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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Secure Windows Laptop for your kid, when clueless about Windows? 1

madsdyd writes: I am a long time user of Linux (1997) and have not been using Windows since 1998. All PCs at home (mine, wife, kids) runs Linux. I work professionally as a software developer with Linux, but the Windows installs at my workplace are quite limited, so my current/working knowledge of Windows is almost nil.

At home we have all been happy with this arrangements, and the kids have been using their nintendos, ps2/3's and mobile phones up until now. However, my oldest kid (12) now wants to play World of Warcraft and League of Legends with his friends.

I have spent more hours than I like to admit getting this to work with Wine, with limited success — seems to always fail at the last moment. I considered an Apple machine, but they seem to be quite expensive.

So, I am going to bite the bullet, and install Windows 7 on a spare Lenove T400 laptop, which I estimate will be able to run both Windows 7 and the games in question.

Getting Windows 7 from a shop is surprisingly expensive, but I have found a place where they sell used software (legally) and can live with that one-time cost. However, I understand that I need to protect the Windows installation against viruses and malware and whatnot. The problem is, I have no clue how. One shop wants to sell me a subscription based solution from Norton, but this cost will take a huge dip into my kids monthly allowance — he is required to cover the costs of playing himself, so given that playing WoW is not exactly free, this is a non-trivial expense for him. On the other hand, he has plenty of time, so I guess he could use that time to learn something, and protecting his system at the same time.

So, my questions are sometihng like this: how do other Slashdotters provide Windows installations for their kids? What kind of protection is needed? Are there any open source/free protection systems that can be used? Should the security issues be ignored, and instead dump the Windows install to an external disk, and restore every two weeks? Is there a "Windows for Linux users" guide somewhere? What should we do, given that we need to keep the cost low and preferably the steps simple enough for a 12 year old kid to perform?
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Ask Slashdot: Secure Windows Laptop for your kid, when clueless about Windows?

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  • Be aware that Microsoft only lets you activate Windows a certain number of time, 3 or 5 I think.
    My solution is to just run it in a VM under Linux. Last time I checked, VMware seems best at interoperability with 3D graphics hardware.
    So create a windows VM, activate it with Microsoft and install everything you want, then label it 'Golden' and never use it.
    Make a copy of the Golden one, and use that instead.
    If you ever suspect a problem, or if you just want to just blow away windows regularly for security reas

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.