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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
Linux for Kids
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thebutcher0

Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov 2012, 14:18    Post subject:  Linux for Kids  

Hello Everyone,

I just learned about Puppy Linux from a school project i had to do. Which got me thinking about a project i'd like to do for my grandkids. I was given an old computer from school (HP e-Vectra) and i was thinking of installing Puppy Linux on it for the kids to play around with. Not much you could hurt on this old machine and it was free. hehe

Anyway, i was wondering if this might work, as in they couldn't do much harm to the computer with Puppy Linux. And what simple install i should pick with the least amount of programs they could use, like a music program, word program and internet, nothing to complicated.

They are both under 10, but i thought it might be a good way for them to get used to interacting with a computer since this is the way our technology is headed. Or are they just to young to grasp the concept of something with Linux on it no matter what is installed on the computer. Linux is new to me too so i came here for advice.
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alphadog


Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 95
Location: Deepest Wiltshire UK

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov 2012, 15:08    Post subject:  

Hi there , I don't know how much research you have done but there are specialist distros aimed at the "next generation" of Linux users see herehttp://www.brighthub.com/computing/linux/articles/43224.aspx.
I can't personally recommend any of them as my grand children are way too small yet!
You could definitely run a version of Puppy on that pc ( I prefer Wary) but why not try a few live cds' and see how you all get on.
Welcome to the kennels and this is THE place to ask for any sort of help.
P.S I have just come across another distro called "Sugar on a stick" http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_on_a_Stick
Spoilt for choice now eh ! Not sure of minimum pc specs for any of the mentioned kids distros (except Puppy of course !)

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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9059
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov 2012, 16:46    Post subject: Re: Linux for Kids  

thebutcher0 wrote:
(HP e-Vectra)

You should check how much memory this machine has. If it's only 128MB, it's on the low side for installing recent Puppies.

But a few years ago, forum member sidders created a Puppy just for children. It is discussed here. The download link at mydrive.ch is still live.
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 567
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov 2012, 17:42    Post subject:  

Hi thebutcher0,

First up, can I recommend the well minded Puppy search engine http://www.wellminded.com/puppy/pupsearch.html - will save a lot running up dead-end trails I think, especially as you seem to be newer to Linux than I am.
There have been a few "pupplets" produced that are aimed at the young educational demographic. Can I recommend you try first HanSamBen 431- Kids Linux distro based on Puppy Linux 431 http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=56557. That will give you great familiarlisation with the Puppy Linux environment, I think. [EDIT: I see that rcrsn51 has already suggested it ahead of me]
Over on the Akita 13 thread you might find I have been lightly "tinkering" with it as a base for a "Puppy4kids" http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=67811. While I've been a little stymied with hardware hijinks lately, I thoroughly recommend sc0ttman's efforts and his repository of kid-oriented applications including ASRI's OpenOfficeLight4Kids office suite, plus loads of fun stuff.
HTH



P.S. These are probably out of the ballpark with regard to your laptop hardware, but more recent educational puppy projects include ASRI Edu Profs (enseignants et linuxiens débutants) http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=68656/ http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=47805/http://asri-education.org/ and SuliPuppy http://puppylinux.hu/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=640&sid=c1a05300dcfba26dc2bc6a4b8d43af76. I'm afraid that I haven't tried the last 2 - French and Hungarian - but I have been able to change the default language of the Hungarian-Puppy's earlier production of "XP-puppy" and they do fabulous work. It appears that both ASRI and Suli are designed more for classroom organisation and teaching, and we're liable to loose you if you venture down that path as a newbie - so its just so you know Smile (If you email the developers of the respective projects on how you might get english versions I'm sure they will be very obliging - they've been very good to me.)

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thebutcher0

Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 13:56    Post subject:  

Hey Guys, thanks for the links, that's just what i needed. Memory won't be a problem, i have access to 128, 256 and 512. Right now the e-Vectras and e-pc's have 128 and 256 memory with either an 8GB or 10GB hard drive.
My IT instructer wanted to get rid of some of his old computers so i took home like 20 of these machines and i've gotten 11 of them running so far. Only problem is i don't have enough power supplies for all of them. But i should have enough for the kids and if they break something, i got replacements on hand. hehe And thanks again guys for the help.
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alphadog


Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Posts: 95
Location: Deepest Wiltshire UK

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 14:23    Post subject:  

You are more than welcome.
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 9059
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 16:10    Post subject:  

thebutcher0 wrote:
i've gotten 11 of them running so far.

What Puppy are you installing?
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thebutcher0

Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov 2012, 17:26    Post subject:  

@rcrsn51 by running, i mean they start up and boot to desktop. These old machines have Windows 2k on them with networking software from the networking labs. Some are missing a hard drive, some have old batteries, missing ram, that sort of thing. And i got lucky, 1 had the oem CD-ROM still in it so i have something to use for installs.

What i'm hoping to do is wipe out the hard drives and install a copy of puppy linux on them (2, one for each grand kids). Right now i'm just messing around to see how many i can get running.

And after this post posts, i'm going to check out the links you guys gave me.
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thebutcher0

Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 13:33    Post subject:  

ok, i tried Qimo on a few and it seemed to stall after Qimo came onto the screen and they wouldn't load to desktop. So i tried it on my old desktop i'm using now which used to be my old gaming computer and Qimo loaded up fine.

That got me thinking about what the requirements might be for the program and i found out it runs best with 256mb of ram. So i looked for one of the machines that had 256 ram and it seemed to stall again at the Qimo screen but it eventually loaded to desk top, but it ran really slow.

It looks like the low ram will be what hurts me. Qimo had alot of nice graphics and the others look the same. I choose the option to run it as is and not install it, how much better will these programs run if i install them with the low ram. not much? just alittle?
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puppy_apprentice


Joined: 07 Feb 2012
Posts: 135

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 13:51    Post subject:  

it is not Puppy, but for kids 2-12yo u can try DoudouLinux:
http://www.doudoulinux.org/web/english/index.html
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Puppyt

Joined: 09 May 2008
Posts: 567
Location: Gatton, Queensland

PostPosted: Fri 30 Nov 2012, 16:26    Post subject:  

sorry you're having problems, thebutcher0.
I've also had performance issues with Qimo, and Gondwana (Doudou - reminds me, there's also a TouTou Puppy on these forums) on hardware that runs Puppy fine. Not really educational, but GamePup2.16 might be a good interim option on ram-challenged machines http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=19738. Which reminds me - have you managed to set up a swap partition on your hard drive? (Like Virtual memory - and some more recent puppy versions use a swap file method.) Plenty of debate about recommended size for your swap partition - some say 256MB max is effective, others go by 1.5 x whatever RAM you have installed. When it comes to actually installing Puppy on your HD - choose frugal, although again, there is lots of debate about full installs for computers with 256 MB RAM and below. I run several puppies frugally on a Toshiba 3480ct with 196-ish RAM, but Puppy4 series is best for it, I find.
Anyways - try GamePup, and if you still have issues, you might need to run your hardware through the wringer with something like UBCD etc. Failing RAM. CD player, HD etc can play merry hell with any linux install.
HTH

P.S. more hardware tips in this thread http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=48214

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mini-jaguar

Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec 2012, 09:14    Post subject:  

Just make sure you don't keep any important files in that computer. If I was that age I would certainly try to see what happens if I put all possible files the trash bin just for fun. And probably rearrange them in different folders too.
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thebutcher0

Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 01 Dec 2012, 18:49    Post subject:  

My IT instructer always talks about Puppy Linux and how it's good for older machines with small ram and hard drives, that's why i wanted to try it on these little machines.

But now after finding these kids operating systems, which look nice, i figured i might as well bring out the big ones i got. Besides the small e-Vectras and e-pc's, i got a few bigger HP machines. Were talking about the all steel boxes that the monitor would sit on. These have more ram and bigger hard drives.

The one i am playing with now has 512 ram and a 80GB hard drive. I'm trying to do the full install of Qimo, Qimo ran nicely without any start-up problems. But i'm new to Linux and i'm not sure if i am installing it right.

Qimo has an option for installing. It has 7 steps to guide me along. But right now it seems to be in a loop. It starts, goes to desktop, i see a language screen, that goes away to a black screen with a flashing cursor, then keeps repeating. So i'm not sure if it's stuck or if all this is part of the install. I quit once and tried to start it without the CD in the drive and it wouldn't load. So i redid the install instructions and now i'm just letting it do its thing, that's why i don't know if it's stuck or installing.

Anyone familiar with Qimo and know how long it should take to install this operating system?

EDIT* Can this Operating System run without the CD being in the drive if i try and do a full install?
EDIT* I guess the advantage of taking Microcomputer Maintenance is when i got the 4 beeps, i knew i had a problem. And since i have a few of these old machines, i replaced the PSU, rebooted with Qimo, reinstalled it again for the 4th time and now i'm getting a normal install screen.
EDIT* And yes you can run this without the CD being in the drive. I just noticed a screen stating that specifically. Still got my fingers crossed. hehe
EDIT* YES YES YES, it works. Thanks alot guys
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