Ask Technocrat: What Linux Distro for a Seven Year-Old?

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| He's a bright kid so I don't think he'll have any problems with any of the
| major distributions; however, one hurdle is that he will not have Internet
| access from his computer. Therefore, I need to find a distribution that comes
| with a lot of software and is not dependent on net access.

Why I Chose Linux and Why I’d Do It Again

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| I started researching alternatives and Linux became the leader. Since the
| Imac ran on a Linux system, I was somewhat familiar with it. The more I
| researched it the more I fell in love. I also fell in love with the whole
| idea of open source and having a choice when it comes to programs. I replaced
| Internet Explorer with Firefox and Outlook with Thunderbird. Those were the
| two best changes I have ever made.
| For Valentine’s day this year, my husband bought me an Eee Pc with Linux. It
| is the best computer I have ever owned. It comes with Open Office,
| Thunderbird and Firefox. It also comes with other programs that are user
| friendly and useful. For under $400, I can’t believe these aren’t selling
| faster.


Thank [Deity of Your Choice] For Choice

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| My family are in the last category. At my house, the desktop PC runs Kubuntu.
| My 57-year-old mother-in-law surfs on it. My 4-year-old daughter draws with
| TuxPaint and Potato Guy on it. Neither have received Linux-specific training.
| Neither are even really aware or concerned about what OS they are using. Both
| can open and close applications, maximize and minimize windows, drag things
| around, and basically do what they need to do. Neither are aware that when
| the operating system updates, so does all the application software, but both
| like that their software is always there, working perfectly. The adults are
| especially impressed that the software "comes to you" rather than you having
| to go look for it on the web.

Even YiaYia loves Linux

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| Many people are still in denial that Linux is a viable alternative to Windows
| on the desktop. I have written numerous posts of my experiments with several
| Linux distributions and my dumping of Vista. In yet another post, I talked
| about my plans to switch my parents over to Linux.

Why I Will Recommend Linux To Family This Year

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| So, my approach to Linux in the family would be to start with the kids!
| Okay, I’ll give you a hint, I already have started with them on Linux, and
| it’s working.

Some Grubby Linux Games

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| Not being a gamer, I have never been concerned by the “lack of native Linux
| games” and have been happily using Ubuntu for 2 years now. I also converted
| the whole house so everyone is using Ubuntu - including my kids. My kids
| (ages 7 and 11) do like to play games a bit and I encourage it on Ubuntu as a
| way for them to become familiar with the operating system and familiar with
| computing in general. So what is a father, teacher, Ubuntu user and not
| overly pro-game person to do?
| Enter Grubby Games.

Desktop Adapted for Dad

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| I set my father's computer up with a GNU/Linux operating system. One
| basic feature of Linux is that each user has their own login to the
| system, and normally you do not login to the system as the super-user.
| This limits what my father is able to do on the system as he is not the
| super-user. To my surprise my father was delighted that he was restricted
| in that way, because then he knows that he cannot break the system by
| accident.
| To conclude I would say that my experience with my father and other
| inexperienced computer users convinces me that the modern desktop software
| is not obvious but that with basic training it is very easy to use. I
| firmly believe that anyone can use a computer, but it is essential that
| users have a properly configured desktop suitable for their use, as one
| size does not fit all.