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Thread: Suggestions for an email only OS?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    South Africa
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    Ubuntu

    Suggestions for an email only OS?

    I'm trying to setup a computer for my Gran, who as you might guess, is not very tech savvy. She struggles to send text messages from her Nokia 3330.

    I've got an AcerAspire One, which I no longer use this netbook, so I want to format it and install an OS that can only do the very basics.

    All my Gran used her old computer (now broken) for was email. I would like to setup a very simple to use OS that can do little more than email.

    Ideally, if I could get the netbook to boot straight into an email client, and setup a connection to her dial-up Internet, that would be best. The less extras the better.

    If you know of anything out there that fulfils those specs, or something close, please let me know.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterRolfe View Post
    I'm trying to setup a computer for my Gran, who as you might guess, is not very tech savvy. She struggles to send text messages from her Nokia 3330.

    I've got an AcerAspire One, which I no longer use this netbook, so I want to format it and install an OS that can only do the very basics.

    All my Gran used her old computer (now broken) for was email. I would like to setup a very simple to use OS that can do little more than email.

    Ideally, if I could get the netbook to boot straight into an email client, and setup a connection to her dial-up Internet, that would be best. The less extras the better.

    If you know of anything out there that fulfils those specs, or something close, please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Literally Any OS. I'd probably give her xubuntu and then put Icons on the desktop and rename them to what the task is. For example rename thunderbird to email. Then take menulibre or any other menu editor and remove anything that she'll never use from the menu. There you go a grandma proof os. Maybe use debian stable for her with xfce instead since you won't have to deal with as many possible bugs. Also you can add thunderbird to the startup apps really easily
    Whoever came up with the phrase "There is no such thing as a stupid question" obviously never had the internet.

  3. #3
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?


  4. #4
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    Oct 2012
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Have you considered Chrome or Chromium OS? You can get premade builds from chromeos.hexxeh.net or build one yourself from chromium.org/chromium-os.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Is it webmail or POP3?

    You could just do openbox and have it launch email from the autostart script, or actually build a custom environment in the .xsession script so that the session actually logs out when the email client is closed.

    But you're probably best off sticking with a conventional desktop interface with a big "email" icon. You never know if she might want to do some other things on it.

    I'll second the recommendation for xubuntu (LTS) or debian stable with XFCE. I've set this up for non-computer-savvy folks with great success. You could also try LXDE and maybe use the lxlauncher, which is a full-screen tabbed launcher like on the original eeePC.

    If you want to build a really simple interface, I have a project called KiLauncher which is a configurable full-screen launcher meant for Kiosks. I use it as an interface on a laptop for my two youngest boys and it works quite well. Big buttons, no fuss.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Hi! MasterRolfe:

    I have been using Debian 6.5.0 Squeeze Stable for about 7 months now and have had zero problems.

    I recommend Debian because it runs very smooth and is a stable distribution.
    http://www.debian.org/

    http://www.debian.org/CD/

    With Debian you would use 'su' to execute updates, upgrades and etc.

    I'd stay away from Fedora because it has to be re-installed every 3-6 months or
    'pre-upgraded' ....

    Puppy is very nice; I heard; from an old Linux friend of mine

    Best Regards
    Last edited by UltimateCat; December 31st, 2012 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Additional website
    "A morning w/o coffee is like something w/o something else"


    Voyager 12.04 Xubuntu based on AMD Phenom Quad Core & CentOS on Sony Vaio


  7. #7
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    I would go Debian + xfce and just add the email client to the startup apps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Linux Mint

    blog
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  9. #9
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    South Africa
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    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Thanks! I'll check these options out!

  10. #10
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Suggestions for an email only OS?

    Look at Eldy - specifically designed for the older user. Installs on top of existing system.

    Susan
    Pentium 4, 2.4 GHz 1.5GB RAM
    Xubuntu 12.04
    Computers are my mid-life crisis - it could have been worse!

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