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Re: Debian for kids

On Tue, 1 Feb 2000, Ben Armstrong wrote:

> Do any of us "aging" developers have an interest in making Debian
> more "kid-friendly", particularly since some of us have kids ourselves?
Nice and importand ides!
> 1) Kidproofing
>      learned the 'passwd' command, as daily she would change her password
>      to something arbitrary and promptly forget it the next day ;) Oh, and
  mv passwd.bak passwd    into /etc/cron.daily ??

> 2) desktop
>    - Combine simplicity and power; e.g. our "menu" package makes
>      everything in the universe easy to access, and that's not
>      necessarily what you want for your kids.  Some subset of
>      the menus is probably more appropriate.
>      read access to so she could play games with sound ...

> 3) applications
In my opinion internationalisation is an important topic here.
Since FreeCiv speaks German too, its much more fun for my son
(9 years) than before (OK, he learned some English words but the
help system was useless before).

Even the wumpus game, which I tried some days ago with him made him
trouble at first time.

As a consequence I started to collect a German fortune database which
now has more than 4000 cookies and jokes now.  An ITP will come soon
(it's packaged but I want to here some response from some German
developers first).

> 5) "kids' box"
>    - kids might have their own Linux box.  What's the best way to
>      set up a kids' box and integrate it into your home network?
Hmmm, usually my son will get the box I used before I bought my new one.
May be that will change somedays when he wants more power but at these
times he is happy with it.
> The other day, I started playing with xmame (x.mame.net) and was showing
> off some games to the kids.  They had great fun with it, even though some
> of the games were a bit beyond their skill level.  But later in the day, I
> was startled to hear my daughter (9 years old) ask me this: "Can we get
> this game for Windows 95?"
Easy to avoid:  On his box runs OpenDos besides Linux and the old Win 3.1.
No Win 9x or NT was ever on any of my boxes.  I avoid to by Software which
only runs on Win 9x systems.  Why shouldn't the boy start with simple
DOS running such games like Colonize or Civ 1.0 or the funny arkade
games we used many years ago.  He likes it and the learning effekt would
be the same as any other modern Win-Game.  (Actually it makes more fun
to play the old games on a 486 in terms of speed.)
Security is easy.  When Linux starts up I do a backup of the DOS partition.
That's all.

> Ben (in the "over 30" bracket, married to a non-tech Linux 'power user',
>      and father of 4 kids: Victoria, age 9; Maria, age 8; Randy, age 5;
>      Jessica, age 23 months)
Andreas (in the "over 30" bracked, to, married to a non-tech non-Linux :-(
user (my wife sits on a Win-Box at work ...) and father of only one kid
(at this time ...): Alexander, age 9) -- and ready to package any more
kid related software.

By the way I started the xteddy project with the toys of my son.  Why
doesn't anybody send more such stuff to me to include it in Debian?
He like to see his beloved friends sitting on the desktop.  Ask your
children if they would like this and send me pixmaps ...

Kind regards


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