Setting up an ancient laptop for a young child
OK, I know this is a topic that has been covered in various places on the web, and I'm aware of the various "Linux 4 Kids" distros out there like edubuntu and Qimo (Qimo looked perfect actually, but I just cannot get it to install!) but this is a bit of special case in that the laptop I'm using is ancient in tech terms.
It's a Dell Latitude CPi-A Series, which pre-dates the millennium bug scare (there's a sticker on the bottom that says "millennium approved", I lol'ed), has an incredible 333Mhz Pentium-II and a whopping 2.5mb of video memory, not to mention it's gob smacking 64mb of RAM! [/sarcasm]
First stumbling block: cannot boot from USB. There is an option in the (last updated in 2001) BIOS to boot from removable devices, but apparently it doesn't apply to USB. No biggie, I do at least have a (4x speed) CD-ROM drive, which should be ample space for any OS I install considering the HDD tips the scales at just under 4.3gb.
edubuntu is a no go - it's far too big to fit on this machine. Ubuntu is a possibility, but I doubt it'll run well. Qimo could not install, and trying to run it as a Live CD was horrendously slow, with menus constantly trying to reload (I imagine this was it trying to cope with running the entire OS on 64mb of RAM!)
So it looks like I'm going to have to get a bit more personal with my approach here... which is where you lot come in :)
I want this laptop to run some basic educational games (any suggestions of which would be great by the way), and do some light web browsing. It needs to have a simple GUI - I'm thinking KDE or XFCE, but I'm open to suggestions? I want to make it look and act similarly to Windows - the target audience is a 7 year old girl so I don't fancy trying to teach her Unix just yet!
I've tried DSL, which ran great from a Live CD, but it'd need a better GUI installing - as it installs as Debian this shouldn't be too hard to do, but it comes bundled with a lot of system utilities that this machine will never need, I really just want a core system with GUI on which to add the aforementioned software. Are there any other suggestions? Usually I'd just try out a few and pick one, but as I don't have the option of booting from USB, a limited supply of CD's and really need to see how it'd act in such a restricted environment, I'd really appreciate experienced opinions!
EDIT: and by the way, I have tried Windows (it has XP on it right now), but with a load time of 15 minutes and almost the same for Firefox, the young un has got her mom's laptop out and done what she wanted before it's even started!