[plug] How to convert without having to support??

Steve Baker steve at iinet.net.au
Mon Aug 6 17:05:54 WST 2007

Paul Antoine wrote:
> Folks,
> In deference to everyone's desire for on-topic content, I proffer the 
> following conundrum:
> I have been approached by an acquaintance who wishes to connect to the 
> Internet for the first time.  He's 60+ year old pensioner and 
> computer-illiterate, though his kids/grandkids are not of course.  
> He's also cheap... and wants a computer for $300.
> No problem I thought.  I have lots of old PIII bits lying around which 
> will happily run Ubuntu, and another friend of his has donated a 
> screen, keyboard and mouse.
> I want him to run Ubuntu so he doesn't have to buy an M$ license for 
> XP (Win98 is now no longer supported with fixes) and to help him avoid 
> the worries of malware, spyware and viruses.
> Now here's the rub: I don't want to have to teach/support him as I 
> simply don't have the time.  I'd like his kids/grandkids to be able to 
> do that for him, but am afraid that their unfamiliarity with Ubuntu 
> will make them ineffective in that regards.
> Ideas? Suggestions?  I await your collective wisdom...
> Paul Antoine

The grandkids probably won't care - they'll notice it's a different 
system, click buttons, play with it, figure out what (if anything) is 
different from what they are used to, then explain it to grandad.

His kids will likely bitch and complain that 'this is crap' because it 
LOOKS different to what they are used to.  If you are lucky and they see 
that Thunderbird and Firefox work pretty much the same as Outlook 
Express and IE, and just get on with it.  If you are unlucky, they won't 
touch it because it looks wrong.

If you are REALLY lucky, the kids won't see it and his grandkids will do 
it all for him.

I'd suggest go with Ubuntu, stick a couple of icons on the desktop 
labeled 'Internet' and 'E-mail', and leave it with him.  If his 
kids/grandkids can't figure it out, they'll probably tell him to get 
windows.  At that point you tell him it's another $xxx, and $yyy each 
time you need to re-install it.


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