Kid-Friendly Operating Systems

Kid-Friendly Operating Systems

Carrie McBride
May 14, 2009

We'll be the first to admit that this will not be an information-packed post, but more along the lines of "who knew?" and "who can tell us more?" We saw a post recently on Boing Boing titled "Great OS for Babies?" and wondered what the heck they were talking about. It hadn't occurred to us that someone (several someones in fact) had developed computer operating systems just for kids.

We told you our 10-month-old has a laptop fetish and while he's much too young now to actually use a computer that day will come sooner than we think. The Boing Boing author, Cory Doctorow, is setting up a "beater laptop" for his daughter to use and we imagine many of you have done the same. He mentions three operating systems for kids (with other suggestions in the comments):

All three should run on most computers. Why would you want to use one? They simplify everything, eliminate or hide most of the system options and technical stuff so the whole computer won't go kablooey when your young'un bangs on the keyboard and they often have preinstalled games. Do your kids have a "beater" computer? Are you using any of these operating systems or have another to recommend?

*"Rather than an operating system on its own, Edubuntu 9.04 provides an educational application "layer" on top of an existing Ubuntu desktop."

(screenshot of Qimo via Boing Boing)

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