Linux for Kids - Linux

This is a discussion on Linux for Kids - Linux ; 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 ...

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Thread: Linux for Kids

  1. Linux for Kids

    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!!

  2. Re: Linux for Kids

    Michael Hyman wrote:


    > - Some edutainment software. As much as hate to admit it, MS-based have
    > a lot of good apps for kids.


    A small start:
    http://edu.kde.org/

    Yeah, unfortunate the ammount of kids software available for Linux
    is the main reason I still have a Win98 computer at home :-(

    DragonSt0rm

  3. Re: Linux for Kids


    Ohmster wrote:
    > I really, really don't understand all of the "Bill hating" in this
    > newsgroup.


    You may have to learn more :-)
    And anyhow, this Linux guys hate Windows it is a bit outdated.

    As far as I see, the "Bill hating" is slowing down while "Linux hating"
    grow bigger and bigger, with every single proof that Linux is enterprise
    ready. And a very very good one !!!

    > So Windows is a commercial product, and it is a good one, so what?
    > No reason to hate the guy or his enterprise.


    Linux is a free product and a good one too.
    And many peoples dislike Microsoft not necesary because of Windows (which
    starting with XP is becomming stable enough for workstation) but because of
    their own business practice.

    Nobody from Linux community forced Microsoft to do what they did with:
    Stacker, DR-DOS, Netscape, BeOS and so on and so on...
    Nobody forced them to do predatory tactics. Nobody forced them to only
    import file formats from competitors and not export them.

    And now, they are asking: "Why do Linux fanatics who hate us ???"

    > There might be some stuff for kids on linux but not a lot.
    > They are going to be using MS computers at school and if you give them
    > only linux, then they are going to feel "gypped" when all of the other
    > kids start discovering new, cool stuff for kids on their Windows machines
    > and that your kids "can't play".


    Not for to long. Microsoft reach the top 3 years ago, and now they have
    only a one way road, down.
    This is good. Competition is very good for the society.
    No, Microsoft will not go away from the market, but hopefully will become
    a simple player like any other.

    With latest KDE, Linux provide a better desktop experience than XP.
    Is only a mater of time untill it will be wide spread in the industry.

    > to loki games to see what they have in the way of games for linux. They
    > got a pretty lot, but all the games are pretty ancient.


    As Linux will grow his share into the market, more and more software
    companies are going to develop software for it. Games included.

    > Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all.


    Corect. If I would belive that Windows98 is radioactive I would not keep
    one in my house :-) However, when enough stuff is going to be available
    for Linux and BSD I will look forward for a replacement.

    DragonSt0rm


  4. Re: Linux for Kids

    Michael Hyman writes:

    > - Something like a chroot jail, so they can't stray. For when they're a
    > bit older.


    There is no way to protect a system to which the user has physical
    access, irrespective of the operating system used.

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

  5. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic writes:

    > Michael Hyman writes:
    >> - Something like a chroot jail, so they can't stray. For when they're a
    >> bit older.

    > There is no way to protect a system to which the user has physical
    > access, irrespective of the operating system used.


    But by the time the children are old enough to saw the padlock off the
    back, open the machine, reset the bios password or replace the hard-drive,
    you probably aren't too concerned about what they can get up to once
    they've done it.

  6. Re: Linux for Kids

    Spake Michael Hyman:
    > - Some edutainment software. As much as hate to admit it, MS-based have
    > a lot of good apps for kids.


    SCUMMVM runs a bunch of old point-and-click games very well. That
    includes (IIRC) the `putt-putt goes to $foo' titles. Of course, you'd
    have to buy those games. The freeified ones are for older kids (like
    me!).

    The Debian Junior project has a list of edutainment / kid packages.

    > - Some simple app to teach the kids logic and the VERY beginnings of
    > programming concepts like variables and program flow/branching.


    DrScheme is impressive, although that's probably a little advanced for
    them at this time -- it's something I'd give to 10 to 15 year-olds.

    --
    Trent Buck, Student Errant
    Why is it called `tourist season' if we can't shoot them?

  7. Re: Linux for Kids

    Ohmster writes:

    > Phew, I don't get it. So Microsoft has better programs for kids. Give
    > them Microsoft then, no big deal. I really, really don't understand all
    > of the "Bill hating" in this newsgroup.


    If it weren't for Bill-hating, Linux would be little more than a gleam
    in Linus' eye. Hatred of Microsoft is the driving force behind Linux;
    the OS has nothing else to recommend it (people who simply want UNIX can
    find better versions than a Linux clone).

    > They are going to be using MS computers at school and if you give them
    > only linux, then they are going to feel "gypped" when all of the other
    > kids start discovering new, cool stuff for kids on their Windows machines
    > and that your kids "can't play".


    True. Although all GUIs tend to resemble each other these days, so many
    skills are transferable.

    > Microsoft software does not suck, most of it is quite good, actually.
    > There is no sin in using MS products, it is just that they are high
    > priced sometimes and that linux stuff is usually free. Linux is better,
    > IMHO, for networking and servers, the MS servers will kill you with the
    > prices that they charge for that stuff ...


    If you want really good, free UNIX servers, run *BSD.

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

  8. Re: Linux for Kids

    DragonSt0rm writes:

    > And anyhow, this Linux guys hate Windows it is a bit outdated.


    Nothing has changed in that respect. Microsoft-haters have always
    formed the bulk of Linux users. Before Linux, they used to tout OS/2.

    > As far as I see, the "Bill hating" is slowing down while "Linux hating"
    > grow bigger and bigger, with every single proof that Linux is enterprise
    > ready. And a very very good one !!!


    There are quite a few versions of UNIX that have been "enterprise-ready"
    for twenty years.

    > Linux is a free product and a good one too.


    In theory, Linux is free. Not in practice, especially if one intends to
    use it on a large, enterprise scale, or in mission-critical
    applications.

    > And many peoples dislike Microsoft not necesary because of Windows (which
    > starting with XP is becomming stable enough for workstation) but because of
    > their own business practice.


    Most people dislike Microsoft because they can't stand anyone being more
    successful than they are. They don't want to admit that anyone could be
    smarter, so they insist that companies like Microsoft could only whip
    them by cheating. The reality, of course, is that they just aren't that
    smart.

    > Not for to long. Microsoft reach the top 3 years ago, and now they have
    > only a one way road, down.


    Microsoft is 97% of the market.

    > With latest KDE, Linux provide a better desktop experience than XP.
    > Is only a mater of time untill it will be wide spread in the industry.


    I've been hearing this every year for years now, and it never comes to
    pass.

    > As Linux will grow his share into the market, more and more software
    > companies are going to develop software for it. Games included.


    It's going to have to grow past one percent. Way past one percent.
    Even the Mac has a hard time attracting developers, and it has many
    times the installed base of Linux.

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

  9. Re: Linux for Kids

    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.

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

  10. Re: Linux for Kids

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 18:46:57 -0800, 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!!



    Have a look at http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-jr/
    --
    Benway
    Remove the SPAM

  11. Re: Linux for Kids

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 03:32:40 GMT, Ohmster
    wrote:

    >DragonSt0rm wrote in news:RPydnVZygakzl6zfRVn-
    >og@comcast.com:
    >
    >> Michael Hyman wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> - Some edutainment software. As much as hate to admit it, MS-based

    >have
    >>> a lot of good apps for kids.

    >>
    >> A small start:
    >> http://edu.kde.org/
    >>
    >> Yeah, unfortunate the ammount of kids software available for Linux
    >> is the main reason I still have a Win98 computer at home :-(
    >>
    >> DragonSt0rm
    >>

    >
    >Phew, I don't get it. So Microsoft has better programs for kids. Give
    >them Microsoft then, no big deal. I really, really don't understand all
    >of the "Bill hating" in this newsgroup. So Windows is a commercial
    >product, and it is a good one, so what?


    But that's where you go wrong. Windows has so many bugs in, the disks
    can walk.

    > No reason to hate the guy or his
    >enterprise. There might be some stuff for kids on linux but not a lot.
    >They are going to be using MS computers at school and if you give them
    >only linux, then they are going to feel "gypped" when all of the other
    >kids start discovering new, cool stuff for kids on their Windows machines
    >and that your kids "can't play".


    My 8 year old son is very proud to tell anyone who will listen
    that his computer is dual-boot, windows and linux. He uses windows for
    some games, but linux for 'real stuff', because windows crashes too
    easily. That's a direct quote, by the way... And he's spending more
    time playing linux games lately, as he gets more mature. Freeciv is
    number one and has been for a while, but bzflag is gaining.

    All of the windows systems in the house are configured so that there's
    no way in hell for them to connect to the internet and their
    connection to our intranet is very controlled. Windows is for games.
    period. As long as you keep that firmly in mind, you should be fine.

    Mike-

    --
    Mornings: Evolution in action. Only the grumpy will survive.
    --

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  12. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > If it weren't for Bill-hating, Linux would be little more than a gleam
    > in Linus' eye.


    That's probably not true - folks wanted a *nix that could be run on a PC, so
    if it wasn't Linus, someone else would have made the effort!

    > Hatred of Microsoft is the driving force behind Linux;


    It might partly be so, but there are better reasons for Linux, including
    wanting a stable and reliable OS.

    > the OS has nothing else to recommend it (people who simply want UNIX can
    > find better versions than a Linux clone).


    That's simply not true. GNU/Linux has grown up in the last couple of years
    into a reliable, scalable secure OS with lots of very high quality
    applications.

    > If you want really good, free UNIX servers, run *BSD.


    It's just one option!

    Chris

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

  13. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > Why does bugtraq seem to have ten Linux security holes for every Windows
    > hole?


    Because the Linux community is open about such things. I personally have
    found several undocumented Windows insecurities. MS simply don't want to
    admit their flaws.

    > You can lock down Windows if you have to.


    No you can't. It's easy to gain any level of access you want to any Windows
    machine if you know what you're doing - either locally or remotely.

    C.

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

  14. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > Microsoft is 97% of the market.


    Don't be silly. There is more to the world than your little part of it. On
    a global scale, MS' share is falling rapidly.

    C.

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

  15. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    >> 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.


    Wrong! Under the "Sale of Goods Act" in this country, Windows is not "fit
    for purpose". There are a number of major companies and institutions here
    that are pursuing Bill and his corporation for the damage to trade and
    insecurities that his crapware has caused.

    > No company (except perhaps Intel) has advanced microcomputing more than
    > Microsoft.


    Don't be silly. All the "invention" that MS proudly proclaims is just
    theft. I've had algorithms and methods stolen by MS, as have any number of
    other software innovators. This is one of the risks of the GPL - anyone
    can steal your work and claim it as their own.

    > Did Linus invent his kernel, or did he "steal" the concept from, say,
    > UNIX?


    Perhaps you should consider what he actually did. He wanted a
    "minix-alike", but without the expense. That's what he achieved. There
    was no theft of intellectual property.

    >> There are even some significant parts of Windows that
    >> are directly stolen from BSD.

    >
    > Whereas Linux looks nothing like any other OS.


    It might look similar, but it doesn't rely on actually stolen code. MS
    haven't invented any original code, but have persisting in buying and
    stealing from real innovators.

    >> 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.


    Business users are leaving Windoze in droves. They're fed up with the
    insecurities and unreliabilities of MS products. The next generation
    certainly won't be using anything MS-based.

    >> It's insecure, unstable, slow and bloated.

    >
    > The usual baseless assertions. Show me the benchmarks.


    Don't waste my time.

    > Linux is lightyears away from Windows on the desktop, and even further
    > away from the Mac.


    So if you prefer Windows or Mac, go away and play with your toys, and leave
    this newsgroup to the rest of us.

    > 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.


    Wrong. Any "serious" applications are available for Linux, often in better
    form than their Windows equivalent. The mass migration has started, so
    you'd better spend all your cash with your pal Bill to try to keep his
    corporation afloat. It's only a matter of time before the rest of the
    world stops wasting their time and money on MS crapware, leaving the USA as
    their own source of revenue.

    C.

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

  16. Re: Linux for Kids

    chris writes:

    > Don't be silly. There is more to the world than your little part of it. On
    > a global scale, MS' share is falling rapidly.


    Microsoft's share has hardly moved in years. It's still 97% of all
    desktops. Linux is about 0.2%.

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

  17. Re: Linux for Kids

    chris writes:

    > That's probably not true - folks wanted a *nix that could be run on a PC, so
    > if it wasn't Linus, someone else would have made the effort!


    Someone else did, and it's called FreeBSD. It's doing very well, but it
    isn't the bandwagon that the Microsoft-haters chose to climb abord, so
    it doesn't receive as much hype.

    > It might partly be so, but there are better reasons for Linux, including
    > wanting a stable and reliable OS.


    Anyone who wants a stable and reliable OS can run *BSD. That's what
    Apple did.

    > That's simply not true.


    Yes, it is. There are much better versions of UNIX around.

    > GNU/Linux has grown up in the last couple of years
    > into a reliable, scalable secure OS with lots of very high quality
    > applications.


    It's mostly a gadget for people driven by religious fervor.

    > It's just one option!


    It's a better option. If nothing else, it allows one to escape all the
    kiddies who run Linux.

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

  18. Re: Linux for Kids

    chris writes:

    > Because the Linux community is open about such things.


    No. The real reason is that more and more people are attacking Linux,
    and there are a great many security holes in the OS that are being
    uncovered more and more as the OS becomes more popular.

    Linux is fundamentally no more secure than Windows, and often less so.
    It has been lucky thus far because practically no one has run it, but as
    the user base grows, it becomes a more attractive target. And things
    will get much worse before they get better.

    > I personally have
    > found several undocumented Windows insecurities. MS simply don't want to
    > admit their flaws.


    The people who post to bugtraq are not vendors, so it doesn't matter
    what MS wants.

    > No you can't.


    Yes, you can. I've done it.


    > It's easy to gain any level of access you want to any Windows
    > machine if you know what you're doing - either locally or remotely.


    Nope, not on NT-based versions of Windows (NT, 200x, XP, CE).

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

  19. Re: Linux for Kids

    Ohmster wrote:

    > Yes, I am posting this from Xnews, a Windows based news reader. I
    > could go to my linux machine and post with Pan, but I am too lazy to
    > scoot over to the redhat machine right now.


    Hee Hee, aren't we all at some time or another. As far as the rest of
    your reply.......... I agree, nothing wrong with using any OS you want
    or need to.


    --
    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- B. Franklin, 1759

  20. Re: Linux for Kids

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > Nope, not on NT-based versions of Windows (NT, 200x, XP, CE).


    You can - it's trivial. It requires that you know what you're doing (script
    kiddies need not apply).

    C.

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

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