5 dangerous things to let your kids do…

Video here – from a guy who runs the Tinkering School. I don’t know about you, but you’d probably only consider a bunch of this stuff if you have ever heard of MAKE, wouldn’t you?

Still, made me think about taking apart a laptop I recently got from Richmond Freecycle with my kids and letting them play around. It is missing a hard drive. I gave one (there was two) to my boss and in the proces of showing someone else, got an old laptop hard drive…. sooo maybe I will just not take apart the laptop, but actually use it 🙂


5 responses to “5 dangerous things to let your kids do…

  1. Bet it’ll run Linux! We have seven machines at home, eight when I take home my laptop (nine when I take home my other laptop – we’ve peaked at over ten at various points in history :o), and three run Linux and soon we will be adding another hand-me-down to run Linux. The server, my workstation and the kitchen kiosk (an old original iMac) all run Ubuntu. Per your free laptop I was running Linux on a laptop in 1995 (running pre-1.0 kernel Slackware) and getting X to run in 8MB! THOSE were the days. Now it should be much easier, especially starting from an Ubuntu live CD, say. Go for it. Get it working and install every possible game you find for Linux and then give it to the kids (hint – laptops last longer with kids if you give it to them with an external keyboard and mouse).

  2. Oh no you DIDN’T!! You did not just go there, did you Jim? 🙂

    I have to admit – I’m not a complete-geek, maybe some sort of hybrid. I used to get *all* into every aspect, including building and trying out different OSs, but boy have I lost the interest. I used to have a bunch of computers (some functional, others waiting on parts/time) and a lot of parts but I’ve totally scaled back. I only have space for one workstation! Really. I figured the laptop though would be portable enough to be OK for some stuff…

    Last night I set it up with WIN2000 (which it’s licensed for anyway), which is I guess fine. I’m not sure if I’d find that many games either which way (Linux vs WIN) w/o dropping some cash. I did install the game collections we have which are all old and pretty sucky. My oldest (6yrs) never really liked them and now rather enjoys going to like nickjr.com or nationalgeographic.com and playing those Flash games instead. what kind of Ubuntu games? Wonder if they’d be worthwhile.

    I’m curious – what does the kitchen kiosk do?

    I wonder if I even need the laptop though… the workstation serves the purpose well enough for the kids. I wouldn’t mind some sort of media center though – but the free given-to-me 10GB HDD definitely won’t do it…

  3. 10GB HDD – PERFECT for Ubuntu! 🙂

    Here’s a start on games on Ubuntu:


    Right now the kitchen kiosk (which is on a butcher block stand) is used by my 21 year old daughter staying with us until we get the room that is now her bedroom re-arranged and a (Ubuntu! 🙂 computer put in there. Otherwise it gets used when I am cooking and Les is up chatting with me while I do so for looking up recipes (food and drink), surfing celebrity gossip (Les, not me :-), settling arguments via Google (“It was TOO Ringo Starr!”), checking the weather, checking a musician’s albums on Amazon. It is not used to control playing the MP3 library because that’s driven by my workstation downstairs (although with a VNC remote desktop session I COULD actually control Amarok from the kiosk…hmmm…) It is slow, but it is an original blue iMac and there just isn’t that much there to work with, and what’s there is starting to fail (the CD drive doesn’t work – the last time I did an Ubuntu install on it from scratch was “interesting”). I am keeping it alive mostly as an experiment, but we’ve found the kiosk concept to be useful enough that some small form factor machine will stay in that function forever.

    And I was serious – Ubuntu is stupid easy to do and if you didn’t like it you can always go back to Windoze land. Just stick in the Ubuntu CD (you can even get one mailed to you for free), boot from the CD, and when you see the graphical Ubuntu desktop there should be an “Install Ubuntu” icon or something like it. Double click and follow the instructions. The only thing I’ve heard is problematic in Linux in general has been wireless, which is important for laptops obviously, but I’ve also heard Ubuntu’s gotten better at that of late. Joe Bob sez check it out!

  4. Wellll, since Joe Bob sez – I’m trying it out. Burning Ubuntu to a CD right now…

  5. Pingback: Ubuntu laptop « conservative geek

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