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Thread: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Hi All,

    I guess for many of us our parents (or grandparents) consult their children to support their computers. That is actually a huge potential market for ubuntu. Instead of upgrading their latest spybot or adaware, dealing with their viruses or WGA problems, why not just install Ubuntu?

    In case they are really dependent on some windows program for eg banking, you can install always vmware with windows on one condition: that they ask their bank (or any other company) for linux support by phone and email. The threshold to start up windows in vmware will be big enough to guarantee they'll only use if necessary.

    This potential is not only true for Ubuntu but for the whole Linux community. You could do it gradually:
    - first convert them to Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, ...,
    - start to talking about Ubuntu so they get used to it and it sounds as familiar as Windows
    - list all activities they need to do and make sure they can do it on Ubuntu. Better even: provide them with applications they dreamed to have, but didn't have on Windows.
    - some time later the switch to Linux.
    - Enable remote desktop so you can assist when necessary.
    - Introduce them to www.ubuntuforums.org

    We could also share our experiences, set up a website, create a FAQ, ..., but for now just convert your (grand)parents.

    In the footsteps of the "Spread Firefox" campaign, we could start "Convert your parents to linux" campaign. It would be nice to start a counter of how many people convinced their parents (or other family members) to Ubuntu.

    If you provide all their computer support, so why not let them use a better product?

    +1

    Stani

  2. #2
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    I tought about the same thing a few weeks ago when my dad called me once again to see what I can do about his slow computer.

    The problem is my 15 year old sister in law keeps on installing all those fabulous "Free Cursors, free screensavers etc etc" full of adware/spyware and the computer ends up completely loaded with this mess. The computer isnt a bomb either, 6 years old AMD athlon with 256 ram running XP.

    My father isn't an advanced computer user and uses is computer mostly for websurfing, reading emails and listening to online radio. He is already using Firefox and Thunderbird. Since he dont know much about Windows and the constantly buggy Windows (Thanks to the sister in law) discourage him of learning more about Windows I decided to install him Ubuntu.

    I made him a little demo of ubuntu features and he ended up very interested in the whole thing and asked me to install Ubuntu the next time I come by.

    I plan to set the whole thing to dual boot XP and Ubuntu and make the changes to the grub config to make XP boot automaticaly instead of Ubuntu to avoid confusing the Windows users. Since my father followed some lessons on MSOffice he asked if it will work on Linux I told him about OpenOffice but proposed him to install wine and Office too if he felt more confortable with it.

    For the online radio I will install amarok since it the best player I used yet and its easy to setup.

    For the remote support issue I will probably try using NXServer since it gives some better security by using ssh tunneling of the vnc and NX protocol.

    I think that the persons that can be easily converted to Ubuntu are the one with the least knowledge of the MS operating systems since they don't have to relearn the whole computer thing again, they just learn a different way than the MS way. It is also important to make sure they can use the MS programs they use for their work (or OpenSource alternatives) so they don't end up appart from their co-worker or friends.

    Also being available to support them when they need it is important since they probably wont have alot of people in their surroundings that knows linux and maybe wont have the patience to go in the forums to seek advice.

    I think that this whole idea is great and maybe a "Howto convert" might help. Let me know if you start a website or start working on a faq/howto, I will help!

  3. #3
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Old people use the net for reading news, checking emails and listening to online videos/radios. They don't play games and rarely chat and so Ubuntu is perfect for them.

    Also good for kids (age 5-15)

  4. #4
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Quote Originally Posted by crazymonkey View Post
    I think that the persons that can be easily converted to Ubuntu are the one with the least knowledge of the MS operating systems since they don't have to relearn the whole computer thing again, they just learn a different way than the MS way. It is also important to make sure they can use the MS programs they use for their work (or OpenSource alternatives) so they don't end up appart from their co-worker or friends.
    OK, and for example, we have some kid 8 years old. His dead bought him his first PC with Ubuntu preinstalled...

    ...

    He's eleven now and he whishes to try MS Windows. He installed it.

    What could happen...?
    Last edited by BrokeBody; September 11th, 2006 at 01:15 PM.
    "Being different is not a crime, and people who tell you it is are just jealous that you've picked up a skill they never in their wildest dreams could acquire.

    You can code. They cannot. That is pretty damn cool." --Zed A. Shaw

  5. #5
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluntu View Post
    Old people use the net for reading news, checking emails and listening to online videos/radios. They don't play games and rarely chat and so Ubuntu is perfect for them.

    Also good for kids (age 5-15)
    I italicized bolded the weak point in your post. Web-based media is probably one of Linux's biggest weak points for the Average Joe/Jane. Compare the Ubuntu experience (sudo apt-get install totem-mozilla-what-who-when-why?!? win32codecs? ugly plugins?) to Windows (go to page, watch Windows Media Player handle everything).

    EDIT: I realized too late that quoted text is italic anyway.
    Are you Listening?
    Are you a Hero?
    Are you Sleeping?

  6. #6
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Get my father to use Ubuntu? I can't even get him to use Windows - he still uses his old iMac for everything. Whenever he goes to a website that doesn't work properly because it isn't compatible with IE 5, he sends an e-mail to the webmaster telling them that there's something wrong with their website. Seriously!

    My father once asked me if I'd uninstalled Windows from my computer. Apparantly, he had turned the computer on, went off and put the kettle on, GRUB timed out, and he came back to find that Ubuntu had booted. He restarted, went back to the kitchen for a sandwich...

    And another time, I left my computer on overnight to work as a web server. I had turned off X and was at a virtual terminal with information still showing. The following morning, my father came up to me and announced that he'd restarted my computer "because it had crashed".

    One of the proposed new features of Gnome 3 is automatic file translation. The idea is that, if you change a filename extension from (say) .jpg to .png, Gnome will actually convert the file from a JPEG to a PNG. Well, my father once tried to convert AIFFs to WAVs in this way in Windows.

    The spooky thing? He's been using computers longer than I have, and once owned a command-line-based computer.

    As regards using Ubuntu for online radio and the like, the focus of this thread is about setting up Ubuntu for someone else. The assumption is that you'd set up the person's Ubuntu with all the codecs.
    Last edited by 3rdalbum; September 11th, 2006 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Clarified the "because it had crashed" story
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  7. #7
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Well, my father once tried to convert AIFFs to WAVs in this way in Windows.
    You know, when I was a little kid, I tried this. I also tried making a new drive by naming a folder D; (because : wouldn't work) HAHA!
    The old days!

    Anyway, my other 128MB computer actually runs slower on Xubuntu than on Windows. I don't know how I could slow it down and still have a nice GUI so that'll have to be Windows 98. If you're going for old people, maybe the ones with old PCs will have a problem if this is the case.
    May the FOSS be with you!

  8. #8
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Well, I'm one of the "parents". Already converted, thank you. Got my grandson onto Linux; but, getting my daughter off Windows is impossible. I give up. She won't budge; yet, her pc is in a constant state of virus and spy-ware hell - half the time it won't even boot. So, I have a job everytime I come over.

    She's typical of pc users. We're the exception. Most folks could care less about Windows or Linux. They just want to use email, surf, play games, download music and install silly applications. They care even less about system or security updates (which, with Windows comes all too frequent). And, when their pc becomes almost inoperable they give it away and buy a new one, which is how I ened up with four, (running Linux).

  9. #9
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    Quote Originally Posted by stani View Post
    I guess for many of us our parents (or grandparents) consult their children to support their computers. That is actually a huge potential market for ubuntu.
    This is the exact same way that I have been working "The Campaign" from my end. I know that it will probably not show up on any poll, as these converted people will not become involved in the web community to solve their problems ( they will call me up guaranteed! ). But the thing with these people is that once they are all set up, they are all good, and will probably ( has yet to be seen ) not have much if any problems.

    I think that more and more, everyone should start the conversion in this fashion. Start converting the casual computer users. Most people are not gamers ( or at least not PC gamers ) and will have no problem ditching windows ( if they even notice ( i am pretty sure that Grandma thinks it is some sort of window varient ) ).

    And I think, in a very grassroots sort of way, this will end up taking a bite out of Microsoft and other 3rd party leeches of Microsoft ( A/V software and the like ).

    KEEP UP THE GRAND WORK!

    -Brendt
    Last edited by Brendt2; September 11th, 2006 at 04:00 PM. Reason: I suck at spelling =(

  10. #10
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    Re: Howto to double or triple the ubuntu community: convert your parents!!

    In the footsteps of the "Spread Firefox" campaign, we could start "Convert your parents to linux" campaign.
    In this vein of idea, I discovered a nice website recently: www.getgnulinux.org

    It's not perfect, but it's a good start. And the folks there are pretty open to constructive criticism. Here's a link to the official forum.

    - trib'

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