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"We are very pleased to announce the release of DoudouLinux 2.0, with many long-awaited new features. Now you can discover for yourself, all the great new features of this major version of DoudouLinux. We believe this is an important release: all of the advanced activities have been deeply redesigned; the DoudouLinux graphic design has been replaced with a less 'baby-looking' environment; better Internet experience thanks to new user privacy tools; easier localization (new tools to set language, keyboard layout, date, time and time zone); around 30 new applications to draw, learn music, have fun; now available in 43 languages instead of 28 formerly; a totally new, real installer to install DoudouLinux on dedicated computers."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Idea for teaching children about computing in a safe environment
Doudou is intended for children from 3 to 10. It comes as a live CD, which includes a tool for creating a live USB system (2GB required). A USB stick will also support data and configuration persistence. There are separate CDs for different languages, although similar ones like British and American English, or Brazilian and Old-World Portuguese share a disk.
Doudou suggests a minimum of 256MB memory and a Pentium II. A special non-PAE version is also available. All this obviously enables an old, cheap computer to be recycled for the children. Hardware support has been improved, and many wifi cards and webcams are now supported. 3D graphics acceleration is still only available for ATI and Intel cards, but only 2 programs need it. An installed system should have a 3GB hard drive. For obvious safety reasons, the installer has to be launched from the command line. It allows dual-booting or the use of the whole disk, in which case it sensibly creates a /home partition.
Doudou comes with a selection of educational and recreational games, a browser, a media player, picture and music creation software, and even the Laby and Logo programming languages. Everything I tried worked well. Internet access is controlled by DansGuardian. That’s not easy to set up, so having it pre-installed is a great advantage. Only open-source media formats can be handled (OGG, not MP4) and the browser has no Flash player for reasons of security and content control. Extra software can only be added if Doudou has been installed to hard disk. The distribution is French, and some of the English translation is unidiomatic, but there are no serious problems.
The English disk is set for the USA, but quickly configured for British English, a UK keyboard, and London time. Even my USB speakers were easily selected, which is more than can be said for most Debian derivatives. For configuration to be saved, however, Doudou would need to run from USB with ‘system persistence’ set-up.