I am new to this forum. Hope to be in the right place to comment my project. If not please tell me where should I go...
My son has an old Compaq desktop (Pentium 4, 512MB RAM, 40GB HD) that he wants to dedicate as a PC for my four grandchildren. He have asked me to help him in this project (I am retired and have plenty of time). These are the main features we are looking for:
1) The system must be robust and stable, I mean "kids proof". We have the experience of give them a Windows based PC and have to reinstall it again. We don't know exactly what did they do, but the fact is that some system critical files were damaged. For this reason my son says that he prefers a Linux based system. It is a common belief that Linux is less vulnerable than Windows, either regarding malicious attack as well as user catastrophic faults. 2) I am not a Linux guy, so the installation and maintenance tasks must be "novice proof". A support channel will be a plus. 3) Since there will be several kids sharing the PC, there must be an easy "sign in" procedure to identify each user. Each kids must have his/her own repository to save his/her creations avoiding the others to destroy them. Besides, there should be a way to share contents between them (a sort of common repository or a send/receive method). 4) The system must be intuitive to use by a young kid (2 to 8 years old and growing ...) Ideal if the desktop could be customized for each kid. 5) There should be a good set of pre-packed applications suited for kids and an easy way to install new applications. We are looking for educational games/activities and homework tools. 6) Internet access must be allowed but controlled by some sort of filters managed by parents. Better if there is a way to subscribe to a community maintained black list. 7) Access to frequently visited sites on the Internet (like school site, on line educational tools) should be facilitated by means of icons or easy access controls created by parents. 8) There should be a easy web-searching interface. 9) E-mail, chats and similar social media must be allowed but parental controlled. 10) We are in Costa Rica, a Spanish speaking country, but the children attend a bilingual school where most classes are taught in English. So, we plan to install the software in English, but it could be nice to have an easy language switch and some language tools (dictionary, translator, spelling).
I have read some reviews about Linux for Kids. It sounds to me that Edubuntu fits most (if not all) of our requirements... however some reviews states that Edubuntu is not best suited for home user because it is aimed for schools... (may be they are outdated reviews)..
I will appreciate if somebody can provide me some URL's to documents detailing the features and characteristics of Edubuntu, so I can check how well Edubuntu meets our wishes. Of course, direct comments/answers addressing some of our requirements are welcome.