on linux for MimioTeach to work. MimioStudio was the only software package that was not translated to Finnish.
There were quite problems with the MimioStudio installation package. The biggest issue is that the installer assumes too much about the environment which causes installation to fail in many cases. E.g. installation results are different if one starts the installation by clicking an icon on desktop vs. running the same file from command line. There are more details in the end of this article. The test results and problems have been reported to the developers also.
After getting the software installed MimioTeach works nicely. We mainly used it on LTSP fat clients that run all software locally on the client instead of using the server. On the first run Mimio was connected to normal locally installed workstation and the software made an automatic firmware updade after connecting the device with an usb cable. Update was automatic and worked without problems. Also the wireless receiver worked.
Using normal linux desktop with Mimio’s pen was easy and fun. Touching the surface with pen equals to pressing left mouse button. The pen has also two programmable buttons. Touch sensitivity and overall feeling were among the best in the test. There’s practically no latency which creates an illusion of using a real ink pen.
Dualhead support didn’t work as expected as calibration didn’t work if the screens had different resolutions. When both displays had the same resolution, also calibration worked. Also cloned displays worked.
Overall impression of MimioStudio from normal user’s point of view was quite polished and stable. The software activates itself when Mimio hardware is connected. Alternatively product key can be entered when the program starts. In some cases registration didn’t always work correctly and the licensing information wasn’t saved. There’s no support for license management in LTSP fat client environment.
MimioStudio lacks in features compared to Smart Notebook or Promethean ActivInspire (e.g. handwriting and shape recognition is not supported), but works well in other uses. When using normal linux desktop Mimio takes the lead because of its accuracy, low latency and programmable buttons.
+ Feels good
+ No need for complex hardware installations
+ Wireless operation
– Ubuntu/debian packaging is incomplete and unstable. In some cases the software ends up being unusable after installation.
– MimioStudio doesn’t support Finnish language
Here’s a list of issues regarding MimioStudio’s linux compatibility from technical point-of-view.
- Creates .mimio directory in the home directory of the user who installs the software. The directory is owned by root which prevents the software from starting.
- Mimio-mimiosys program assumes too much about the environment. This causes problems when installing in LTSP fat client chroot.
- Package lists non-existent files under /var/tmp, but misses files that the package installs under /var/opt/mimio
- Package gives global write permissions to file /var/opt/mimio/mimio-mimiosys that is run by /etc/xdg/autostart/mimio-mimiosys.desktop when users login to the system. This makes it possible for anyone on the system to execute files as other user when they log in.
-Antti Sokero (Technical work by Juha Erkkilä and Veli-Matti Lintu)