I decided recently I wanted to give my kids back a computer… I had configured an Ubuntu box for them before but we ended up selling the laptop we were using for them so they were left without. They are only 7 and 4 years so it wasn’t a big deal.. only the 7 year old was old enough to figure anything out.
But anyway, I went and dug out an old Toshiba Satellite 4300.. a nice stone aged laptop coming it at a massive P-III 700mhz and 256MB RAM. Heh.
Well the most recent disk I had laying around with an updated OS on it happened to be Linux Mint due to the fact I recently blogged about it. So I went ahead and grabbed that and off I went.
Getting ideas from such places as Linux Journal and Edubuntu, and some tips from this wiki to setup my new Mint Desktop for Kids.
Since the machine I’m using for the children comes with the massive and powerful hardware that it does… I opted to load LXDE immediately after putting Mint on it so I can keep as much of the resources free as possible for the games!
I then setup their own little Launch Panel like in the Journal above:
After I got all that software installed via APT I decided to try that Willow setup listed in the Wiki. However, the install wasn’t as easy as I hoped from reading that wiki and ended up having to do it manually by following the steps here.
Once that was loaded I tested it and sure enough.. a rather ugly yellow page comes up with “content inappropriate” message. Yay for filtering.
Another item I added to my kids linux is a Firefox Add-on called KidZui. I haven’t gotten around to signing up for it or anything so it isn’t quite operational. When I decide to give it a full try I’ll make a new blog entry on whether I like it or not.
A quick look at the software I have ready for my kids:
That should be enough to keep the kids busy for a while and learning the computer, Linux, and various school subjects while keeping them off the TV and the Wii.