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David Hines [userpic]

request for aid!

July 2nd, 2009 (01:19 pm)
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OK. You have an assignment!

I have a young friend (one of three daughters of my former first grade teacher) who has just turned 14. Her mom mentioned a while back it'd be nice if they could get Jenny a little laptop of her own. Yesterday, I just belatedly realized that I could do that. About a year ago I bought an Asus eeePC netbook for use as a con computer. It worked admirably, but I've got my Kindle now, and it can do pretty much everything that I needed the Asus for -- and the Kindle fits in my jacket pocket. So the Asus has mostly been gathering dust, except for the times I've loaned it out to friends as an emergency replacement while theirs was in the shop. I figure I'm not using it, so I talked to her mom and she said it'd be wonderful if I passed it along as a hand-me-down. I just got a long-overdue paycheck, so I'm thinking while I'm at it I'll spring for a wireless router, which they don't currently have, to prevent squabbling over the connection and preserve family harmony. All told, I think this is a pretty awesome birthday present.

I'll be going up their way in a couple of weeks, so I have a little time to delete the pr0n get it ready, and then I realized: I AM ABOUT TO SET A FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL LOOSE ON THE INTERNET.

So! I request advice.

I want to preload some useful bookmarks. She doubtless has her own websites of interest, but what websites would a fourteen-year-old girl find useful and fun that she may not already know about?

I avoid Harry Potter fandom like the plague, but she loves Harry Potter. What are some good Harry Potter fansites? WITHOUT PORN, PLEASE. Fic, art, stories, reference works are all good and useful things, too.

The machine runs Linux. What is a good book on Linux that a 14-year-old would find relatively accessible? The Dummies series, or O'Reilly, or is there something better?

Other suggestions welcome.

Comments

Posted by: DUCKS CAN'T TALK. (very_improbable)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
dtwof

When I was a 14-year-old girl loose on the internet (and this was web 1.0, more than a decade ago), I'd been looking at sexually explicit slash fanfiction for like a year.

Posted by: DUCKS CAN'T TALK. (very_improbable)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)

If you want to help her discover online HP things, though -- maybe FictionAlley? Seems harmless enough.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
wtf

When I was a 14-year-old girl loose on the internet (and this was web 1.0, more than a decade ago), I'd been looking at sexually explicit slash fanfiction for like a year.

Hey, more power to you. But I am a 33-year-old man, and she is a 14-year-old girl, and I have no idea what her sexual comfort zone is and I am not going to be creepy enough to ask. If she wants to find stuff when she's online, bully for her, but that's her decision, and I am not going to get even remotely involved in that.

Posted by: DUCKS CAN'T TALK. (very_improbable)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)

I wasn't suggesting you help her find pr0n, I was suggesting that she probably has interests on the internet already and you need not feel in any way responsible for "setting her loose". Put Wikipedia in the bookmarks bar and don't sweat it. :)

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)

It's not that I feel responsible for the havoc she will wreak, but I would like to give her a couple of helpful pointers that would get her started for whatever explorations she wants to make on her own. I don't think she even knows HP fandom, as a fandom, exists.

And thanks for your suggestion!

Edited at 2009-07-02 07:57 pm (UTC)

Posted by: another d**m learning experience (lomedet)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)

my gf (who's a way bigger HP fan than I will ever be, and also way less into fanfictional pr0n *g*) recommends www.mugglenet.com (informational, newsy fansite) and interactive.mugglenet.com (PG role-playing & assorted activities fansite, affiliated - I think! - with the regular mugglenet).

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

Posted by: HJ (hjcallipygian)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)

I am unsure of how fourteen-year-old girls work. Although one of Dr Scientist's friends has a fifteen-year-old daughter, so maybe she can have answers.

Got location for next weekend?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)

Probably Mississippi. Not 100% certain yet, but looking fairly likely. Alas.

Posted by: HJ (hjcallipygian)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)

BAH! I say. Wish you could come, it's gonna be fun.

Posted by: Piglet (porcinea)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)

Maybe you could mention scarleteen.com to her mom? Depending on what kind of mom she is, it might be just the thing.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
facepalm

I AM NOT GOING TO BRING SEX OR SEX EDUCATION INTO IT TO HER OR TO HER MOTHER OR TO ANYONE ELSE, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE BASICALLY FAMILY.

A woman might be able to do this. I am not a woman. So I am not going to talk to anybody about anything involving sex and a fourteen-year-old girl unless said fourteen-year-old girl is my own offspring or the girlfriend of same.

Posted by: Drooling Fan Girl (droolfangrrl)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)

http://www.snopes.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_site

Posted by: Dan Orkwis (dorkwis)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)

From the girlfriend:

www.etsy.com

www.closetcouture.com

Most of my links are quite specific to my interests, such as strategy gaming and the like. Some webcomics might be of interest?
In particular;
www.GirlGenius.com
www.gunnerkrig.com
Both have strong female main characters and could appeal to someone of that age range.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)

Ooh, good point on Girl Genius especially. Thanks!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)

Good point on snopes! I think she will want to avoid shock sites like the plague, though.

Posted by: Drooling Fan Girl (droolfangrrl)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)

you're welcome. As for the article about shock sites, ask yourself this, would you rather she read that article first or ran smack dab into one of them first?

Posted by: riah_chan (riah_chan)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Al hmmmmm...

The sugarquill.net is nice for fanfiction.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

Posted by: Sara LaKali (sara_lakali)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)

JK Rowling's official site is good. HPANA is a Harry Potter news aggregator--one that keeps unsubstantiated rumor to a minimum. FictionAlley is a big site. They officially have a no-explicit policy, but I've found stuff there that was the equivalent of a Harlequin romance, sex scene and all. And FA mods don't self-police, they wait for someone to report violations.

If she's a writer, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: http://www.grammarbook.com/default.asp (Well, that's a rec for anyone who's a writer.)

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)

Thanks for the info!

Posted by: Persephone (persephone_kore)
Posted at: July 3rd, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)

FictionAlley is a big site. They officially have a no-explicit policy, but I've found stuff there that was the equivalent of a Harlequin romance, sex scene and all.

I do recall a conversation on... I think it was precisely which words and how many describing Lucius Malfoy's private parts had to be removed or altered to get a particular story classed as R (and thus eligible) instead of NC-17.

This, of course, was before they introduced the policy that if you'd had ten stories accepted without the screeners demanding any changes, you could be trusted to upload without supervision.

Posted by: madripoor_rose (madripoor_rose)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)

http://www.fanfiction.net/

I know the quality is scattershot, but it does at least have the No Porn rule. And it is a fairly good fannish starting place.

http://icanhascheezburger.com/

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)

I think I'll probably emphasize fan-run sites, as opposed to the pit of voles -- in large part because the fan universe is more easily found that way, so she has better opportunities.

Good call on cheezburger.

Posted by: madripoor_rose (madripoor_rose)
Posted at: July 3rd, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)

Oh, and if she's the kind of 14 year old into cutesy kitschy stuff, (Hello Kitty/My Little Pony type) she might like this:

http://mymilktoof.blogspot.com/

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