[ubuntu-uk] serious advice

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Wed Nov 14 10:34:14 GMT 2007

Hi Norman,

On Wed, 2007-11-14 at 09:50 +0000, norman wrote:
> I am contemplating buying my 9 year old granddaughter a new PC for
> Christmas. Presently, she has a fairly old PC and has been using Windows
> both at home and at school.

I have a policy of not supporting Windows on friends and families
computers. There are a couple of exceptions to this, but I won't take on
new people and certainly wont touch vista.

The reason I mention this is because one of the exceptions is my sister
who has 3 daughters. They have a PC which I supplied them with XP
installed. I didn't give them Ubuntu because the girls wanted to play a
lot of (non-educational) games on it that I knew would not work under

I also know that the thought of installing them inside a Windows virtual
machine under Linux would be too difficult for them, and the PC wasn't
beefy enough to do that anyway, and under a VM the guest has no access
to the 3D hardware.

I also didn't dual boot because I'd be pretty sure that the Linux
partition would probably not get used that much. 

>  (I hear cries of shame). She is of course
> familiar with Ubuntu when she uses my machine and it would be my
> intention to wean her onto Ubuntu on her new machine. Where I need
> advice is in selecting the best way to enable her to join in with her
> classmates, if and when she may need to, with regard to such things as
> educational games and suchlike which do not play on Linux.

I am in a similar quandary with my own daughter. She is 4 and has just
started school this term. In school they have a windows PC in the
classroom on which she plays various educational games. At home she
rarely uses a computer at all. She has done a little typing here and
there and played some online flash games, but not much more than that.

I have ordered a couple of Asus Eee PCs, one for my wife to use and one
for Sophie. I wanted to get something small and lightweight which runs
"normal" software. I have just called the school to get a list of all
the software that Sophie uses, and if it's any good I'll see if I can
get it working under WINE, or get someone to write an alternative in
python so everyone can benefit :)

Hope that helps.

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