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SteamCat

Linux for the Family

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When I installed Linux I created accounts for my kids. This is because they use my computer more than any others in the house.

 

Beyond the creation I have done nothing to the configuration of their accounts and such. For a couple reasons; 1) I haven't learned enough about Linux yet to know what can be controlled. ...I mean, besides everything :) and 2) I am pondering what should be controlled. And, I suspect this could be different for each child. I'm talking strictly computing technology here. :)

 

What software is available that helps with various functions of family security and usability?

 

What software and policies have you found that work well for your family for computer and internet use?

 

What OS programs do your kids enjoy using/playing?

 

My kids have alot of fun with many of the games that came installed on Linux. They each have several favorites and I have bought a few Loki games that they enjoy. No, they are NOT allowed to play my Quake Arena. :P

 

But, I have a major problem with kids games. Math Blaster(s), Reading Blaster(s), Carmen Sandiego, Clue, Oregon Trail, JumpStart ____ (fill in the blank), Elmo's Reading, and on and on. Dozens of titles that I certainly can not retire. I see no alternative to setting up a box with my Win98SE on it to run all this stuff. I am thinking of just having one Win machine with no 'net access, no email and such. Just a standalone for running Win games. I would love to just Wine all this stuff and not bother with Windows at all. But, Wine isn't perfect and I don't have time to screw with that many titles to get them running in Wine. (And only to ultimately fail in some cases.)

 

Has anyone come across open source education titles on the level with some of the heavy hitters sitting on my desk?

 

In summary; how have you used GNU/Linux to provide safe, fun and educational computing solutions for your kids?

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In my case, I edited all menu items and removed easy access to programs that I did not want my children using, like internet browsers. I then removed access to any program that they might find to regain access. So, they can do anything they want on their desktop.

 

Unfortunately, we also owned many excellent programs that are part of the windows plan to dominate all technology. So I had to get Net Nanny, which really wreaks havoc on my network printer, because it blocks all activity to the router since it identifies such activity as internet traffic in my home network. We also run McAfee since we average one attack every two months when in windows. When the gaming industry recognizes that linux-types will buy games, then things will improve.

 

I have QuakeII and Return to Castle Wolf running in linux, but we also like Riven and Exile, which linux has not approached yet. We haven't had Reader Rabbit installed for 5 years, but I have a two year old that is now ready for that!

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Guest JaseP

Many of the games you mentioned may be playeable using wine or WineX. Additionally, you can install them only on your kids' user account and not your own.

 

I would check Transgaming's website as well as some of the other wine lists (hey!!! a pun, and I didn't even try for it) out there as to compatible kids' games.

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When I installed Linux I created accounts for my kids. This is because they use my computer more than any others in the house.

 

Beyond the creation I have done nothing to the configuration of their accounts and such. For a couple reasons; 1) I haven't learned enough about Linux yet to know what can be controlled. ...I mean, besides everything :) and 2) I am pondering what should be controlled. And, I suspect this could be different for each child. I'm talking strictly computing technology here. :)

 

What software is available that helps with various functions of family security and usability?

 

What software and policies have you found that work well for your family for computer and internet use?

 

What OS programs do your kids enjoy using/playing?

 

My kids have alot of fun with many of the games that came installed on Linux. They each have several favorites and I have bought a few Loki games that they enjoy. No, they are NOT allowed to play my Quake Arena. :P

 

But, I have a major problem with kids games. Math Blaster(s), Reading Blaster(s), Carmen Sandiego, Clue, Oregon Trail, JumpStart ____  (fill in the blank), Elmo's Reading, and on and on. Dozens of titles that I certainly can not retire. I see no alternative to setting up a box with my Win98SE on it to run all this stuff. I am thinking of just having one Win machine with no 'net access, no email and such. Just a standalone for running Win games. I would love to just Wine all this stuff and not bother with Windows at all. But, Wine isn't perfect and I don't have time to screw with that many titles to get them running in Wine. (And only to ultimately fail in some cases.)

 

Has anyone come across open source education titles on the level with some of the heavy hitters sitting on my desk?

 

 

Some great titles:

 

KEduca

KGeo

Kstars

Ktouch

Kvoctrain

Kcheckers

Xboard

Chromium

TuxRacer

In summary; how have you used GNU/Linux to provide safe, fun and educational computing solutions for your kids?

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