August 15, 2009

Qimo 4 Kids- Linux for Children!

Computers can be wonderful tools for education if they are configured properly. Configuring them to be kid friendly, safe, educational, and fun can be a difficult task. Not so if you use Qimo for Kids! Qimo for Kids is a distribution designed for kids ages 3 and up. It's based on Ubuntu and uses the XFCE window manager, so it can be installed on slower machines, as it isn't as resource intensive as other OSes. I'm currently working on a Qimo install for a Sony PCG-9241 laptop- an ancient laptop with a P3 500 MHz laptop, 192 MB RAM, NeoMagic NM2200 MagicMedia 256 onboard video, Yamaha DS-XG sound, 20 GB hard drive, Toshiba 8X DVD-ROM drive, but no wired or wireless network adapter. It does, however, have a rather large screen (14.1 inches). I figured it would be a great candidate for Qimo, as it's just above the minimum requirements. If you're interested, the minimum requirements for Qimo (as indicated on the Qimo 4 Kids FAQs) are:

Qimo needs a minimum of 256MB of memory to run from the CD, or 192MB to install. At least 6 GB of hard drive space is recommended, and a 400MHz or faster CPU.

Installation was rather straightforward, although it took longer than expected, as I didn't burn my Qimo install CD correctly. Since the laptop had a relatively slow optical drive, it moved slowly, but it wasn't a difficult install. A word of warning: The installation process will ask you to create a user, enter a password, and ask you if you want to log in automatically. DO NOT CHOOSE TO AUTO-LOGIN. The Qimo install has already created a customized autologin, and the information you are entering is for the parent/administrator account. All in all, the install went well. Sound and graphics configured themselves automatically.

If you've got kids, or are working on a computers for people who have kids, give Qimo 4 Kids a try. The kids will thank you for it.


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