Each Neuron system has three default user accounts with user interfaces optimized for different experience levels and needs. The accounts being: Lil_H4x0r, H4x0r_JR and L33t_H4x0r (as many as desired can be added).
The first, the Lil_H4x0r account is for the absolute beginner, has three login options. The user can log directly into the Gcompris early learning suite. The user can log into the Sugar Interface, or the user can log into a specially designed desktop interface.
The first login option is Gcompris.
GCompris is a collection of educational games that provides different activities for children aged 2 to 10. It is so comprehensive that even if it was the only app on the system it would still be worth the asking price. It currently offers in excess of 100 educational activities with more being developed, that teach children the following:
- computer discovery: keyboard, mouse, different mouse gestures, …
- arithmetic: table memory, enumeration, double entry table, mirror image, …
- science: the canal lock, the water cycle, the submarine, electric circuit simulation …
- geography: place the country on the map
- games: chess, memory, connect 4, oware, sudoku …
- reading: reading practice
- other: learn to tell time, puzzle of famous paintings, vector drawing, cartoon making, …
The second option is to log directly into the Sugar interface, and experience what that project has to offer. Sugar, and it’s included activities is the entire system of the $100 One Laptop Per Child XO-1, on the Neuron it is just one of many possibilities. Sugar is a free and open source desktop environment designed with the goal of being used by children for interactive learning. Developed as part of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project, it is the default interface on OLPC XO-1 family of laptop computers. Sugar is a learning platform that reinvents how computers are used for education. Collaboration, reflection, and discovery are integrated directly into the user interface. Through Sugar’s clarity of design, children and teachers have the opportunity to use computers on their own terms. Students can reshape, reinvent, and reapply both software and content into powerful learning activities. Sugar’s focus on sharing, criticism, and exploration is grounded in the culture of free software. Unlike most other desktop environments, Sugar does not use the “desktop”, “folder” and “window” metaphors. Instead, Sugar’s default full-screen activities require users to focus on only one program at a time. Sugar implements a novel file-handling metaphor (the Journal), which automatically saves the user’s running program session and allows him or her to later use an interface to pull up their past works by date, activity used or file type.
- Sugar facilitates sharing and collaboration.
Children can write documents, share books and pictures, or make music together with ease.There are no files, folders, or applications.
Children interact with Activities. Activities includes an application, data, and history of the interaction that can be used to resume and reflect on the child’s work .
- Everything is saved automatically.
It is our goal that you will never lose your work. Documents will eventually by synced with a network server, adding additional protection.
- A Journal is used for accessing data.
The Journal is a diary of things that you make and actions you take. It is a place to reflect upon your work.
The third interface option at login is a highly customized KDE desktop that allows free exploration of age appropriate applications, without adult intervention. It sparks a child’s natural curiosity, promoting intrinsically motivated, self directed learning. This level consist of the following programs: Gcompris, Childsplay, Tux paint, Tux math, Pairs, Tux typing, Potato Guy, Tux racing games.
childsplay can be used at home, kindergartens and pre-schools. It’s a fun and save way to let young children use the computer and at the same time teach them a little math, letters of the alphabeth, spelling, eye-hand coordination etc.
- memory activities that are fun to play and at the same time learn sounds, images, letters and numbers.
- Fun activities that train the child to use the mouse and keyboard.
- pure game activities like puzzles, pong, pacman and billiards.
Tux Paint is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (for example, preschool and K-6), and a part of the Tux4Kids project. Tux Paint is used in schools around the world as a computer literacy drawing activity. It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program. Tux paint is also available as an activity when logged directly into Gcompris.
TuxTyping is an educational typing tutor for kids starring Tux, the Linux penguin, and part of the Tux4Kids project. This educational game comes with two different games for practicing your typing, and having a great time doing it.
TuxMath lets kids hone their arithmetic skills while they defend penguins from incoming comets, or offers them a chance to explore the asteroid belt with only their factoring abilities to bring them through safely!
Pairs is an educational program that stimulates your memory and logic skill. It aims to help the development of preschool kids. by remembering different images, shapes, sounds and text.
Ktuberling/ Potato Guy is a drawing toy game for small children with several activities.
- Give the potato a funny face, clothes, and other goodies
- Build a small town, complete with school, zoo, and fire department
- Create a fantastic moonscape with spaceships and aliens KTuberling can speak the name of each the object in several languages, to assist in learning basic vocabulary.
SuperTux is a classic 2D jump’n run sidescroller game in a style similar to the original Super Mario games.
- 9 enemies
- 26 playable levels
- configurable joystick and keyboard input
SuperTuxKart is a free 3D kart racing game; we want to make the game fun more than we want to make it realistic. You can play with up to 4 friends on one PC, racing against each other or just try to beat the computer (a network multiplayer feature is planned).
See the great lighthouse or drive through the sand and visit the pyramids. Race underground or in space, watching the stars passing by. Have some rest under the palms on the beach (watching the other karts overtaking you 🙂 ). But don’t eat the bananas! Watch for bowling balls, plungers, bubble gum and cakes thrown by opponents.
You can do a single race against other karts, compete in one of several Grand Prix, try to beat the high score in time trials on your own, play battle mode against your friends, and more!
Extreme Tux Racer lets you take on the role of Tux the Linux Penguin as he races down steep, snow-covered mountains. Enter cups and compete to win the title! Tux Racer includes a variety of options for gameplay, including the ability to race courses in fog, at night, and under high winds.
Fun, easy to learn
- Exciting 3D courses
- Sophisticated physics result in thrilling rides down the mountains
- Collect herring while avoiding obstacles for high scores
- Race over a variety of surfaces, including fluffy snow and slick ice
- Race in various weather conditions and lighting conditions
- Create your own courses using any paint program such as The GIMP (no 3D modeller required)
- Suitable for all ages
Colorful 3D rendered penguin animations, 100 levels of 1p game, hours and hours of 2p game, nights and nights of 2p/3p/4p/5p game over LAN or Internet, a level-editor, 3 professional quality digital soundtracks, 15 stereo sound effects, 8 unique graphical transition effects, 8 unique logo eye-candies.
A simple to use media player to play just about any audio or video format in existence, including DVDs
When the child outgrows the simplified interface, the next level user account that can be logged into is the Hax0r-JR account. The custom interface built on the KDE desktop builds on the KDE desktop option of the Lil_Hax0r account. It adds an application launcher menu and a ‘system tray’ giving the child access to all the included applications. At this stage the child can start exploring full featured creative applications, begin to learn the fundamentals of software development, and play the more advanced games.
Some of the included productivity and creativity applications include:
LibreOffice is a powerful Microsoft Office format compatible office suite; Its clean interface and its powerful tools let you unleash your creativity and grow your productivity. LibreOffice embeds several applications that make it the most powerful Free & Open Source Office suite on the market. The suite contains the following applications:
Writer, the word processor
Calc, the spreadsheet application
Impress, the presentation engine
Draw, the drawing and flowcharting application
Base, the database and database frontend
Math for editing mathematics.
GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format. The design process may begin by doodles on a napkin, a sketched mind-map, a photo of a memorable object, or a mock-up in software which really wouldn’t work to complete the project. Inkscape can take you from this stage to a final, professional-grade design format which is ready for publication on the web or in physical form.If you are new to the process of creating vector graphics it may feel different, but you will quickly be pleased by the flexibility, and power Inkscape offers. Vector design is often the preferred method of image creation for logos, illustrations and art which require high scalability. The Inkscape application is used across a wide variety of industries (marketing/branding, engineering/CAD, web graphics, cartooning) and individual uses.
LMMS is to produce music with your computer by creating melodies and beats, synthesizing an mixing sounds, arranging samples and much more. It’s a powerful and intuitive full featured music creation package that can do the work of a studio full of stand alone equiptment. Playback instruments, samples and plugins with a typing or MIDI keyboard in a user-friendly and modern interface.Tutorials on LLMS, that are easy to follow, are on youtube
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, cross platform multi-track audio editor and recorder. You can use Audacity to:
- Record live audio.
- Record computer playback .
- Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
- Edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3 or Ogg Vorbis sound files.
- AC3, M4A/M4R (AAC), WMA and other formats supported using optional libraries.
- Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
- Numerous effects including change the speed or pitch of a recording.
- And more! See the complete list of features.
Ardour is a full featured professional Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for multi-track recording, editing and mastering. It’s basically a recording studio in a single application.
Kdenlive is an intuitive and powerful multi-track video editor, which supports DV, AVCHD and HDV editing. designed to answer all needs, from basic video editing to semi-professional work.
Programming / Software Development
Along with having many popular development environments installable through the package manager/ ‘app store’. Neuron systems come with multiple child centric development environments. The following development environments are installed, aimed at teaching programming concepts for diverse age groups:
Little Wizard is a development environment for children. It is intended to be used by primary school children to learn about the main elements of real computer languages. Using only the mouse, children can explore programming concepts such as variables, expressions, loops, conditions, and logical blocks. Every element of the language is represented by an intuitive icon, making it easy to learn.
Squeak is a modern, open source, full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable, running on almost any platform you could name and you can really truly write once run anywhere. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications and educational platforms to commercial web application development.
With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the on-line community.Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
Guido van Robot is a minimalistic programming language providing just enough syntax to help students learn the concepts of sequencing, conditional branching, looping and procedural abstraction. Its biggest strength is that it permits this learning in an environment that combines the thrill of problem-solving with instant visual feedback. In short, it is an interactive, introductory programming language that is excellent for learning the basic concepts of programming, applicable in any high-level language. Best of all, it’s a whole lot of fun, too!
Along with the child centric development environments the systems have the Arduino integrated development environment installed.
Arduino IDE is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.
Not only are these games a fun way to pass the time, they can spark the intrinsic motivation to learn coding and application design. Since they are open source there are large on-line communities dedicated to their further development. Any aspect of the game is up for modification or refinement by anybody with the skill and ambition. Even entire new games can be created using pieces of the included ones as building blocks.
While Minecraft can’t be included out of the box because it’s commercial software, since it is such a popular educational game, the Minecraft installer is included so the game can be easily installed if the user wants to purchase it. Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things. It can also be about adventuring with friends or watching the sun rise over a blocky ocean. It’s pretty. Brave players battle terrible things in The Nether, which is more scary than pretty. You can also visit a land of mushrooms if it sounds more like your cup of tea.
For those who would like to play a Minecraft-like game for free, Neuron systems come with Minetest preinstalled. Minetest is an infinite-world block sandbox game and a game engine, inspired by InfiniMiner, Minecraft and the like. Explore, dig and build in a voxel world, and craft stuff from raw materials to help you along the way.
- Easy plugin based Modding used to add blocks, tools and features to the game.
- Multiplayer support for tens of players, via servers hosted by users.
- Voxel based lighting with gameplay consequences (light caves and buildings with torches)
- Almost infinite world and several beautiful map generators.
OpenArena is a Free Content version of the popular classic first person shooter Quake III Arena. Its goal is to create new, original media while providing a stand-alone multiplayer game in the process.
The current supported gametypes are as follows:
– Free for All
– Team Deathmatch
– Capture the Flag
– One Flag Capture
– CTF Elimination
– Last Man Standing
– Double Domination
World of Padman is a cool fun shooter, that includes 12 maps, along with new crazy weapons, colourful player models, and new game types. Furthermore, everything is musically accompanied by the bands dieselkopf and Green Sun. The “World of Padman” is a multiplayer game, in which you can fight your opponent online or have some fun at home playing with some friends and bots.
The Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based tactical strategy game with a high fantasy theme. Build up a great army, gradually turning raw recruits into hardened veterans. In later games, recall your toughest warriors and form a deadly host whom none can stand against! Choose units from a large pool of specialists, and hand-pick a force with the right strengths to fight well on different terrains against all manner of opposition
Freeciv is a Free and Open Source turn-based multiplayer empire-building strategy game inspired by the history of human civilization, in which each player becomes the leader of a civilization, fighting to obtain the ultimate goal: to become (or subvert) the greatest civilization.. The game commences in prehistory and your mission is to lead your tribe from the Stone Age to the Space Age…
OpenCity is a full 3D city simulator game project inspired by the ‘Sim City’ line of games.
You are captain of the cargo ship Chromium B.S.U., responsible for delivering supplies to our troops on the front line. Chromium B.S.U. is a fast paced, arcade-style, top-scrolling shooter.
Nexuiz is an extremely competitive fast paced arena multiplayer first-person shooter which started as a Quake modification.