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Thread: how do you wean someone off of windows?

  1. #1
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    how do you wean someone off of windows?

    If you've read one of my recent posts, you may remember me saying that I tried to convert my parents from windows to linux but I ended up failing,

    because their kind of old... and.... well.... you know how some old people don't like to learn new things about technology right? That and they've been using windows since Nov 1998.... so Linux would be a big change to them.

    What I'm trying to ask is, how on earth do I convert the average PC user over to Linux? The reason why I don't pass out Ubuntu CDs to the people at school is because I'm one of the few people there that actually has an interest on computers.... instead of sports and annoying high school drama. If I pass out the CD's, I'm sure at least half of them will be thrown away without being used, because it seems almost nobody there cares about that stuff, or at least alternative software.

    If I went on about viruses and spyware, I'm sure no one at my school would really pay attention.

    I think the only place I'll have any success with this is at my Vo-tech class, were the students have at least some interest in computers... but they aren't really average users, because over half of them actually want a computer related job.

    Another big point is, why will the average windows user want to use linux when they find out that they cant do all the music related stuff that itunes can, and that they cant make movies because their arent any good debian video editing programs?

    Even worse, why will they want to use Linux when they find that they cant use their favorite windows programs without having to emulate them? I know it sounds unethical that they wouldn't give Linux a chance, but thats the way it seems to be a lot of the time.


    I suppose its cruel to say average users are this way... when they are not.... I suppose I should be aiming for the "durka-dur-I-barely-know-how-to-use-a-computer-an-I-refuse-to-learn-anymore-about-them" kind of person. I'm talking about those people who frequently yell at their computer, and never try to really learn how to use it, and complain about how their computer hates them.

    But it almost seems as if those people make up the average computer user.... even though they really don't....

    So how on earth could you convert someone like that?

  2. #2
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    you could dual boot their computer with windows & ubuntu.
    Most people I know dont wanna switch to linux because they dont get anything special from it. You can customize it however you want but the average person has no idea how to do that. Most people just want quick internet and be able to type their things and play games. I dont think viruses/spyware are enough to make people switch
    if you write in binary long enough you’re liable to lose your penmanship

    = (

  3. #3
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    Every person has to be approached in a different way simply because everyone is different in how they use their PC. My mother, for example would be an easy convert to Linux because she wouldn't know the difference. It would be equally easy for her to check her email and maybe look at a website once in a while. My Dad, on the other hand, knows quite a bit about computers and constantly uses one. He does many many things on his and has many favorite apps. He would be MUCH harder to convert. My brother and I are slowly wearing on him though; he'll break eventually, even if it means a Live CD or a dual boot.

  4. #4
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    The easiest way is to start introducing applications to them which would be available in Linux. Sometimes that would be fairly easy, Some applications would require some work to get used to. Either way, eventually they will see a greater benefit to using the free/open software over the ever changing closed source.

    There are other ways I know of, but this one is one of the easiest paths to take.

  5. #5
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    Yes, showing people individual apps can help too. I've done that to convert one of my co-workers

  6. #6
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    In the past, I tried to convert some people. I felt like I had to, since all of them could keep doing their tasks on linux. There would not be any case of "I used to do it in windows, and now I can't do it in linux".

    My sister used linux until she bought a sony camera that couldn't be recognized. My brother once told me he wanted to use linux, but it has been months ago. He still says he wants to, but no action has been taken yet. My father thinks linux doesn't work. My girlfriend is afraid of not knowing how to handle whatever problem that might show up.

    Since Breezy, I've been using Windows only for games. I'm quite happy with it. And now I know that some people just won't change, no matter what. Maybe Vista, or Vista+1, will give us a little help.

  7. #7
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    Quote Originally Posted by tszanon View Post
    Maybe Vista, or Vista+1, will give us a little help.
    From the complaints Ive heard, and the ones I have myself, you might just be right....

    I suppose the method I like doing the most, is giving someone an older computer (that I manages to get cheap) with xubuntu, and letting them see how it competes at speed with their newer computer.... which is probably bogged down by viruses and spyware.

    Ive only tried this method once with a friend, because he needed another computer for downstairs, and he and his brothers seem to like it.... in fact they grew into liking it a lot quicker than I thought. I guess it was because their XP computer upstairs runs at snail speed (their dad likes Symantec (Norton) security products), and the junkie old 500mhz 256 mb computer I gave them out performed it speed wise.

  8. #8
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    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    It may not be as soon as we like, but Windows Vista seems to be helping promote Linux adoption. Windows Vista, after all, sucks so bad even to people who wouldn't normally consider anything but Windows. Granted, the majority of them are wanting to return to Windows XP, but Microsoft is planning to drop all support and sales of XP over the summer, so that's something that won't go on forever, I'm sure. Others have decided to shell out the money for a Mac, but there are still others that have decided to give Linux a try, so Apple and Linux are bound to gain from Microsoft's Windows Vista faux pas.

    In other words, I think it will happen naturally, just give it some time.

  9. #9
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    Re: how do you wein someone off of windows?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedingbullet View Post

    I suppose the method I like doing the most, is giving someone an older computer (that I manages to get cheap) with xubuntu, and letting them see how it competes at speed with their newer computer.... which is probably bogged down by viruses and spyware.
    That's the method I used to slowly convert my girlfriend to Linux. I bought a cheap laptop and loaded Ubuntu on it. At first she didn't like it, but now she does. It took a while though.

  10. #10
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    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    If you don't mind, I corrected a typo in the thread title.

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