My kid isn’t overly interested in computers or any of the other tech junk I have lying around the house, he’s happily into play-dough and Hot Wheels and make believe and just goofing off in the funniest ways I’ve never imagined. Computers have always been around, like the clock on the wall, the fridge, candle holders, books, sunglasses, the rug and the cat. He doesn’t really care for any of those things — well, actually he really likes books. We’ve been in the habit of reading at least three books to him every night before bedtime, and he’s hooked, he can’t (refuses) to fall asleep without a good reading.
Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, computers.
So I inherited this ancient computer from my best client, a 1.2 Mhz Intel Celeron with 256 MB of RAM. Nothing great, but not old enough to throw out. After all my awesome, kick-ass pfSense firewall/router is running on a much older Pentium-3. Old stuff can still be useful. Like me. I’m old and useful.
I thought it would be fun to set up a kid-friendly OS for the munchkin, and set out to try every single linux distribution under the sun. Ubuntu is good, Suse works fine, all the big names install and run beautifully. But I was on the hunt for a real kid-centric OS.
I stumbled on Qimo Linux, which is tagged as “Qimo 4 Kids – Software for Kids”. The install was very lightweight, is based on Ubuntu so you know the hardware compatibility is wide, and installed really quickly. So quickly my 2.5 year old boy actually stood around and watched the entire process with me.
Hey, he doesn’t stick around long enough to help mom make a batch of cookies.
Yes the subject of this post does indicate that he installed it himself, well he could … in a year or so I guess. He’ll still be a toddler by then right? The installer is that easy.
Once it was up and running I handed over the proverbial keys and showed him a few things. Like how moving the mouse correlates to the pointer on the screen, how to left-click, and how to mash the shit out of the keyboard.
Now he fires up Tux Paint and loves the hell out of it, you should see his masterpieces. A fireman with a banana hat riding a dinosaur and birthday cakes all around. That sort of cool stuff. He’s very proud of his paintings. I should hook it up to the network so he can print them, I guess.
I’ll wait ’till he figures out how to do that himself.