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Jimmy The Clown 11-02-2005 01:14 PM

Distro + WM for Kiosk-type box for old people
I have an older Gateway Profile 1 that was gifted to me. It's a k6-2 450mhz has 64MB ram a DVD drive and 4GB HD. It's a cool everything built into the unit flat screen - basically a laptop that requires a plug and doesnt fold up :-)

Anyways my Grandparents have moved into a new place that has broadband as part of the rent. I am looking to build this computer up in such a way as to make it very user friendly to them and then give it to them for Xmas. They have never been exposed to computers.

Stability and low maintenance -> hence the reason for using linux
Web browsing -> Firefox ideally
Email -> Thunderbird probably although maybe just webmail
Weather -> could be a bookmark in Firefox
Ease of use -> this is the hard one

I have no problem throwing in Damn Small Linux and using that. Even had Vector installed to the hard drive though it was a bit sluggish with Firefox. Neither of these are user friendly enough for my grandparents. Too many small hard to see things and too easy to delete things and "lose" windows and such.

I am looking for a distro (or at least a Window Manager) that allows a few programs to be run easily. Ideal would be something like a palmpilot. Big icon for internet, big icon for email, no worrying about minimizing things or dragging things to wrong places or even multiple instances.

I looked at SymphonyOS but I think that is still a bit complicated. Also looked at just a kiosk web browser thing, but that isn't nice enough at all. I'm almost tempted to use Mythtv just for the interface. Anyone have any other suggestions?


Does anyone have any experience or suggestions in this area?

MasterC 11-02-2005 08:56 PM

Funny you should have looked at Myth, I was thinking, Myth could do all that...

You could use MythTV, and setup mythbrowser with a few of their favorite links. Be a piece of cake to use and hard to mess up.

Another option might be something like flubox with Rox for the "large Icons". Assuming this would be an always on system, you could launch firefox/thunderbird on the second virtual desktop, then switch back to the first and will give the feel of a very fast launch when they start firefox.


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