Linux for Kids - Linux

This is a discussion on Linux for Kids - Linux ; Trent Buck writes: > Are you sure? ISTR some of the other Gecko browsers (Galeon, > Kazehakase, Mozilla) have a GUI option for this, but ICBW. I've discussed it on the security list for Firefox and nobody has apprised me ...

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Thread: Linux for Kids

  1. Re: Linux for Kids

    Trent Buck writes:

    > Are you sure? ISTR some of the other Gecko browsers (Galeon,
    > Kazehakase, Mozilla) have a GUI option for this, but ICBW.


    I've discussed it on the security list for Firefox and nobody has
    apprised me of a way to do it. The parameterization of security in
    Firefox is still pretty primitive, essentially all or nothing, which
    won't do over the long term for the bad, bad Internet.

    > The URL "about:config" gives you access to `hidden' options, like
    > Regedit (Windows) or GConf-Editor (GNOME).


    Interesting and convenient, but I don't see any way of improving the
    granularity of security restrictions. I want to be able to define
    categories and put sites implicitly or explicitly into those categories,
    then assign security parameters by category. MSIE does this, although
    it's not as extensive as it should be (but it's more extensive than
    Firefox).

    > The newer ones do, but they are disabled by default because write
    > support for NTFS is pretty unstable on Linux. Google for "captive ntfs
    > support".


    Well, at this point I have NTFS only on the desktop machine, which still
    runs Windows. MS doesn't seem to provide any convenient way of backing
    up a Windows XP Home machine, unless I'm missing something, and since XP
    was preinstalled, I have no CDs.

    > KNOPPIX has a utility to create a boot floppy from Windows.


    I'll have to burn myself a copy of this OS, just in case.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  2. Re: Graphical Interfaces

    Trent Buck writes:

    > Yes, because it is BSD under the hood.


    For now, at least. I suspect Apple will change that. The temptation to
    do so will be irresistible.

    > It is just running a non-X graphics subsystem -- ever seen a NEWS box?


    I don't think so.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  3. Re: Linux for Kids

    Trent Buck wrote in news:20050314141631.31d17c26
    @harpo.marx:

    > Superficially, yes. Access Control Lists do the same job as file
    > permissions (i.e. restricting access), but at a finer granularity.


    Thanks Trent.

    --
    ~Ohmster
    ohmster at newsguy dot com

  4. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > chris writes:
    >
    >> Check carefully again. They're NOT 64-bit at all (remember
    >> "compatibility mode" anyone?).

    >
    > And what is Linux? Check that carefully as well.


    The variants I'm running on my servers are built as true 64-bit.

    C.

    --
    Everything gets easier with practice, except getting up in the morning!

  5. Re: Linux for Kids

    chris writes:

    > The variants I'm running on my servers are built as true 64-bit.


    What does "built as true 64-bit" mean?

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  6. Re: Linux for Kids

    Michael Hyman wrote:
    > I have 4.5 year old twins and they are very interested in using
    > computers. In school they use Windows-based systems and software, but at
    > home I would rather keep things Bill-free for them.
    >
    > Does anyone have any thoughts on kids interacting with linux? I am
    > looking for:
    >
    > - graphical environments with big, simple widgets. KDE, preferred.
    >
    > - Something like a chroot jail, so they can't stray. For when they're a
    > bit older.
    >
    > - Some edutainment software. As much as hate to admit it, MS-based have
    > a lot of good apps for kids.
    >
    > - Some simple app to teach the kids logic and the VERY beginnings of
    > programming concepts like variables and program flow/branching.
    >
    > Thanks in advance for the help...the future of Linux is counting on some
    > help..Literally!!


    MS bought Magic School Bus TV program and put it out as an interactive
    adventure-style game. It is most educational, fun and easy to navigate
    for 4 to 8 year-olds, but Windows-based. I think that denying them the
    pleasure and freedom of choice should be a crime against childhood, so
    is pushing any programming concepts on their little playful and innocent
    souls, I suggest you wait until they're 18 for that.

    There is plenty for 4.5 year-olds out there but it is mainly on the
    Internet and requires JAVA and Shockwave for FireFox and a broadband
    connection:

    http://www.kiddonet.com/ (Lots of Games, Drawing, Safe E-mail)
    http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/ (lots of games, drawing, colouring)
    http://www.nick.com/
    http://www.nickjr.com/

    You might want to install the KIDS Theme on KDE for larger and more
    kid-friendly icons.

  7. Re: Linux for Kids

    Spake A. Ben Hmeda:
    > I think that denying them the
    > pleasure and freedom of choice should be a crime against childhood, so
    > is pushing any programming concepts on their little playful and innocent
    > souls, I suggest you wait until they're 18 for that.


    That's nuts. By the time they're eighteen, they'll be too old to learn
    how to program. I grieve that my dad bought Macs instead of PCs until I
    was about 16, thereby preventing me from learning about any of the
    internals of the machine. I have the same problem with networking now,
    because he bought a commodity router+firewall instead of using Linux on
    an old box.

    --
    Trent Buck, Student Errant
    Stop the room, please, I'd like to get off.

  8. Re: Linux for Kids

    Trent Buck writes:

    > By the time they're eighteen, they'll be too old to learn
    > how to program.


    There's no age limit on learning to write computer programs. Besides,
    success at computer programming is more a matter of talent than
    training: some people are good at it, and some people aren't. It
    doesn't matter when they first learn to do it.

    > I grieve that my dad bought Macs instead of PCs until I
    > was about 16, thereby preventing me from learning about any of the
    > internals of the machine.


    Did something prevent you from learning about the internals after the
    age of 16? Apart from a few years of lost time, what's the big deal?
    The architecture of PCs has been pretty much the same for 25 years.

    > I have the same problem with networking now, because he bought
    > a commodity router+firewall instead of using Linux on an old box.


    There's no age limit for learning such things. If you have trouble
    understanding networking, it's aptitude, not the age at which you
    learned about it.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  9. Re: Linux for Kids

    Spake Mxsmanic:
    > > By the time they're eighteen, they'll be too old to learn
    > > how to program.

    >
    > There's no age limit on learning to write computer programs.


    True, but if you ask cognitive scientists you'll find out that (in
    general) the rate at which one can absorb new knowledge decreases with
    age. Consider, for example, learning your native language to learning a
    foreign tongue.

    --
    Trent Buck, Student Errant
    > About the only thing I have fond memories of is the mad, passionate
    > love-making in the computer lab and classrooms that quarter.

    Damn. Brain fart. The above memory was actually of compiler design.
    -- Scott Packard, talking to him self and begging to be QOOC

  10. Re: Linux for Kids

    Trent Buck wrote:
    >
    > That's nuts. By the time they're eighteen, they'll be too old to learn
    > how to program.I grieve that my dad bought Macs instead of PCs until I
    > was about 16, thereby preventing me from learning about any of the
    > internals of the machine.


    But at 4.5 years old, pushing that stuff on your kids could have a
    reverse effect, making it available (just in case they do like it) is
    ok. If my dad bought PCs or MACs, I would have taken them apart too,
    just like everything else he owned.

    I have the same problem with networking now,
    > because he bought a commodity router+firewall instead of using Linux on
    > an old box.
    >


    When I was 16, Pong was high-tech and not too many people had pocket
    calculators, that didn't prevent me from writing my first program in
    (BASIC) as a student, back in 1980.

  11. Re: Linux for Kids

    Trent Buck writes:

    > True, but if you ask cognitive scientists you'll find out that (in
    > general) the rate at which one can absorb new knowledge decreases with
    > age.


    That is conjecture, not proven fact.

    > Consider, for example, learning your native language to learning a
    > foreign tongue.


    That's the classic example of the conjecture: something that has always
    been accepted without question as gospel by linguists, even though it
    has never been proved.

    Besides, learning a computer language is a thousand times easier than
    learning a natural language. It's no more difficult than learning to
    play checkers.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  12. Re: Linux for Kids

    In article ,
    Mxsmanic wrote:
    >Trent Buck writes:
    >> Consider, for example, learning your native language to learning a
    >> foreign tongue.

    >That's the classic example of the conjecture: something that has always
    >been accepted without question as gospel by linguists, even though it
    >has never been proved.


    Just out of curiosity, how much of the huge amount of work on this
    topic are you familiar with?

  13. Re: Linux for Kids

    Julian Bradfield writes:

    > Just out of curiosity, how much of the huge amount of work on this
    > topic are you familiar with?


    Quite a bit. Nothing has ever been proved. Nobody has _ever_ shown a
    cause and effect physiological relationship between language acquisition
    and chronological age. Nobody has even come close.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  14. Re: Linux for Kids

    In article ,
    Mxsmanic wrote:
    >Quite a bit. Nothing has ever been proved. Nobody has _ever_ shown a
    >cause and effect physiological relationship between language acquisition
    >and chronological age. Nobody has even come close.


    Given our almost total ignorance of the way the human brain works, you
    seem to be demanding extraordinary standards of proof!
    (Not that I'm saying normal standards of proof have been satisfied; as
    far as I know, the evidence is sufficiently complex that few sound
    conclusions can be drawn.)

  15. Re: Linux for Kids

    Julian Bradfield writes:

    > Given our almost total ignorance of the way the human brain works, you
    > seem to be demanding extraordinary standards of proof!


    When linguists make absolute statements like "it's impossible to acquire
    native proficiency after puberty," they are assuming extraordinary
    burdens of proof, since they're essentially telling millions of people
    not to bother to try, because they have no hope.

    Additionally, despite what linguists say, there are many examples of
    people acquiring native fluency in new languages long after puberty and
    adolescence. This alone is sufficient to disprove their hypothesis, no
    matter how stubbornly they cling to it.

    If they simply said "it's hard," that might be okay. But many say "it's
    impossible," even though they really have no idea.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  16. Re: Linux for Kids

    Spake Mxsmanic:
    > If they simply said "it's hard," that might be okay. But many say "it's
    > impossible," even though they really have no idea.


    ISTR my original assertion was "it's harder".

    --
    Trent Buck, Student Errant
    You know how you go into a public rest room and the integrity of every
    stall has been compromised, so you have to pick the least disgusting
    one? That is how I feel about dating.

  17. Re: Linux for Kids

    In article ,
    Mxsmanic wrote:

    >When linguists make absolute statements like "it's impossible to acquire
    >native proficiency after puberty," they are assuming extraordinary
    >burdens of proof, since they're essentially telling millions of people
    >not to bother to try, because they have no hope.


    Which linguists say this?

    >Additionally, despite what linguists say, there are many examples of
    >people acquiring native fluency in new languages long after puberty and
    >adolescence.


    There are certainly many cases of people acquiring native fluency as
    judged by other natives. Most of those I know, however, don't actually
    consider themselves to have native fluency, compared to their mother
    tongue(s).


  18. Re: Linux for Kids

    All,

    I must interject one thought here. Microsoft has in fact done a lot for
    computers.

    Xerox, specifically PARC, invented the GUI with drag and drop printing
    and file copy, the mouse, the precursor of Ethernet, and PostScript. We
    gave all these to the world. Apple and Microsoft have made fortunes off
    our philanthropic effort.

    Microsoft does indeed capitalize on their large marketshare not by
    innovating but by their stated policy of "embrace, expand, and extinguish".

    The last I checked, Linux was grabbing marketshare from M$ in the server
    arena by around 5% per year. Linux passed M$ in web server on the Net
    last year.

    Desktop market is different. Linux is supposed to have around 5% of
    desktops at this point and accurate numbers are hard since it is
    possible to get free, from one copy there may be many installs.

    Linux features have and are being copied for use in the next Windows
    version. I use XP at work because I must but, I do have a Linux
    computer there as well.

    Another area is embedded Linux, My company as well as many other are
    using embedded Linux for all sorts of devices. The chances are that your
    PDA, cable box, MP3 player, and cell phone use embedded Linux. At my
    company, a rather huge one, we are using Linux for a number of our
    products. In some we have a full blown distro for operation of the
    device and another embedded distro to run the User Interface.

    I started a Linux User Group at my firm in 1998 and it is now relegated
    to training newbies as most folk are already up to speed. We are using
    the sourceforge app as a CVS repository and sharing Linux code.

    Linux will gain a lot more popularity. The Chinese has allocated 1
    billion dollars to produce their own "national" Linux distro called
    RedHouse. The German government has banned M$ software from their
    government computers and adopted Linux. The government of Peru is soon
    to follow suit.

    I have used Linux on ALL my home computers for the last 10 years. In
    the early days, Linux was not easy but, it is now. With the
    introduction of Linspire 5.0, Linux is now officially idiot proof.

    I have been training people in Linux for a long time and it only gets
    easier. Linux will take away still more of M$ desktops over time. Will
    it dominate, who knows? If nothing else, it should help make M$
    innovate and compete more. It is a good alternative and that should
    help everybody.

    The soul of Linux and Open source is cooperation and sharing to make the
    best software. I don't see an arguement that makes this a bad thing.

    Regards,


    Ralph

    Mxsmanic wrote:
    > chris writes:
    >
    >
    >>We don't "hate" him, just despise his business methods and don't like his
    >>"operating systems".

    >
    >
    > Why don't you hate Scott Neely, Larry Ellison, and Andy Groves? They're
    > just as bad.
    >
    >
    >>No. Windows is not a "good commercial product". It is unreliable,
    >>insecure, slow, and not "fit for purpose".

    >
    >
    > This is demonstrably and obviously untrue. Only those with a religious
    > attachment to other operating systems seriously believe it.
    >
    >
    >>There are several good reasons for hating his "enterprise". Microsoft has
    >>held back computing for over 15 years, and has bribed, stolen and forced
    >>its' way to the top of the heap.

    >
    >
    > No company (except perhaps Intel) has advanced microcomputing more than
    > Microsoft.
    >
    >
    >>Microsoft has NEVER innovated - they have
    >>just seen a technology that they think will suit their purpose and then
    >>stolen the code (like "Stacker" for example), or bought out the company
    >>that developed it.

    >
    >
    > Did Linus invent his kernel, or did he "steal" the concept from, say,
    > UNIX?
    >
    >
    >>There are even some significant parts of Windows that
    >>are directly stolen from BSD.

    >
    >
    > Whereas Linux looks nothing like any other OS.
    >
    >
    >>No. Modern, forward thinking schools in this country are using other
    >>operating systems, despite Bill Gates "buying" his way into the
    >>"government" with huge bribes.

    >
    >
    > No, they are not. Preparing students for the real world is important,
    > and raising them on operating systems that practically no one uses is
    > not a step in this direction.
    >
    >
    >>No it isn't. It's insecure, unstable, slow and bloated.

    >
    >
    > The usual baseless assertions. Show me the benchmarks.
    >
    >
    >>Unfortunately, the average domestic user sees Windows as "free" because it
    >>came "free" on their new computer.

    >
    >
    > So?
    >
    >
    >>Win 2003 has a mean time to crash of around 20
    >>minutes, and lasted just under four minutes on the 'net before it was
    >>compromised - it cost over $100 per minute of uptime!

    >
    >
    > Show me the benchmarks.
    >
    >
    >>Linux is now also better for the desktop - the kde is better integrated than
    >>much of Windows, and the "Office" options (OOo, Koffice) actually work
    >>properly without crashing.

    >
    >
    > Linux is lightyears away from Windows on the desktop, and even further
    > away from the Mac.
    >
    >
    >>Real computer users call Windows "GameOS" - it's all it's any good for. It
    >>certainly isn't fit for serious use.

    >
    >
    > With a quarter-million "serious" applications available only on Windows,
    > it's the only game in town for most people with serious work to do.
    >


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