Computer for kids

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yojitani, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #1
    I'd like to know what you all would recommend as a decent first computer for kids. The kids in question are 10 and 6 with not much knowledge of computers. The 10 year old is needing the computer more for class etc. and the 6 year old is mature enough to learn to use the computer. Because these two have been known to be somewhat destructive, I'd like to get something cheap. I'm hoping they'll learn to care for it so I can later buy something better without worrying about it.

    I was thinking either an old G4 iMac or mini OR getting an old Dell and installing ubuntu or another distro on it. I really don't want to deal with Windows. Any thoughts? If Linux, which distro would you recommend. There was once an ubuntu for kids, but I didn't think highly of it.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Do you have a monitor and other peripherals? What is your budget? I would try to get an Intel Mac (maybe Mac Mini if you have a monitor or just get an inexpensive one) as PPC Macs have limited support
     
  3. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #3
    I have keyboards and mice. Monitors are easy to get either from the local surplus store or just from ebay.

    I'm trying to work out what a reasonable budget should be. I was thinking that an intel mac would be better too, but there are still enough binary apps still around. I still have copies of some of them! :D
     
  4. Merthyrboy macrumors 6502

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #4
    Being 10 and 6 as well I wouldn't really expect them to be using more that a text editor and the Internet and maybe some old version of an iLife suite. Does depend on what you think will be appropriate for them to use but if a good PPC computer comes with a good price I would still consider it.
     
  5. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #5
    I'd recommend an eMac. They're dirt cheap, (even cheaper then an equivalent spec'd mini in most cases) built like tanks, no need for a separate monitor and they've still got enough power to be able to handle kids needs. I bought mine almost a year ago, for $200. Nowadays, they can go for even less then $100 for a wonderful machine.
     
  6. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

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    Coachella, CA
    #6
    I have a 20" iMac from 2009. My 6 year old (almost 7) and 4 year old (as of yesterday) seem to have no issue learning how to find their way around the Mac. After a few lessons on "do not ever touch the screen" and "don't move the computer", everything is clean. They love having their own account on the computer with password, and I love being able to limit what they can and can't do on it. What I thought would be my computer quickly turned into the family computer. Maybe its time to reward yourself as well? What about a Mac mini?
     
  7. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #7
    I'm fine with my computer... but the kids, sigh! Actually, my 6 year old would be fine, it's the 10 year old I'm worried about. He's one of those kids who finds the most unlikely ways of breaking things. I like the emac idea. They are tank-like and the kids were using them at school (until the school replaced them with these horrible Dells running Vista:().

    They did have an account on my wife's iMac, btw. but after my son decided to attempt to remove a pen drive with a car key (why?? I have no idea!!), she decided he needed some distance.
     
  8. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

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    #8
    An eMac would be a solid choice, but the whole PPC thing would only make it only somewhat worthwhile.

    I was an IT teacher in an elementary school, we taught even younger kids than yours to look after the equipment relatively quickly and easily. But then every kid is different of course...

    I'd be looking to hit up an early (white, Intel) iMac if I were you. And a rugby ball.
     
  9. yojitani, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #9
    I want them to learn to take care of the computer, I'd just prefer it to be on a computer that they can mess up. I like the emac idea a lot and am leaning that way, although I'm also attracted to linux. If the early intel iMacs were a bit cheaper, I might consider it. The early 17" intels would be perfect but I don't think more than $250 is reasonable for those. Looks like there are a few at that price on ebay...

    Also, as I said, I'm less concerned with the younger one. The older one is just one of those kids who finds novel ways to destroy things... rugby ball is a good idea!
     
  10. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #10
  11. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #11
    Nice idea! Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #12
    My boys are 9 and 7 and the 2006 17" iMac has been "their" computer since we got it. It's almost perfect and their school uses white iMacs and Macbooks in all their labs and classrooms so it's all familiar.

    I had been planning a Mini for them, but the All-In-One form factor is much better from the robustness point of view than the plethora of wires that we had when they were using my old Pentium 150 box and separate monitor.

    Barebones nettops are a great option too!

    B
     
  13. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Yeah, I do remember someone else I know who's children decided the slot on the side of the iMac looked like a piggy bank. I think he got most of the coins out...
     
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Georgia
    #14
    I'd go with a Powermac G5. Many of the lower end ones are cheap enough for a kids computer, still plenty fast and built like a tank. It should be good for a couple of years.
     
  15. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    New HAMpshire
    #15
    I second (or third) the eMac idea- cheap, bomber, and will do enough to keep them happy for several years. IN 2-3 years they will care more what they have and can run on the computer- but for now, they will be psyched to have anything that is "theirs!"

    That being said, you should lay some ground rules to get them in the habit of taking care of their things- especially electronics. I am a second and third grade teacher and I know how bad some kids can treat electronics and they learn this at an early age. (If only everyone treated their Mac the way I did!!:D) Anyway, limit food and drinks. Tell them only fingers touch the computer, keyboard, mouse and no tools, no toys, nothing else touch it at all. NO fingers on the screen (to get them ready to treat an LCD right!)

    If you set the ground rules and then make logical consequences if they break the rules you will have an easy time getting them to take care of electronics and it will save you hundreds if not thousands down the road. INstead of replacing phones, computers, screens, keyboard, etc you will be buying the latest Mac for yourself as a reward for your hard work!:D Logical consequences would be loss of use of the computer for a certain amount of time depending on what was done to it.

    Good luck.
     
  16. AllieNeko macrumors 6502a

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  17. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

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    #17
    This is hilarious! I imagine the drive was very confused.

    When I was a kid, I wanted to make a Play-Doh impression of the speaker grill. As it turns out, all I did was get it permanently lodged in the hundreds of tiny holes in the grill.
     

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