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?"