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wall0645
November 16th, 2008, 09:02 AM
My little sister breaks her Windows XP machine (by acquiring some virus or something) every few months and I'm tired of fixing it. I want to put Ubuntu on her computer. She's interested, but I'm wondering if it's simple enough for a 16 year old teenage girl who can't figure out things as simple as bittorrent?

I think if I just set her up and got all the programs she'd need and show her how to use Synaptic, she'd be fine. I can convince her that if a program isn't in Synaptic, it doesn't exist (so she doesn't get confused trying to get programs in more complicated ways).

Thoughts?

jimmy the saint
November 16th, 2008, 09:13 AM
I just set my grandmother up with an ubuntu box and she loves it. I customized the desktop so that there are fewer options and she only has to see what she would actually use. She used a typewriter for years. The only reason she decided to learn to use a computer is because they stopped making ribbons for her typewriter years ago, and the guy who sells them to her ran out! If it is simple enough for her to learn on, your sister will be fine. With a little support from her brother of course.

starcannon
November 16th, 2008, 09:23 AM
So long as it is setup with all the software she needs she should be fine. Though it would be better if she could learn to do simple tasks herself.

alwayshere
November 16th, 2008, 09:31 AM
NO but everything is as hard as learning it which only needs the will to learn

3rdalbum
November 16th, 2008, 09:51 AM
I have a former workmate who was having trouble with her Vista laptop, so I built her a desktop with Ubuntu 8.04. She can't grasp the concept of Bittorrent either, actually :-)

She does occasionally send me an e-mail or call about small problems, but otherwise she can get onto her e-mail and Firefox without any troubles. She's almost completely computer-illiterate really.

As long as you set up everything the way she'll want it, with useful programs available from the desktop (drag the programs from the Applications menu onto the desktop to make desktop launchers) and all the codec and Flash support, then you'll be fine! Your idea of telling her "If it's not in Synaptic, then it doesn't exist" is quite reasonable and should simplify things perfectly.

Paqman
November 16th, 2008, 10:31 AM
Forget Synaptic, just show her Add/Remove. Everything in Add/Remove comes with a GUI, and it doesn't display all the libs and such.

If you're going to give her admin rights so that she can install software, then it might be an idea to go through and remove some stuff from the menus that can really mess the system up. She shouldn't need access to network settings, etc. If it's not showing on the menu, chances are she'll never find it.

seshomaru samma
November 16th, 2008, 11:55 AM
If she doesn't need to install stuff then yes it simple
It she does need to install stuff then it's a hit and miss

When I set a Windows user with Ubuntu , the only thing they really need to know is that Desktop is inside /Home.

lovinglinux
November 16th, 2008, 12:42 PM
I configure the notebook of my mother (which is already a grandmother) with Ubuntu and she loves it. I removed almost everything from the desktop and created a few script launchers to start the "Internet", "Videos", "Games"....

If you are worried that she will download and install untrusted applications or mess things up trying to install some rpm package, then install Public Fox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3911) and configure it to block the download of deb, run, rpm, exe and other installation file types. Then she will have to use the Add/Remove Applications manager.

If you allow me to give you an advice, don't lie to her about software sources. Explain that, due to security risks, she won't be allowed to download applications from web sites or other sources than the official one. Besides, soon or later she will find a package somewhere and will try to install without your knowledge. So this way, she won't have rights to download the files and the machine will be safe.

lukjad007
November 16th, 2008, 12:47 PM
My little sister breaks her Windows XP machine (by acquiring some virus or something) every few months and I'm tired of fixing it. I want to put Ubuntu on her computer. She's interested, but I'm wondering if it's simple enough for a 16 year old teenage girl who can't figure out things as simple as bittorrent?

I think if I just set her up and got all the programs she'd need and show her how to use Synaptic, she'd be fine. I can convince her that if a program isn't in Synaptic, it doesn't exist (so she doesn't get confused trying to get programs in more complicated ways).

Thoughts?
If she knows as little as you say, this is the perfect time to switch. The problems with switching arise when you have to break habits. I switched at that stage and I didn't look back. So, really, give it a go. If she kicks and screams and refuses to use it, then you can just reinstall XP.

muted1987
November 16th, 2008, 12:51 PM
as lukjad007 said they walked in blind so did i and even my gf who is even worse but she loves all the little effects that you can create for her desktop especially cairo-dock

i love tinkering with things and making things run right and with the freedom ubntu gives i wont be going back to xp anytime soon

marshall.robert
November 16th, 2008, 01:07 PM
i recon a good thing to install would be the simple compiz config manager, and also hiding the grub menu from all sights (though if its just ubuntu that shouldnt be a problem)

i think my dad likes ubuntu, he has the choice to boot to xp on the same machine, but i think its a case of whatevers there for him..

i wish my brother was as willing to try ubuntu, i just had to rebuild his xp machine :|

tomtom1982
November 16th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Well, I think you could try Kubuntu because KDE is better to understand for former-windows-users.

And perhaps you should choose Kubuntu 8.04.1 LTS.

The most former-windows-users I know better work with KDE 3.5.9 than with KDE 4.1. Especially if they are new in linux.

Paqman
November 16th, 2008, 01:16 PM
Well, I think you could try Kubuntu because KDE is better to understand for former-windows-users.


If you were going for KDE, I wouldn't use Kubuntu, i'd use PCLinuxOS.

SunnyRabbiera
November 16th, 2008, 01:25 PM
Well even though Ubuntu is a good beginners distro it is not the best beginners distro in my opinion.
No that title goes to my big easy 3 M's:
Mint
Mandriva
Mepis

I personally would start her off on Mint as for one its based on Ubuntu so you yourself dont have to learn anything new.
Secondly Mint has what she might need installed by default, stuff like flash and windows codecs.
And third the user environment in Mint is like windows by default, there is only 1 panel to deal with and mint has a main menu much like the windows start menu so she would not get lost.
Mint is one good starting point but Mandriva is another.
Mandriva is the pioneer Linux desktop so it has some time under its hood to make the user experience nicer.
Even the new KDE4 version of Mandriva might be simple to get for the new user, but because you will have to learn how Mandriva uses its repositories and junk it might not be best in your situation.
Then there is Mepis, if you need a windows like interface right off the bat Mepis uses a nice version of KDE3 and its community is amoung the best out there.
The only issue I see with mepis is the way it updates, it seems to update whenever Warren its main developer is having a good day or not.
Mepis is a bit iffy in its updates but I still mention it being a good beginners distro.
A thing worth mentioning is that Mepis is based of debian, and as you may or may not know Ubuntu is based off debian.
So most of the commands you know in Ubuntu will probably wirk, though with mepis you dont use sudo you use su and then a root password.

MrWES
November 16th, 2008, 02:19 PM
Well even though Ubuntu is a good beginners distro it is not the best beginners distro in my opinion.
No that title goes to my big easy 3 M's:
Mint
Mandriva
Mepis

I personally would start her off on Mint as for one its based on Ubuntu so you yourself dont have to learn anything new.
Secondly Mint has what she might need installed by default, stuff like flash and windows codecs.
And third the user environment in Mint is like windows by default, there is only 1 panel to deal with and mint has a main menu much like the windows start menu so she would not get lost.
Mint is one good starting point but Mandriva is another.
Mandriva is the pioneer Linux desktop so it has some time under its hood to make the user experience nicer.
Even the new KDE4 version of Mandriva might be simple to get for the new user, but because you will have to learn how Mandriva uses its repositories and junk it might not be best in your situation.
Then there is Mepis, if you need a windows like interface right off the bat Mepis uses a nice version of KDE3 and its community is amoung the best out there.
The only issue I see with mepis is the way it updates, it seems to update whenever Warren its main developer is having a good day or not.
Mepis is a bit iffy in its updates but I still mention it being a good beginners distro.
A thing worth mentioning is that Mepis is based of debian, and as you may or may not know Ubuntu is based off debian.
So most of the commands you know in Ubuntu will probably wirk, though with mepis you dont use sudo you use su and then a root password.

Look into Puppy Linux; it'll fly on any PIII or above with minimal RAM -- even just 128mb. Puppy Linux 4.10 has just about everything an average user would use; and for a teenager try TeenPup. It has additional packages installed that might be useful for teens and a matter of fact most other users.

Bill

http://puppylinux.com/

ugm6hr
November 16th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Look into Puppy Linux; it'll fly on any PIII or above with minimal RAM -- even just 128mb. Puppy Linux 4.10 has just about everything an average user would use; and for a teenager try TeenPup. It has additional packages installed that might be useful for teens and a matter of fact most other users.

Bill

http://puppylinux.com/

Does Puppy still log you in as root as default? If so - perhaps it's best avoided.

Additionally, if you are an Ubuntu user, I'd stick to Ubuntu for simplicity when you need to solve her problems again.

Gone fishing
November 16th, 2008, 07:21 PM
If you set it up it's simple enough. I've band Windows from my daughters PC - I started with Ubuntu but changed to Mint as it was just so easy to get DivX and mp3s etc working.

Now as her friends PCs are not working (Windows, Viruses, flash drives and teens don't mix) they would like Mint too

MrWES
November 16th, 2008, 08:48 PM
Does Puppy still log you in as root as default? If so - perhaps it's best avoided.

Additionally, if you are an Ubuntu user, I'd stick to Ubuntu for simplicity when you need to solve her problems again.

Nod.

Mardoct909
November 16th, 2008, 08:54 PM
My little sister breaks her Windows XP machine (by acquiring some virus or something) every few months and I'm tired of fixing it. I want to put Ubuntu on her computer. She's interested, but I'm wondering if it's simple enough for a 16 year old teenage girl who can't figure out things as simple as bittorrent?

I think if I just set her up and got all the programs she'd need and show her how to use Synaptic, she'd be fine. I can convince her that if a program isn't in Synaptic, it doesn't exist (so she doesn't get confused trying to get programs in more complicated ways).

Thoughts?

If you're reinstalling her OS for her all the time, I imagine you can set it up so anything works for her.

I'd recommend Linux Mint for it though. It's really just Ubuntu with all the codecs and a flash player already installed and a few tools that make it easier for the less informed.

Alternately, try avast! antivirus on XP. It has never failed me, and I've downloaded some shady files. It's always caught infected files before they are even completely on my hard disk.