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Thread: how do you wean someone off of windows?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Beans
    243

    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    I managed to wean my father-in-law off of Windows. His old computer, which had Windows 98 on it, just got to where it was so slow as to be unbearable, so about a year and a half ago he asked me if I could get him one with Windows XP. It took me a while, but I finally got my hands on one with XP on it on Craig's List for only $65 (we're not exactly made of money, and neither is he, you see).

    I went down there one weekend to spend it with my wife, who was on a summer job at a Girl Scout camp there in southeast Missouri, and it's a summer job she's had for quite some time that she enjoys (she's a college student right now who plans to become a teacher). Anyways, I'd gotten it all hooked up and then my wife and I went out to dinner in Poplar Bluff. While we were out to dinner, a severe thunderstorm rolled through where my father-in-law and his wife life. He didn't bother to shut down Windows the proper way, he just unplugged the computer. After the storm blew over, he plugged it back in...and Windows wouldn't boot. He called us right as we got out of the restaurant and told us what happened, so I swapped computers with him once more and took the new (to us) computer back to here in St. Louis.

    I had a friend of mine look at it, and she said the hard drive itself was toast. I told my father-in-law what happened, and he asked me if I could get another copy of Windows XP -- but I really didn't have the money. I tried convincing him to switch to Linux but couldn't until my wife (who, oddly enough, I still have yet to convert to Linux) told him he wouldn't have to worry about defending against viruses and spyware anymore, and that piqued his interest, so he said he'd be willing to give Linux a try.

    I wound up putting PCLinuxOS on it, as I was a KDE fan at the time before they came out with KDE4, which drive me to GNOME for computers that could handle it and Xfce for those that couldn't -- and naturally, this switch led me to Ubuntu. Anyways, I set it up to be intuitive for someone who's not very computer-literate at all (hey, my father-in-law freely admits he's computer-illiterate LOL) took it down to him, and he was quite pleased with it.

    However, that computer takes a long time to get past the POST (power-on self test). This is a hardware problem and is not a problem with whatever happens to be on the hard drive. I recently bought a new computer (yes, NEW) for only $50 that was already pre-loaded with Ubuntu and I've decided to put Hardy Heron on my old computer, which works great and boots up in a normal amount of time, and give it to him for Christmas and set it up for him. Not to mention, I've found GNOME to be more capable of impersonating the Windows XP look and feel than KDE, which I think he'll like, since XP is what he originally wanted to begin with. Oh, and I'm pretty certain my father-in-law doesn't know about this site, either. SHHH!!!
    Have you heard that Microsoft bought Hoover Vacuum? Now they finally have a product that doesn't suck!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern Missouri United States
    Beans
    9
    Distro
    Ubuntu Breezy 5.10

    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    As a user support specialist, I often get asked to work on computers in my spare time. I often tell them I will do it for free if they will give Ubuntu a try. I back up all their personal data, load ubuntu and then copy their data to their documents, etc. So far I've only gotten 2 takers but it's a start!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Noel, Missouri
    Beans
    5
    Distro
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Thumbs down Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    I chose the sledge hammer aproach to get my family using Linux, Ubuntu in particular. I wiped my hard drive and installed 8.10 x64. Before removing the old OS I backed up all of their pics and documents to CD so they would not lose their stuff. For iTunes I installed Vmware and put the original OS into a virtual under /opt. I then created a shortcut on everyone's desktop to run it full sceen. My wife is just at home on Ubuntu as she was with XP. The kids are a bit flustered about not having their hardcore 3D games but I reminded them we spent hundreds of dollars on game machines; they quickly understood. I have since then ordered 2 Dell Inspiron Mini 9's with Ubuntu and am awaiting their arrival anxiously.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Beans
    70
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    I would suggest a dual boot at first which is my weaning process as well from XP. I will miss Freelancer Discovery 4.85 but I only have to wait for the next crash to be reminded that Ubuntu is doing all other work on this computer. Try a dual boot with a modern computer which implies going beyond XP which I refuse to do. I don't know of anything else besides Freelancer which Windows does better. Do you actually use Vista?. I lasted 2 hours before ripping it out on my new leased computer. It may have actually voided the lease but it was completely illogical and disfunctional. That is after 3-4 months and 3-4 tries at Ubuntu which finally took hold which is noteworthy.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    If they don't want to use linux, why are you trying to manipulate them into using it? That's counter productive and it gives linux and its users a bad image, no offense.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Beans
    70
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    from an old person to you please remember that we don't even provide a revenue base of income for open source software and if you are going into computers for a living you will encounter Apache and Linux and now those two categories are making headroads into the Windows market with music and video. Take a good look at Mythbuntu and see what you can find. I would start with the Vo-Tech class and the future computer professionals and involve the teachers in some type of project of yours such as a report on Linux and the various Ubuntu programs.
    Personally after 30 years I finally became proficient enough to appreciate Ubuntu. Linux is not for everybody but it is for a lot of people eventually. Hang in there and good luck,
    Windwalker

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    KCMO
    Beans
    201
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: how do you wean someone off of windows?

    I don't know if you can overcome someone's comfort with something familiar. What you can do is explain how their comfort comes at an unnecessary cost. Also, remind people that Windows has been part of a culture. Most people grew up with it, ignorant of any alternatives. They learned Windows over such a long amount of time that they may not have even realized it. Basically, they were indoctrinated into the Windows culture but now they have a choice.

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