Laptop for my Kids

I feel so proud right now. I took my old college laptop from 2012 that has been inactive and not booted for over 6 years and spruced it up for my 6 year old son and 3 year daughter. I bought a new battery for 30 dollars, 120gb ssd for 25$, and 4gb ram for 17$(total 8gb of ram), and loaded Manjaro KDE minimal. They are currently playing Gcompris and are having a blast.


I dont know how much you have done to mess with the system (as per your previous thread) but some other ideas to consider might be

  • alternative menu (one of those iOS fullscreen ones .. maybe a button mapped)
  • edit the menu for available applications (hide dev stuff, or browser, etc)
  • any form of 'parental controls' or 'locks'
  • do the above for the 'kids' account but leave a normal account for normal things

What were the specs? What processor does the device have. just how old is it?

@mdoverl Dont answer that. I wanna find it myself ...


Close to a Dell Inspiron 15R (from 2011-2012) ?

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Good guess, Dell Inspiron 3537, I’ll have to pull up the CPU later.

I have the low end version of the 15R 5537.

EDIT: CPU Intel(R) Celeron(R) 2955U @ 1.40GHz, 2 cores 2 threads.
Intel® HD Graphics for 4th Generation Intel® Processors. Specs from Intel. Pretty poor scores on Looks like this came out in 2013 actually. Here is the motherboard on Amazon. I don't see any additional ports for anything cool like M.2, looks pretty limited. Apparently the same board is used for both the 3537 and the R 5537(Just different CPUs and integrated GPU). If I really wanted to get crazy, I could buy the 5537 motherboard from AliExpress and install it in the 3537, the same chassis for both models. I could also turn mine into touchscreen if I wanted to, which it is not right now. I don't plan on doing that anyways. Just a thought.

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Simple Menu for Plasma is a good one, but they [the upstream] should fix it so it doesn't cut the names of applications or gives tooltip texts.

No need for, kids are usually smart enough to remember around 50 icons.

At this age probably not an issue, the default in is Safe Search -> Moderate, can be set to Strict. But my daughter doesn't search anything yet, she's 7.

@mdoverl, I have some recommendations apart from Gcompris:

  • tuxmath and tuxtype - need to be compiled from AUR (dependency t4kcommon is also in AUR), but extremely worth the effort!
  • performous - a karaoke game (teaches kids to read), you can extract the songs and notes from Singstar PS2 DVDs with built-in ss_extract command (or PM for a collection)
  • KTuberling - from kde-games, helps to learn vocabulary, maybe in foreign languages
  • a mouse, because a touchpad is difficult and limits motorics
  • explain them chess in Gcompris - the AI is very smart in making mistakes so a bad player can easily win
  • If you have enough time, better download Youtube content and let them watch what is in the collection. I can't explain exactly why, but it works much better with keeping them focused.
  • If you have some recommendations from what you observe what your kids like I'll read them with interest!
  • will add if I remember something else

Mainstream consumer products from that time won't have support for M.2 drives. The standard had only just become a thing and wasn't yet common.

I plan on getting that. I actually had those on the laptop before I put in the SSD. I found a couple list online with "Linux Games Kids" as my search words in StartPage, I'm also a fan of DuckDuckGo.

Cool, my kids speak English and Chinese, didn't know about that.

I hate the touchpad also, they seemed happy at the moment without it, plus, it was easier for them to share the laptop with the touchpad at the moment. I have a million mouse around my house.

I actually noticed the AI was very bad in many games in GCompris. But they had more fun playing each other.

My kids only watch youtube, a strange phenomenon(We don't have cable, by choice. Waste of money). I look at YT as such, it's one continuous toy commercial. If 5 year old me had YT in the 80s, I would have loved it.

EDIT: Short rant about cable

By the way on the app launcher things I ran into these:

  • the default 'application dashboard'
  • Simple Menu
  • Ditto Menu
  • UMenu

( and more of course at )

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