Ubuntu: Rite of Passage
My son was annoyed that his school-provided laptop includes NetNanny configured in such a way to keep him out of game sites like PopTropica. Now, I understand the desire to censor our children’s forays onto the Internet. There is a ton of stuff out there that is a lot easier to get to than when I was a kid. And, often, as adults our first instinct is to protect them from where we know their curiosity will lead them. But blocking game sites? Now you’ve gone too far! Since I like to pretend I’m somewhat subversive, I was completely ready to let him install Ubuntu on the laptop. It plays into one of my goals for 2009: teaching my kids to program. I mean, sure, you can do it under Windows, but I’m just so much more comfortable with Linux. There was one snafu: I neglected to backup and defragment the disk before starting, so we lost some files. But, once his sisters saw the wobbly windows they just had to have it installed on their laptops, too. So now every laptop in the house runs Ubuntu. My daughter summed it up nicely: “I just feel so grown up now that I’m using Ubuntu like Mom and Dad!” As if to make sure I wouldn’t become too proud, she did add that she became acutely aware that I wasn’t quite the Super Geek she imagined me to be when I managed to lose her weather charting homework. Win some, lose some, I guess. But I count this as mostly a win.