programs

Four Linux distros for kids

Linux operating systems for kids

I can see the brightness of curiosity in my six year old niece Shuchi's eyes when she explores a mobile phone or manipulates the idiot box with its remote control or becomes creatively destructive with any other electronic device. She, like a lot of kids her age, love experimenting.

This curiosity reaches its peak when she sits in front of my laptop or her father's laptop. A lot of times, however, I observe that she is lost in complicated applications that are suitable only to adults. An operating system that an adult uses and the system running it can look like a beast to a lot of kids. These applications are beyond the comprehension of very young kids and do not provide an ideal (and playful) introduction to computers. Futher, adults' laptops and tablets do not serve as a good learning environment for any kid (younger or older) who is just onboarding into the world of computing. Besides, letting a kid run wild on a computer with an online connection can be daunting for the parents. » Read more

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Which office suite do you use?

open source software for the office

Office software suites offer a host of tools to help you get things done: email, a word processor, notepads, spreadsheets, as well as, presentation, finance, and publisher applications.

Which office suite was your first? Do you love or hate the one you're using now? From your experierce, how would you compare and contrast a proprietary suite to a free and open source one?

If you don't use a suite of office apps, all packaged nicely together, what tools to do you use in tandem to get work done? Would you say it's just as nice or better?

 

 

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Increasing participation of women in Free and Open Source Software

participation in foss

Few women have been historically applying for Google Summer of Code, a program in which Google provides stipends for students to work for three months on FOSS projects. Last year, after many efforts by both the Google team and the community to increase the diversity in the program, about 100 of 1200 participants or 8.3% were women, which was a highest level of participation by women yet. » Read more

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Can Inkscape reduce the number of incarcerated people?

illegal foss

When the free vector drawing program Inkscape was first released in late 2003, I realized this software could do some part in helping to reduce the number of people incarcerated in the United States. This worthy goal is still within reach. Let me explain.

From 1990 to 2000, I spent quite a bit of time supporting the Adult Literacy Resource Center of the D.C. Public Libraries. Then, this division was exploring how technology could help adults learn how to read (among other things). I saw up close how computers could engage these adults, many of whom had learning disabilities.

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Five new RPG games for Linux

open source game

If you love RPG (role-playing games) and you think there's no future for these games on Linux, this post is for you. I’ll show you five new RPG games developed from scratch that run on Penguin: Questverse, Hale, Dawn, Flare and Arakion.

Just a warning: these are projects in the making, so none of them are ready to be fully played. But if you like this genre, read on, you won't be disappointed. » Read more

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