Ubuntu & GNOME 3 for non-geeks!

So I have now installed Ubuntu Linux w/ Gnome-shell (GNOME 3) on 2 new laptops this week (one for myself & one for my husband, Kevin) and am now in the process of trasferring files from another laptop, before formatting & installing ubuntu on it (this one owned by one of my best friends J who is tired of Windows and all its problems with viruses, spyware, adware, etc).Β  Its actually something I’ve always wanted to do, but never actually had the chance to (ie, nobody’s been brave enough to let me :p).

Assuming they don’t have many/any complaints, I think I’m going to start pushing a bit harder for peoples’ old hardware to build systems to give away with linux (likely Ubuntu running either GNOME 3 or XFCE depending) on them – either for free to those who simply *need* computers, or for super cheap – $10-100. Has anyone else ever done this? Any ideas for printouts/handouts/etc? I’ve been trying to wrack my brain for what ‘basic’ stuff is not included on Ubuntu but which people will likely want; my list so far: Skype, Calibre, Evolution, Chrome. Any other suggestions?

I’m also now planning on moving my old desktop (currently running Xubuntu 11.04) into my boys’ room (I have two boys, oldest will be 5 in March, youngest is 2.5), and letting them play with it (it will be heavily locked down, and not connected to the web). Kevin thinks it’ll be destroyed, and it very well may, but they have to learn on something, you know? And I’d much rather that be an old desktop than a laptop, as I suspect the desktop is much more likely to stand up to abuse πŸ™‚ This means I will shortly be going back through linux games and finding good, fun, *easy* ones for them to play – once again, any suggestions?? (Not really looking for educational ones either – just good, fun, and above all easy games! 4 yr olds are easily frustrated :p)


8 Responses to “Ubuntu & GNOME 3 for non-geeks!”

  1. Bijan Binaee Says:

    Please see http://www.raspberrypi.org/

    it is a project to create a pc with 25$ to 50$ that run fedora on it

  2. Tiffany Antopolski Says:

    The gnome-games and gnome-games-extra packages have some nice games. Here are some of the games these packages contain: https://live.gnome.org/GnomeGames

  3. Obi Wan Kenobi Says:

    I have a 5 years old boy too, and he’s been playing MAME (http://sdlmame.wallyweek.org/) games (bomberman, street fighter II, virtua racing, xmen, wrestlemania, neck & neck…) for about 2 years now, mostly with me as a second player, but sometimes on his own. And the least I can say is that he’s loving it!

    The only “problem” is that you have to find the roms for the games, and that’s probably illegal in most countries, even if that’s not really taking any money from anyone (those games are long dead) πŸ™‚

    By the way, if you want your boys to really enjoy those games, I advise you to buy them one of those retro arcade joysticks that are almost unbreakable. I bought one for 150 € a few years ago on this site: http://www.xgaming.com .

  4. F Wolff Says:

    While it is educational, I would still recommend you look at GCompris. It is really aimed at kids of those (and other ages).

  5. Jeremy Bicha Says:

    gnome-games-extra is what Fedora calls it; in Ubuntu or Debian, just install gnome-games to get the other GNOME games that aren’t on the default CD.

    I’d also recommend kdegames and gcompris.

  6. Meg Ford Says:

    Have you heard of FreeGeek? We have one here in Chicago http://freegeekchicago.org/ and they are in other cities, too. They would probably have ideas for you about fixing up and distriuting freeboxes πŸ™‚

  7. Tu Camelek Says:

    X-Moto and SuperTux are great games! πŸ˜€
    I know that from my own experience :]
    Kids will love them! πŸ˜€

  8. dimos Says:

    depending on how old machines you want to revamp or bring back to life, you might want to check bodhi (ubuntu +e17). It runs quite smoothly on a laptop that that difficulties with lubuntu.
    Software: don’t forget google chat video and voice plug-in

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