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View Full Version : [SOLVED] Another attempt to convert a Windows user down the drain. . .



RavenOfOdin
June 14th, 2006, 01:57 AM
This is actually somewhat funny, but frustrating -- and I guess its a little bit of a vent. It happened to me just this afternoon:

I was watching TV in the living room and then my mom says there's this new virus for Yahoo out. Since I don't know what she means I ask and she replies "Yahoo" . . .now I tell her that using Linux I really don't concern myself with those warnings. Then she's like "I tried before with the internet but its too hard."

Now to her, "too hard" could mean anything from "the thing broke and a bunch of info got dumped to the screen" to "It's taking two seconds instead of one to load a page, therefore something is on the computer that is screwing with the internet connection."

Most of the time, I'm the one that gets looked at when she decides its not working right. Its an antivirus app I put on Windows for her, its a firewall I put on Windows for her, its an anti-spyware app I put on Windows for her, its something else which has absolutely no chance of wrecking her computer. She treats reasonable security like its the invention of the devil himself -- and then wonders why I insist she not send me any emails.

So, against all my better judgment, I decide to tell her "there's a desktop on Linux" (well, KDE is a desktop) which looks like Windows (well, it can, but not necessarily) and you can do whatever you want from it. You don't have near half the issues you usually do while running Windows.

Her: I used it before.
Me: No, you didn't, that was the other one. (GNOME)
Her: Get into it from here and I'll look at it.
Me: Itd be better to just show you screenshots because I have to restart to get into it.
Her: OK.

So I go to kde.org and get some screenshots up.

Her: This doesn't look cutesy (She likes s*** like Winnie the Pooh, hey, what woman doesnt'?)
Me: This is only a screenshot, you can change it later.
Her: OK, I'll try it.

So I restart and she tries typing in her username and password (even though I disabled her account after she quit GNOME, and in all likelihood she was typing in her Windows password.)

Her: Its not working.
Me: OK. I'll get into my account and make it work for you.

System Settings > Users and Groups

Her: *notices administration mode* Can't I just type in my password now?
Me: Uh. . .no.

So I get it enabled and she puts a password on.

Her: *Makes a comment about my background* I don't like this desktop.

It was a snow-bound landscape with a log cabin smack in the middle of it, and some alpha blending. I changed it to that from a picture of Jesse Jane before she got on and forgot to remove the blending.

So I tell her: You can change it when you get in.

Then I restart and she comes up to her old desktop, just in KDE.

Her: Where are all my pictures and stuff?!? (This from her Windows)
Me: You never had them on this. They're on Windows.
Her: OMG why?
Me: You never copied them over.
Her: *eyes glaze*
Me: Come on. . .Its easy to copy pictures.
Her: If its that easy, why can't you do it for me?

So I'm getting a little annoyed at this point but its not showing . . .yet.

Her: I don't like this wallpaper.
Me: Then change it. *I go to System Settings > Desktop*
Her: *Looks through wallpapers* I don't like this. . .ugh. . .I don't like this. . .ugh. . .I don't like this. . .ugh. . .why don't they have anything CUTESY.
Me: It doesn't come with your kind of wallpaper, but you can get more if you like. *I point to "Get More Wallpapers"*
Her: OK then, let me look through some more. . .*looks*. . .
Her: *comes back to the exact pic I had before, just without the blending* OMG I like this one!!

:rolleyes:

Her: The writing is too small.
Me: OK then. We'll change the fonts. *Goes to System Settings > Appearance*
Her: *Clicks on Fonts*. . .why isn't it coming up?
Me: You're looking at it.

I can't understand why I need to point her to the right side of the panel at this time. . .but then again. . .

We get done with that and then she wants to change the screensaver:

Her: These all look HORRIBLE.
Me: Well then, use one of the good looking screensavers (The OpenGL ones)
Her: I'll use this. *clicks on, of ALL the screensavers in the world, "Clock"*

Me: :confused: *sigh* . . .

Her: Now get me into the Internet.
Me: *thinks: oh crap, now I have to edit sudoers and all that for network settings and this is going to cause her more of a pain in the *** than she's causing me*
Her: *Goes to the K Menu and clicks on the Internet submenu. Doesn't understand why it isn't bringing up IE.*
Her: Why doesn't this work!
Me: It does, just bear with me. *Showing light exasperation*
Me: Move your mouse to the right of the menu and then go to the Konqueror thing. *thinks: I'll handle sudoers as soon as I get the modem off standby*
Her: *Does likewise and comes up with "unknown host"*
Me: Hold on a second, I have to get the modem off standby for you and -
Her: *yells* GET ME IN NOW!!!! @#@#@#

Me: *Lost restraint by this point* OK, you wanna get on the Internet, restart and get back to Windows. You're just the kind of user it was made for. I'm done with helping you.

So. . .that went down the drain and I don't think I'll try to help her again.

They should really make those CD's that people advertise for on TV for Linux. Then this crap wouldn't happen.

H.E. Pennypacker
June 14th, 2006, 02:07 AM
I am telling you, it's just different with Linux. Everything could be real easy and everything, but Windows users must say everything is difficult for them. It's even possible that a Linux distro is easier to use than Windows, but for them, it is more difficult.

You see, there has to be a psychological or sociological way of explaining this...why Linux, even when easier, is understood to be "more difficult." Does Linux, in the minds of Windows users, have a higher set of standards? Windows is fairly easy, but for those trying Linux, Linux has to be even easier.

I wonder if your mother remembers when she set up Windows the first time, when she had to install drivers, get networking up and running, downloading applications that didn't come with the operating system, and so on. They forget so quickly all the trouble they went through the first time!

richbarna
June 14th, 2006, 02:08 AM
Her: *yells* GET ME IN NOW!!!! @#@#@#



Oh God ! that made me chuckle !! :D Ha Ha !
You have my deepest sympathy, I've had similar experiences Lol.
*Gets tissue to dry eyes*

picpak
June 14th, 2006, 02:25 AM
Most people don't like nice, polished desktops. They want garbage like Winnie The Pooh. When I loaded Linux for my sister she insisted on filling the entire thing with Tux.

Me: Here, let's load Automa--
Her: OMG LOOK AT THE PENGUINS!!!
Me: *sigh*

weasel fierce
June 14th, 2006, 03:03 AM
One thing I have noticed from work, where I help train people (its a call center for a cell phone customer service thing), is that there's generally two kinds of people. SOme people have computer aptitude. Not all of them are /good/ at it, and some know very little, but they have some basic understanding, and if given time and a chance to experiment, they can usually figure most things out on their own, or with access to appropriate resources.

Other people plain dont. They dont have an intuitive understanding of how a computer program works, instead they memorize specific sequences of actions.

A specific example is a box in the software we use, that displays the last 3 months billing. You can click on one, and then click OK to open up the customers usage for that particular month.
I've seen so many people click on the month. Nothing happens. They wait a bit, then double-click on it. Nothing happens.
Most of them dont think of clicking OK right underneath it, untill you point at it.

AlphaMack
June 14th, 2006, 06:53 AM
I wouldn't exactly say that Windows is for her kind, but the blame belongs to both the lack of computer education in our society and Microsoft for their dominance. It is unfortunate that people do not see the alternatives because MS is everywhere. There are some who ask, "They still make those?" when they see my Mac.

I just went through converting a total computing novice to Ubuntu from XP. It was painful but in the end he finally picked up on it.

confused57
June 14th, 2006, 07:19 AM
Thanks, that was well-expressed and hilarious.

Just let her use Windows, if that's what she's more comfortable with, but guess you'll have to keep her anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc up to date(for her sake).

Maybe you could get her to write down a list of how she wants her Linux to look, i.e. desktop, screensaver, etc...then try again, maybe she'd had a bad day at work, got up on the wrong side of the bed, who knows...she may actually like using Linux later on. I know you realize someone can't be forced into preferring Linux, don't press her...maybe just inform her of the advantages(and disadvantages) of using Linux vs. Windows...patience.

ikilledclown
June 14th, 2006, 07:26 AM
tie her down in front of the computer on linux and leave her, she will get bored from just sitting there and start using the computer, in a few hours she will be used to it!!

Windows is more of a form of torture than tieing someone down is!

(I need to learn how to spell tieing):D

gregh
June 15th, 2006, 11:59 PM
Don't lose heart, I have converted my whole family (wife and 2 teenage kids)
They were all reared on MS.

The single *best* thing I did was mess with their windows internet connections (changing DNS etc) but ensuring Linux *always* worked.
They soon realised it was easier to load Linux to do their internet stuff, rather than windows.

As a side note, and not wanting to start a flame war, I also found Gnome was much easier for new (from windows) users.
It had options familier to them without being overwealming, like only one browser, one office suite, one messenger etc and also standard layouts (thanks to the Gnome HIG).
Remember most windows users do not have a choice of 4 text editors or 6 instant messengers - they get very little by default.

Perserverence is the key, keep focused on the goal (no license fees, viruses and blue screens of death)

-Greg

poofyhairguy
June 16th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Her: *yells* GET ME IN NOW!!!! @#@#@#


You did a noble job trying to help her. As far as I can tell you messed up in two places.

1. The trick is to NEVER use the defaults of either Gnome or KDE. For both change the panels and such till Billy G. himself would swear he was looking at an XP starter bar.

2. You did the conversion with her watching. This NEVER works.

If you want to convert someone to Linux, wait till their asleep. THEN go in and do it all at once- add all the codecs, change the panel to look friendly, download Winnie the Pooh wallpaper and install it, get the internet and printers to work, etc.

I recently converted my mom to Linux (for good this time). Secret to my success? I put off the conversion till she was out of town. I did all the hard scary work when she was not watching. Then there was no impatience, no demands, no backseat driving!

Now my mom runs a wonderful XGL Dapper setup that I spent at least 4 hours setting up. I personally added over 50 wallpapers and installed them. I installed a custom theme with a more grey look (like Windows). She is the envy of her friends, and she is very greatful.

I know I wouldn't have gotten past the first Ubuntu guide with her watching though- for the same reason I would hate to see the cows I see in the fields in Texas be turned into the hamburger on my plate!

DoctorMO
June 16th, 2006, 01:15 AM
I compleatly agree, with my landlady I had to explain first of all 'I'm building a computer, don't worry it'll do everything you want (oneof those comic moments where you unravvel a list that stretches to the floor)'

She was away for the weekend, I installed everything got all the codecs, got it playing dvds, got the tv card up and running creating icons on the desktop saying 'Internet', 'Email', 'Television' and 'Printer' (the last one is because she couldn't tell what was happening to the print outs until I explained that the print queue was paused.

Now she's using it like a trooper, some major bugs with floppy disk access, if it fails to recognise the disk as ms dos it just gives up and you have to mount it with root. some issues with open office not being able to see any disk drives (stupid non-gnome save dialog) so she couldn't save to floppy disk. and the small issue with not being able to pick up channel 5 on the digital tv box (nothing to do with linux)

I did get one or two moans about it not being windows because she uses it at work and has always produces her CV and financial reports with office, but I quickly killed those because there isn't a lience on the machine for windows, I don't have copies of windows software and the cost of buying it and ms office quickly make any complains go away.

only when it's 'free' will people use windows.

G Morgan
June 16th, 2006, 01:16 AM
Personally I see a big opportunity for several Linux 'conversions' coming up. I was talking to a mate of mine who I hadn't seen in a year and eventually why Windows sucked came up, I pointed out that I hardly ever use Windows. When I explained I used Linux he already knew it existed because another friend who I haven't seen for some time uses it. Now these guys are total computing newbies and if one of them can install it then anyone can not to mention they actually knew about it.

Now he seemed all hyped about switching to Linux but the machine he uses is his fathers and he doesn't like this free nonsense, also the fact that the only other known user at the time isn't the most technical of users doesn't help. He is talking about getting his own machine so we will see in the future. Anyway with a few friends in my small home town using Linux theres the potential for a mass spreading if I make it easy enough for them. I've already got 5 discs on their way from ship it so theres plenty of firepower.

poofyhairguy
June 16th, 2006, 01:36 AM
Now she's using it like a trooper, some major bugs with floppy disk access, if it fails to recognise the disk as ms dos it just gives up and you have to mount it with root. some issues with open office not being able to see any disk drives (stupid non-gnome save dialog) so she couldn't save to floppy disk.

I had floppy drive problems with my mom too. It was an easy fix. I will give you a step by step:

1. Turn off Ubuntu machine.

2. Open case.

3. Remove floppy drive.

4. Take it to your back yard.

5. Beat it with a baseball bat until all the stress from your work week has left you.

6. Go to the store and buy a USB pen drive.

7. Give that to the person to use for all of their floppy needs. Tell them "welcome to 2006." Be happy on the inside.

Floppies should have died a long time ago. My favorite thing about my Clamshell iBook is how it lacks a floppy drive. My new Dell still has its floppy drive in it, but only until I have a bad day. Then it too will see the heavy end of a bat.

(just for the record, modems are really fun to bust up as well)

Iandefor
June 16th, 2006, 02:40 AM
For some people, it just doesn't work that well to start using Linux. My dad's utterly computer illiterate, and he prefers Ubuntu to Windows. My sister took one look at Ubuntu and said I should get Windows.

Funny thing, eh?

Good on you for excercising so much patience. I'd have given up at


Her: If its that easy, why can't you do it for me?

DoctorMO
June 16th, 2006, 03:10 AM
I liked your avitar so much poofyhairguy, I added my own :-)

the thing with my landlady is that because so much functionality was added at the same time I had to be careful I was getting complaints that the costs were too high. don't forget this is the UK where hardware is twice the price. (sometimes I think they just don't see the currency diffence and asume 1 == $1 haha)

CronoDekar
June 16th, 2006, 03:31 AM
Sounds almost like my mom. Whenever she's having a problem with the computer and needs help, after a few minutes of me trying to diagnose the problem she gets into a hissy-fit, which actually I find rather unusual given her overall personality. This happens regardless of OS, though. I've started to say something to the effect of "you can either have this temper-tantrum and get nowhere, or you can calm down and let me fix the problem."

And my grandparents... ho boy, I can barely get them to learn Windows; I could never even try getting them to learn Linux. And by barely, I mean barely. Just about every time I go over to see them I have to teach them things like... using a CD-ROM, using a word processor, simple web browsing. Every time. Now I know they're old so they don't learn as fast as they used to, and they're probably not too interested in computers in the first place. But man, there's only so much "family geek" tech support a man can give.

Ah, I love a good rant.

nalmeth
June 16th, 2006, 03:47 AM
The single *best* thing I did was mess with their windows internet connections (changing DNS etc) but ensuring Linux *always* worked. They soon realised it was easier to load Linux to do their internet stuff, rather than windows.
haha you trickster

@ Raven

Yeah, I would agree that the biggest thing you had going against you was that she was over your shoulder while you were doing it.

But the good thing is that if her priority is "cutesy" then she could be an easy convert if you just set everything up right. Tux can definately grow on her. Get her a nice window theme, some cute icons for her regular programs on the desktop (firefox, email, whatever), and I bet she quickly makes a complete turnaround.

poofyhairguy
June 16th, 2006, 04:49 AM
I liked your avitar so much poofyhairguy, I added my own :-)


Cool!



the thing with my landlady is that because so much functionality was added at the same time I had to be careful I was getting complaints that the costs were too high. don't forget this is the UK where hardware is twice the price. (sometimes I think they just don't see the currency diffence and asume 1 == $1 haha)

I understand. I have been to the U.K. and the Pound there easy pounded my budget to pieces. I was just trying to say in a funny way "simplify all the things you can cheaply."

For example:

- Buy a cheap pen drive for the switcher. Experiance has implied to me that none of the Ubuntu devs use floppies, so you might as not as well. USB Drives are cheap everywhere now.

- If they have some graphics card that has poor support (you all know what company I am thinking of) just get a cheap Nvidia card. I can't tell you how many 5200 FXs have been bought due to me switching people- and they all run XGL fine.

- If they have a wireless card that fights you to the point of failure, then just get on Ebay and pick-up a cheap Atheros card. They can be had for around or under $15 there.

-If some wireless mouse or keyboard fights (have had it happen more than once) "accendently" break it while you are configuring the system and offer to pick up a cheap $10 one for them in return that WILL work.

-If partitioning is too hard for a dual boot system, then buy a cheap hard drive off Ebay. Ubuntu really only needs 10 or 20 gigs to be happy. An Xbox hard drive would work even!

Basically: since the system is free don't be scared to spend a little chage getting it to work well. I never understood why some people would fight a non internal wireless card when a compatible one can be had so cheaply. Life it short- use Ebay to make switching easier!

poofyhairguy
June 16th, 2006, 04:51 AM
she gets into a hissy-fit

Example? Sounds interesting.

RavenOfOdin
June 16th, 2006, 04:59 AM
But the good thing is that if her priority is "cutesy" then she could be an easy convert if you just set everything up right.

Tux definitely did grow on her . . .Yeah.

I had the OceanicTux wallpaper on my desktop and she was like once "OMG I love that! can you put it on my site?" (NOTE: To her, "site" means either web site or computer account/desktop) so I did and she was using it for a while, along with the Crystal shell hack for bluish icons.

Going all the way is probably more than she's ready for atm, though.


My dad's utterly computer illiterate, and he prefers Ubuntu to Windows.

Yes you're right, it is a funny thing.



I know I wouldn't have gotten past the first Ubuntu guide with her watching though- for the same reason I would hate to see the cows I see in the fields in Texas be turned into the hamburger on my plate!

You wouldn't do well fishing, I can tell you that RIGHT now. :p

Getwild2
June 16th, 2006, 03:15 PM
Her: OMG LOOK AT THE PENGUINS!!!
Me: *sigh*
Sounds like my wife. Hilarious! :lol:

My wife says, as I'm telling her about all of the new things I'm learning, "You lost be back at "the"". Or, "My head is swimming in techno-babble, I dont even know what you're saying". She is a Windows super-user and afraid of anything different. I'll be a battle but I'll get there one day.


But man, there's only so much "family geek" tech support a man can give.
Are we related? Do we have the same family that bugs you EVERYTIME you walk through their door?


(NOTE: To her, "site" means either web site or computer account/desktop)
Oh Lord this thread is hilarious! THIS sounds like MY mom.

CronoDekar
June 16th, 2006, 03:58 PM
Example? Sounds interesting.

Hmm, an example... The last one I can think of is when she was trying to pay Best Buy online. After helping her find where to pay and ran into a couple problems when sending in the info. So it's actually not so much that she gets into tantrums when there's a "computer problem" as so much as when there's a problem on the computer.

Essentially what happens is she starts screaming that she can't get it to work (and recites the steps she took in the process). Yet when I try to get her to calm down and try something else or move over so I can sit at the keyboard and try it out myself, she just keeps going on her tirade at the computer as if failure is a foregone conclusion. If she tries doing anything in her anger it'll either be something she's tried before and isn't likely to work again, or something completely random that's probably going to cause more problems or setbacks.

(Note that I don't give my family admin access on their computer.)

It's doesn't happen often, but man is it annoying when it does.

Oh, another story, though this is only tangental. Sometime last year she was considering getting my sister a laptop as she was going into college. So she calls me from an estate sale and says she and Dad bought a laptop for $150. I suppress my worry until they bring it home.

I plug in and boot up the system, and it looks decent at first. Windows 98 sure, but it still looked like a nice, decent computer for basic functionality. Then I looked around the computer. And by that I don't mean I poked around in System to see the specs, no, I mean I looked physically around the sides to see what all it had.

USB? Nope.
Ethernet? None present.
CD-ROM Drive? Now what would you need one of those for!

About all it had was a modem and an IR thing. I felt like slamming my head against a wall. It was quite an effort to calmly come up with a pseudo-polite way to tell my parents to never buy a computer on their own again.

CronoDekar
June 16th, 2006, 04:02 PM
Are we related? Do we have the same family that bugs you EVERYTIME you walk through their door?

Every time? Oh, no. Just every other time. ;)

OffHand
June 16th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Me: *Lost restraint by this point* OK, you wanna get on the Internet, restart and get back to Windows. You're just the kind of user it was made for. I'm done with helping you.

So. . .that went down the drain and I don't think I'll try to help her again.

ROFL, in a way I am glad she isn't gonna use Ubuntu and... visit the forums.

anasofiapaixao
June 17th, 2006, 05:18 PM
EDIT: WAIT! And read this first. Should have added this extra a long time ago.
First of all, I am a girl, and I was venting about the ignorance of most women when it comes to computers. It is awful to admit but it is the truth, at least in Portugal. Venting because that made me have to develope knowledge all alone, because it was that age when boys and girls don't really hang together, and because there is still some prejudice. Still looks like I would be much more believable as "tech-knowledgeable" if I were a guy.

It's natural, so psicological-general-knowledge says, that a good percentage of women tend to be more interested in humanities, and a good percentage of men in things related to the logical thinking. Maybe, at least in this area, it may not be 100% a question of gender prejudice - I don't know.

When you feel injusticed by the ideia that "women don't care about computers", what could be worse than looking at what you see around you (being my stage in Portugal) and checking that that is mostly true?

That's what I was taking off my chest.

Now you may read the post below.


** EDIT: Removed insults, violating forum guidelines **

You know when you are reading something that you could swear it was your own words?
Whenever I tell my mum how to whether copy files, play music, use MSN Messenger, she NEVER learns. Ever. I am sometimes a little bit rude to her when she asks those kind of things, as I get really fed up. And whenever she decides to "learn", basically what she does is note down every step. Apparently she ignores every time I say, like "look, you are opening Paint (of course I had to tell her how to go to paint) but you could use any image editor...". For what she knows about Windows, using Windows or Linux doesn't make a difference... So it's not the first time I've been thinking of doing her some Linuxiesque "While you were out" niice PC improvements...

** EDIT: Removed insults, violating forum guidelines **, no matter how much I tell her that when she has doubts googling is her best friend.

When a (male) friend of mine was formatting my PC (you know, four years ago, I was 13 years old, DOS formatting a FAT32 HDD with a boot diskette - how time flies...), of course he more than not explaining me anything TRIED to hide the how-to (seriuosly), another (female) friend asked "Why don't you put music to play???" In DOS......

** EDIT: Removed insults, violating forum guidelines **

But honestly I could care more than I do. I am in an engineering college, IST, I am going to a course where like 97% are guys, which the main reason why any girl there is treated like a queen.

** EDIT: Removed insults, violating forum guidelines **

Hehe.

celticchrys
June 17th, 2006, 06:06 PM
Well, as a female computer user, first let me say that we're not all like this!!! [-X This kind of attitude is about either: fear of the computer or of looking stupid, or the result of an individual who does not like to learn. period. If they do not like to learn, they will not like to learn about computers. There are also some people who just get mad whenever anything makes them feel out of control, and their lack of computer skills does just that(I've seen this with both men and women).

You're all making me very grateful for my mother! ;) She's progessed, slowly but steadily over the last 5-6 years from writing all steps in a notebook to refer to(which I encouraged, so she wouldn't call me every time!) to being a competent windows user with a good understanding of file management, graphics editing, and application usage. She remembers watching me use DOS as a kid, so she knows that the Windows on her machine is not actually the computer itself, or the Internet either, for that matter. She's discovered that the 'net is full of tutorials, and that she can learn new tricks from them, and is trying to teach her sisters.

After spending time training public schoolteachers to use computer apps, I'd rather help Mom any day! Now, she has a sister, who's another story... I often can't even get her to listen. She's so scared of looking stupid that she keeps herself from learning anything new. She starts a tirade of "I know, I'll try later, I don't really need to do this, blah, blah" when she obviously does not know. The thing is, that if she'd quit worrying and start listening, she'd learn the new thing in no time. Why is she like this; all bluster and defensiveness? She has no understanding of the underlying concepts, even of how files/folders/disks really work, because her husband put all of her stuff in one folder, sternly told her not to touch anything else, and well, she's been scared to "mess his stuff up" for years now. I was browsing some photos she had and she told me, very worried, to "Be sure to put them back" when I was done, not understanding viewing and closing the viewer vs. moving the files. :confused: Likewise, he set up a My Yahoo page for her, and she knows that when she opens "The Internet" her e-mail and her favourite topics are all there. It was a big step for her to move on to typing in a URL from TV/Books/Magazines herself with her sister giving her pep talks. She has never gotten real explanations from her husband/sons, only had her fear reinforced, been laughed at, or had the comp taken away from her so they can do it for her. She doesn't want to look stupid in front of her men, so she avoids new topics. She doesn't want to upset them, so she avoids messing with anything else on the computer. This kind of fear is a big deal to many women; keeping your family happy with you, etc. This kind of patronizing attitude from men is also common. Now that her sister is encouraging her and explaining things, she's boldly moving forward into the realm of posting on forums, and while Geeks would laugh at this, for her this is truly a big step.

I think this sort of thing happens to many many many women who only have an impatient family member to teach them computer literacy. If you want to grow a competent user, it takes time, exasperation, and explanation over and over again.
-Chrys

aysiu
June 17th, 2006, 06:25 PM
After spending time training public schoolteachers to use computer apps, I'd rather help Mom any day! Having worked in several schools, I will attest to this, too--but it goes for private school teachers as well.

Sure, there are some teachers who embrace technology, but you'll find most teachers do not like technology at all and feel it's a waste of time. At the same time, they preach to the students that students should have open minds and want to learn.

Well, why would a student want to learn English if the English teacher doesn't want to learn to use a computer? It's a weird kind of logic.

One of the most inspiring things I saw was a co-worker (who recently retired) who was older (I don't know his exact age, but he's definitely over 60 if not over 70) and was at the forefront of technology adoption in the school. He was one of the first teachers to create a webpage for his class, for example.

I'd say in general, though, that most people are scared of technology, no matter how much they use it. Even two years ago, I myself was scared of technology... until my new job forced me to get over it. The computer becomes this magic machine with a mind of its own. Once you get over that fear, you realize it's a tool that can be controlled and manipulated to do what you want it to do.

poofyhairguy
June 17th, 2006, 09:24 PM
I plug in and boot up the system, and it looks decent at first. Windows 98 sure, but it still looked like a nice, decent computer for basic functionality. Then I looked around the computer. And by that I don't mean I poked around in System to see the specs, no, I mean I looked physically around the sides to see what all it had.

USB? Nope.
Ethernet? None present.
CD-ROM Drive? Now what would you need one of those for!

About all it had was a modem and an IR thing. I felt like slamming my head against a wall. It was quite an effort to calmly come up with a pseudo-polite way to tell my parents to never buy a computer on their own again.

What does the system do now? The best I could do with that is a firewall....

poofyhairguy
June 17th, 2006, 09:29 PM
Women are a freaking shame to themselves in terms of computers. It seriously makes me sick.


Not completely (nor is it exclusive to women). Its just that some of the peeks of computerland (dual core, pixel shaders, USB2, Linux, etc.) hold no interest to many non nerds. Also there is the problem that computer themselves are confusing when it comes to specs- there is no reasonable way to explain to a non tech person how fast a CPU is, or why a 6600 GT beats a 5200 FX. But a computer person just knows from experiance.

I had a women yesterday (could have been a man so that is not an issue) ask me to help her burn DVDs but she lacked a DVD burner (she did not know till I told her). In this case a modern computer offered her something she wanted (to copy DVDs) but she could past the technology. And I'm pretty glad she didn't have a burner. I went over to her house hoping that. Why? Because sometimes I get scared when it comes to explaining to people how to fix up computers. I know that the only way to copy DVDs on Windows that is REALLY easy is Nero+DVDshrink, but I hate telling people they need to buy Nero and I hate helping people break the law with DVDshrink (as it breaks the DMCA). It gets old explaining to people how to actually get what they want out of their computers. It gets old making hard things simple with smoke and mirrors.

Thats why I think one day Linux based computer devices (essentially simplified computers with many of the fun/hard fuctions taken away) will one day destroy the MS empire of desktop PCs.

On that note, I will say something my sister said (full time Mac user): "Macs must have been invented to get girls into computers." Seeing how excited her and her female friends get about her Powerbook I am starting to agree.

CronoDekar
June 17th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Heh, I wasn't even thinking of this thread in regard to women, specifically. To be fair, in my example in which I talked about my grandparents I was primarily referring to my grandfather. Though, I don't know how well I could teach my grandmother computers. I think in a technical sense it would be easier... the hard part would just be getting her to care.


What does the system do now? The best I could do with that is a firewall....

Right now it's just in my parents' room gathering dust. Just talked to Dad, and apparently he was thinking about using it to type stuff up on if he returned to school. It's got a 3.5" floppy disk drive, so he'd just use that to move documents over to their Xubuntu comp to print and stuff.

Me: "Well, at least it'd be a secure computer!"

Lord Illidan
June 17th, 2006, 10:35 PM
You aint seen my sister yet. When the old computer (333 Mhz Celeron with Win XP :-({|=) freezes up, she switches off the monitor, so that it can "calm down".

LOL..

My mum doesn't know how to switch on a computer. And after reading this thread, I am almost grateful for it. My sisters...a pain in the neck sometimes.

adam.tropics
June 18th, 2006, 12:16 AM
You aint seen my sister yet. When the old computer (333 Mhz Celeron with Win XP ) freezes up, she switches off the monitor, so that it can "calm down".

lol. My housemate plays chess on his computer, short of invoices, that's all he uses it for. If it looks like it's gonna beat him, you will hear from the next room <click> (mains power switch!! ) "there, take that ya' ba&*^%#, I told you you wouldn't &*^%$#$ beat me"!!!

adam.tropics
June 18th, 2006, 12:41 AM
I had floppy drive problems with my mom too. It was an easy fix. I will give you a step by step:

1. Turn off Ubuntu machine.

2. Open case.

3. Remove floppy drive.

4. Take it to your back yard.

5. Beat it with a baseball bat until all the stress from your work week has left you.

6. Go to the store and buy a USB pen drive.

7. Give that to the person to use for all of their floppy needs. Tell them "welcome to 2006." Be happy on the inside.

(just for the record, modems are really fun to bust up as well)

Of course what we really need for such moments is a desktop sized machine akin to a scrapyard car crusher, that accepts said hardware item at one end and chucks a paper weight out the other the size of a pencil sharpener!!

AlphaMack
June 18th, 2006, 09:33 AM
I had floppy drive problems with my mom too. It was an easy fix. I will give you a step by step:

1. Turn off Ubuntu machine.

2. Open case.

3. Remove floppy drive.

4. Take it to your back yard.

5. Beat it with a baseball bat until all the stress from your work week has left you.

6. Go to the store and buy a USB pen drive.

7. Give that to the person to use for all of their floppy needs. Tell them "welcome to 2006." Be happy on the inside.



For some reason I can't help but think of that scene in Office Space with the fax machine aka the going away present. :D

Iandefor
June 18th, 2006, 07:20 PM
For some reason I can't help but think of that scene in Office Space with the fax machine aka the going away present. :D I had the same thought... but wasn't going to mention it.

blastus
June 18th, 2006, 07:50 PM
"You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." - Morpheus

:)

Lord Illidan
June 18th, 2006, 10:20 PM
Hmm....good quote.

So this is Microsoft : Every OS on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Microsoft is a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.

Now... back to Linus, speaking to the Windows users : I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

Another one : This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the windows cd - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the Ubuntu CD - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

G Morgan
June 18th, 2006, 10:30 PM
Who's agent Smith then, Gates or Ballmer.

Lord Illidan
June 18th, 2006, 10:35 PM
Who's agent Smith then, Gates or Ballmer.

Gates. He has left the folds of the Matri..., er, Microsoft... He will now proceed to use his excessive system resources to clone himself, and turn on Microsoft. He will be represented in the Real World, i.e. the Linux world, by a certain man called.... Eric Raymond...O:)

TechHut
June 19th, 2006, 02:16 AM
I read the article, and I have to say one thing, Microsoft has morphed peoples minds. Everything to Microsoft relies on wizards and Fisher Price graphics. What ever happened to the configuration files, and UIs that didn't need to resemble a child's toy or a beach ball. Every time I look at Windows, it reaks of consumer stupidity. When I pay for software, I pay for features, not a colorful and glassy look. When I pay for software, especially if I were to for Windows, $150 or however much it is today, I want features from it, that is where most Linux distrobutions for free accomplish, sure, there are some applications that do not have a nice UI to look at, or have a simplistic one that doesn't appeal to those who want a desktop matching their room (unless they want a dull one). But now, Microsoft tricks users into software where looks are over features.

How was my speech?

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 09:33 AM
I read the article, and I have to say one thing, Microsoft has morphed peoples minds. Everything to Microsoft relies on wizards and Fisher Price graphics. What ever happened to the configuration files, and UIs that didn't need to resemble a child's toy or a beach ball. Every time I look at Windows, it reaks of consumer stupidity. When I pay for software, I pay for features, not a colorful and glassy look. When I pay for software, especially if I were to for Windows, $150 or however much it is today, I want features from it, that is where most Linux distrobutions for free accomplish, sure, there are some applications that do not have a nice UI to look at, or have a simplistic one that doesn't appeal to those who want a desktop matching their room (unless they want a dull one). But now, Microsoft tricks users into software where looks are over features.

How was my speech?

Good Speech. The whole thing about Microsoft is that now it is striving to emulate Apple's desktop. That's why it has come up with all this glassy thing. Also, most users tend to see only the outside. They see a beautiful exterior, and start salivating. On the other hand, most Linux and Unix users see a beautiful exterior, but start wondering what is on the inside. And if they like the inside, then the exterior doesn't matter to them. And if they don't like the inside, they ditch the app.

All these wizards are also cushioning users firmly inside Windows. They do not teach you how to use a computer. They teach you how to use Windows. Most of the techniques I have learned using Linux I can apply to other OSes. But in Windows, I can't.

anasofiapaixao
June 19th, 2006, 03:12 PM
Well, as a female computer user, first let me say that we're not all like this!!!

I know that first hand. Maybe it wasn't explicit on my post... but I am girl:p

It's a little bit frustrating that my mother doesn't really care to try to understand WHY things are a certain way. I explain her but all she wants is whether having me do the things for her - I get really mad when she asks me to pass the pics in the SD card to the laptop (which has a FREAKING BUILT-IN SD CARD READER) because it's 'too much work' - or in the best case point down steps to do do the things. Steps, just that.

It's of course a big frustration for me as a woman to notice that this kind of behaviour is more frequent on women.

More than trying to attack women, I was getting something off my chest. You know, for as much as I want to deny it I look around me to state that this kind of prejudice has a certain truth behind:roll:

Anyway you're absolutely right that I didn't remember of a certain computer opression over women and novices in general. Well, I was really lucky about that because a) my parents had a very basic (very, very basic) understanding of how to work with a computer and b), most important, we had a IT technician friend who would repair the computer when I messed up something. The first time it went for repair, he told my mother...


Don't punish her, she has talent. Let her try things out, I'll fix it if she messes something up

Of course she argued with me about my messes, and of course I only knew about this talk very recently. I could never thank her enough for letting me victimize the PC as I did.

I remember when I moved C:'s boot files into a folder for it to be more organized:lol: . I was probably 12 years old or something, had the computer since ..2-3 years ago, learning everything I knew from messing around myself. Ah, and NO INTERNET!! Not until 2000.

So probably my saying on women's computer abilities may be unfair because I've always (even if not having coplete conscience of it) had total freedom...

Unfortunately any exception I see is still just that; an exception. Maybe this will eventually change time.


Heh, I wasn't even thinking of this thread in regard to women, specifically.

Nor me, of course. But this incrdible mother of the starting post really remimnded of this question.



By the way I have an interesting ideia for a "forced" conversion: install Ubuntu, configure auto-login and etc etc else and this little beauty (http://www.xpde.com/index.php), without telling our "victim"... I bet any computer novice will swear in both feet he's using windows!!

Sushi
June 19th, 2006, 03:21 PM
This is actually somewhat funny, but frustrating...

How long did it take you to type all that?

Lord Illidan
June 19th, 2006, 03:58 PM
I believe the main problem with women is stereotypes. That's why there are so few in computing. Those who manage to break through, though, become really good. My youngest sister (I've got 2...](*,) ), is excellent at Logo, and she's only 10. She loves experimenting, that's what the trick is.

armadillo
June 19th, 2006, 04:37 PM
Hi there, I 'm new to this forum (and Ubuntu) but I 'd like to take a few things off my chest.

I have seen Unix before I saw MS or Mac. I still remember thinking Windows would never catch on when I first saw it. I built my first PC from components in '97 and since then I have installed all sorts of MS OSes as well as Red Hat, SuSE, Debian and now Ubuntu on a variety of machines. I use Linuxes fuelled purely by ideology, however, though I hate it I have a confession to make. It is now 2006 and I still have to see a Liunux installer that works (including Ubuntu). True, I have had trouble with Win95 and 98. But the monumental headaches I 've had trying to install and admin Linuxes are simply incomparable. Perhaps I 'm just unlucky, I have friends who claim they never have problems. I keep trying, driven by an insane desire to prove myself wrong but every time, some new flavour kicks me squarely in the groin and leaves me stranded in digital hell. I 'm not too much of an admin, there are people who run circles around me but that's the point, people who do not write kernels in machine code should be able to use it also, no? Unfortunately, MS works. It installs (post XP) problem free. It moves the mouse and changes screen resolution without fighting for hours with the X server. I can plug in USB devices without spending two days reading man pages and then calling my guru friends crying in the middle of the night. I can actually use my printer. I can connect to the internet. The day I see a Linux distro doing even half of that on the first try I 'll cry with joy. MS does it, Macs, which I find distasteful do it with amazing grace. I really wish Linux could do it too.

aysiu
June 19th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Perhaps I 'm just unlucky, I have friends who claim they never have problems. You're not unlucky. You just haven't done your research.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport

armadillo
June 19th, 2006, 07:38 PM
Well, OK, I concede that I hadn't shopped for hardware with Ubuntu in mind. But then again, I never do, I 've been building Frankenstein machines with bits taken from here and there for the last 8 yrs. In general, I 'm aware of the bits that I use and avoid stuff that is likely to cause Linuxy problems if I can help it. Still, based on my experience on all these machines, I have never ONCE managed to get a nice clean installation of ANY Linux distro EVER. I 'm sorry but that's how it is. I still try of course, which is why I 'm on this forum, but I 'm only fuelled by enthusiasm, I can't see anyone of a more cynical frame of mind who just wants to get the job done, going through the torture I have endured over the years.

aysiu
June 19th, 2006, 07:47 PM
You do seem extremely determined.

If Ubuntu and other Linux distros hadn't auto-detected my hardware, I probably would still be using Windows XP, to be perfectly honest. I'm not that determined.

RavenOfOdin
June 19th, 2006, 09:25 PM
How long did it take you to type all that?

LOL, you had to ask?

I. . .well. . .didn't time myself.

JamesNorris
June 20th, 2006, 06:47 AM
I think the nail haas been hit on the head ealy in this thread. Windows users are used to windows. They EXPECT it to go wrong, but they've spent years learning where and when it goes wrong, because they've had no coice but to do that.

Now they have a choice, they don't want it they've spent years learning windows and don't want to have to learn again. Until linux is perfect, there's a large % of windows users who will NEVER get on with Linux, no matter how much better than windows it is.

weasel fierce
June 20th, 2006, 06:53 AM
Now they have a choice, they don't want it they've spent years learning windows and don't want to have to learn again. Until linux is perfect, there's a large % of windows users who will NEVER get on with Linux, no matter how much better than windows it is.

They will get on with Linux, when its Windows.

wickwire
June 20th, 2006, 07:47 AM
My mother is 58 years old. She is retired and lives at home with my dad, who's 69 years old.

My dad is too old for the internet, or so he says, doesn't have the patience to use computers.

My mom decided to give it a try and she uses Ubuntu to go online. Her "needs":

- Read email;
- Surf the web.

Setup:

gdm automatically logs in to her session. She doesn't know her password. The "Internet giving thingy" is on the gnome-panel at the top, it's the globe icon. She clicks and firefox runs. Internet access is available through a router and CDMA internet access. If the connection drops, the router redials.
All she does is press the "world icon" and she sees webpages.

Situations:

She wants to view particular content on the web:

She calls me and I make it happen, either by installing the corresponding application or executing an already installed one. If needed, the "world thingy" on the bar gets a new friend and she adapts, using the new app for its purpose.

She can't surf the web:

She calls me, tells me what's on screen and usually, the internet connection is down. It's fixed, even if she is the one doing it, either by resetting the CDMA modem that is connected to the router or wating, in case it's a server-side issue. Rarely is it a configuration issue, so there is no need for her to mess with it, causing unnecessary panic.

Changing wallpaper:

New friend near the "world thingy". She is also encouraged to explore System --> Preferences --> Background
Adding new wallpapers is complicated for her, so I add some every now and then, until she asked me how is done and she decided to do it on her own too.

This is it. No viruses, no spyware, nothing of the kind. Her knowledge and access are so limited at this level that she does what she wants and rarely I'm called in to fix anything.

Because her access began as very limited and she gave it a shot and she is patient, she has absolutely no problem with Linux being installed on her computer and is beginning to learn, in baby steps.

In my opinion, Linux on the desktop is only for those willing to give it a shot and a matter of personal taste, too. Some people won't cope with the idea and will stick with Windows because that is what they're used to, nothing we can do (or want to, for that matter) to change that.

Still, I'm happy for her since she can do the same things as she did when she used Windows and myself too, not needing to manage a Windows box anymore.

benplaut
June 20th, 2006, 08:31 AM
My 87 year old grandmother is very happy with ubuntu, except for one disturbing phone call i received a few days after switching her from a unpatched unprotected Win XP.

"I want MyWay search back"

wow...

>>>><<<<

The family desktop is backed up, and moving to a fresh install dualing with Ubuntu within the next week. I shouldn't have many problems, as all of them have messed around with the family account on my computer, and say they can live with it.

80gb worth of backup is no small task 0_0

EdThaSlayer
June 20th, 2006, 09:13 AM
well...at least you tried! i would have given up half-way...but the more you try that the better you get. Me, starting from scratch from windows picked up Gnome very fast and easily, even though it looked different.

rpgcyco
June 20th, 2006, 01:48 PM
This thread was fun to read, especially...


You aint seen my sister yet. When the old computer (333 Mhz Celeron with Win XP :-({|=) freezes up, she switches off the monitor, so that it can "calm down".

Classic. :)

I suppose I'm lucky because all my family members are fairly competent, except for Dad.

I just set him up Firefox and Thunderbird (on Win 2000, which came with his free PC), and said: "Type website address here. Click this button to check email." Sure, the next time I looked, Internet Explorer had been used, but since then it hasn't. :) I also had to explain the concept of files and folders.

"I always thought you filed away a folder..."

My Mum and sisters are OK. I once setup Fedora Core 2 on their PC and sat my sister down infront of it. Pointed her to Firefox (which she already used on Windows) and Gaim (to replace that MSN Messenger trash) and she was good to go! She even liked it.

Unfortunately, the time comes when they want to install a piece of software which does not work on Linux and back comes Windows. :(

If anything, I think I will convert Dad to Linux before the others, plainly because he does less with his computer.

- Rpg Cyco

dgrafix
June 20th, 2006, 01:56 PM
Someone could always make a distro for such people:

ubcuteu

19GB of dancing paperclips, animations, funny noises and smilies.
open office, a webbrowser, email, 10000000 diferent printer drivers, msn messanger clone (with many :-) :lol: #-o :rolleyes: :mad: :p ;) )

oh and dont forget an animated dog that sniffs out files.

Then lock the lot so they cannot change any important settings.

:)

adam.tropics
June 20th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Someone could always make a distro for such people:
ubcuteu



Default firefox theme for the new distro! (https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1542/previews/)

Yuk!

reesclissold
June 20th, 2006, 02:31 PM
Heh, the way I see it, Vista is very different to previous versions of Windows as far as I've seen (I've got beta 2 at the minute). Windows Explorer especially. A few years down the line when their old XP machines are dead and gone and these people need a new OS, will be a great time for Linux, because the learning curve is probably even less steep than it is for Vista.

All interesting reading anyway. I don't agree with the comments about women and computers though. My sister is a law student and she gets on fine with computers, and my girlfriend works in IT support which says it all really. If anything, my Dad's the least computer literate person in our family! And he's an electrical engineer!:roll:

anasofiapaixao
June 20th, 2006, 08:26 PM
Portugal is a country where anything tends to come with a slight delay. We only truly joined the modern times by 1986 back when we enetered the EU. Maybe this has something to do with what I see around me...

Fact is, in IT engineering there are like 20 girls in a total of 200 freshmen, making up for the my college (an engineering college) average. Courses that are an exception to this on IST are Biology and Chemistry related, Physics engineering last year has beaten all records, we were 11 in 45, a feminine presence never seen in a long time.

I guess my "flaming" was a yell of... "they complain about the prejudice about girls and IT but do nothing about it".

I've just unplugged my mother from the matrix. She is using Linux right now for the first time and doesn't even dream about it. :D

What I did...

- Used an app to retrieve hundreds of XP icon files (DISCLAIMER: I guess we, as honoured WinXP copies owners, have the right to mess around with our property as long as we don't redistribute or public present it, right?).

- Mounted the fat32 docs partition under /home/documents
- Created a "my documents", "my computer" (nautilus --no-desktop computer:, after some thought changed it to her home directory while adding the cd icon for her not to feel scared about the "file system" thingy) and "recycle bin" (nautilus --no-desktop trash:) icons.
- adjusted the panels just as windows-like as possible
- edited the gnome menu so that right under the folders she'd have "MSN Mesenger" (aMSN), "Microsoft Word" (OOWrite - oh, this one was a big cheat) and "My documents".

- Changed ALL OO's icons to MSOffice ones. (and recycle bin icon, my documents icon, internet (IE) icon, etc etc)
- Changed the OO icon set size to small. more similar to MSO. Plus they are not very pretty.
- Changed OO's bg colour to be dark grey, as MSOffice (it's nicer anyway)
- put a xp-like window border.
- configured soundjuicer and installed all mp3 plugins (she does hear music and copies music from cds - well, she asks me for a step-by-step everytime. at lest now she will have a reason for it :P ) and any other internet media plugin known to man.
- got her a bunch of landscape-sunsets-animals-etc wallpapers.

The funny thing was when I told her uuuh your favorites aren't there, and being asked why I answered that I had to decompress the 14 GB backup file, so yell at me when you really need them. Thank god she doesn't have the knowledge to wonder how would I recover the OS without restoring the backup image.

"Edubuntu, what's this?"
"Now I have a foot on the start menu??"
"It looks different, the letter are... rounder and softer.. *smiles* you did this right"
"uuh, yes..."

Nice for a first day. I'll wait about a month or two before telling her she's been using linux all the time.

Lord Illidan
June 20th, 2006, 08:33 PM
Nice for a first day. I'll wait about a month or two before telling her she's been using linux all the time.

That will be the day when every problem that crops up is now related to Linux, and this sucks, get it off my pc. Don't tell her anything, speaking from xperience.

Also, man, you really did some hard work there...

And as for the universities, and colleges, Malta is in the same boat. Very few people chose computing to begin with, and very few of those people are girls. Damn it.

RavenOfOdin
June 20th, 2006, 08:50 PM
Until linux is perfect, there's a large % of windows users who will NEVER get on with Linux, no matter how much better than windows it is.

Speaking as a software designer, I'll tell you that NO operating system is EVER going to be perfect. Maybe stable, or out of the commercial beta phase, but not perfect.

There is always another thing to put in, another patch to fix, and the design cycle keeps going on.

bruce89
June 20th, 2006, 08:58 PM
"I want MyWay search back"
Now that's one nasty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyWay_Searchbar) thing, a bit like what the internet would be like if neutrality wasn't there. I am amazed that HP and Dell get away with this.

anasofiapaixao
June 21st, 2006, 12:29 AM
That will be the day when every problem that crops up is now related to Linux, and this sucks, get it off my pc. Don't tell her anything, speaking from xperience.

Also, man, you really did some hard work there...

And as for the universities, and colleges, Malta is in the same boat. Very few people chose computing to begin with, and very few of those people are girls. Damn it.

Hahaha, I already told her, I just couldn't resist... Pfft, a month or two, as if I didn't know myself. She really likes it... even tough it's only because of looking cute#-o

But anyway she says it's not that different from the way she works with windows. Now for her to say that, heck I know I am being full of myself but it's because I did a nice job o her PC O:)

I only had to warn her about not forgetting to save her documents in MICROSOFT format. She often has to work on her docs on other computers.

About our countries' situation... sometimes I feel we are countries of the second world. Far from being third but also from being first. Oh, whatever.

G Morgan
June 21st, 2006, 12:46 AM
You can setup OOo to save in MSO format by default. Go to Tools->Options->Load/Save->General then you can set it at the bottom. Don't forget to set it for all documents (i.e. there are seperate settings for spreadsheets etc).

jobezone
June 21st, 2006, 01:20 AM
I tried converting my Mother to gnu/linux 2/3 years ago, and I think it was too early. I gave her KDE because of kmails great features. But she was having troubles with attatchments, like powerpoint files that she was sent, and couldn't see well with kpresenter (at the time, openoffice was to heavy for the computer she was using), etc. She then told us, no, put it like before, in Windows.
Now I think she's become "burned" with this linux experience, so I don't even talk about a possible switch again. I'll let her be the one to ask it from me :) one day, one day...

About the customization you did, wow, good idea! At the time I didn't try that.

Fred Doolie
June 21st, 2006, 07:00 AM
instead they memorize specific sequences of actions.

I teach computer operation and I've had LOTS of people like that. Example: How to research something on the net.
Me: "First you run Internet Explorer" (clicks on icon) then go to www.google.com (enters it into the address box) then just type in whatever you want to read about like...cowboy artists for example (enters it into the search window)

I look at the person's notes and see:

-------
move arrow thing to about 3/4 of the way down the screen on the left side and press left button on the blue thing. wait a second and press again. Move arrow to the top about an inch down and type wwww backspace dot ggoo backspace backspace backspace oogle dot xom backspace backspace backspace com and press enter. Move arrow about inch and a half from top of screen and type cowboy artistts backspace backspace s and press enter
------------------------------
I let them try it. After 15 minutes they get to where I was and I hear

"I don't see today's weather and the price of new cars, my son's email address or anything I wanted to know. I think my computer is broken again."


It's not all bad. I once made about $100 just teaching one guy how to start up and shut down his system.

Iandefor
June 21st, 2006, 07:03 AM
I teach computer operation and I've had LOTS of people like that. Example: How to research something on the net.
Me: "First you run Internet Explorer" (clicks on icon) then go to www.google.com (http://www.google.com) (enters it into the address box) then just type in whatever you want to read about like...cowboy artists for example (enters it into the search window)

I look at the person's notes and see:

-------
move arrow thing to about 3/4 of the way down the screen on the left side and press left button on the blue thing. wait a second and press again. Move arrow to the top about an inch down and type wwww backspace dot ggoo backspace backspace backspace oogle dot xom backspace backspace backspace com and press enter. Move arrow about inch and a half from top of screen and type cowboy artistts backspace backspace s and press enter
------------------------------
I let them try it. After 15 minutes they get to where I was and I hear

"I don't see today's weather and the price of new cars, my son's email address or anything I wanted to know. I think my computer is broken again." Please, dear god, tell me you're joking.

aysiu
June 21st, 2006, 07:05 AM
It takes people a while to get concepts. Concrete actions are always easier to learn.

The less time you spend using the computer, the less concepts are important to you. The more time you spend using the computer, the more concepts should be important to you.

Fred Doolie
June 21st, 2006, 08:01 AM
Landefor:
Exagerating some to make a point but no, that's the general idea of what happens. At this point I'm considering never teaching anybody over 40. Age discrimination, yes, but I've had it with old people who want to learn computer stuff.

sabredog
June 21st, 2006, 09:50 AM
I am considering porting my wife's parents to Ubuntu. Dad seems keen as well as he need not have to buy AV software every 12 months etc.

The only issue is whether Ubuntu will support his HP 3 in 1 scanner/printer/fax or not.

If it does, I am on a winner!

My Parents, different issue as the specific tax and accounting software Dad uses is only for XP. I ain't going to rock that boat.

Mr.Auer
June 21st, 2006, 10:01 AM
HP's All-In-one type boxes are pretty well supported I think..I have a printer/copyer/scanner HP PSC 1210..It worked great in Hoary already ;) Nowadays in Dapper I just plug it in an click "use detected printer"..In windows you needed a 160 mb driver-and-trash package for it to work :)

Fred Doolie
June 21st, 2006, 10:02 AM
Ubuntu supports my HP3310 All In One S/P/F right out of the box.

sabredog
June 21st, 2006, 11:40 AM
I will find out what model it is then.

Beatrix live CD works perfectly on his 1Gb Celeron, so Ubuntu won't be an issue.

vinodis
June 21st, 2006, 12:20 PM
Yesterday my cousine sister ( She's just 10 ) had a look at my new desktop!
She: Are you using XP?
Me: No.. This is Ubuntu. :)
She: dad had 95 till last week. now at home we have XP.
Me: dad bought it?
She: dont know!
Me: { giving the ubuntu cd to her } give it to him.
She: does this have Internet Explorer?
Me: Yes. With a different name.
She: Media Player?
Me: Oh yeah.
She: Games?
Me: It has. But not many.

I am planning to get her an edubuntu CD next time.
Hope I get a convert.

anasofiapaixao
June 21st, 2006, 01:10 PM
About the customization you did, wow, good idea! At the time I didn't try that.

Ha, so far it's working fine:) And Vinodis, I beg you, don't do it like that!! As we know the look and feel of gnome/KDE even for novice users is really different from windows. Do a "while you were out" session on her pc, costumize it like I did. Then she won't even notice she changed OS.:)

But just giving her the cd is a risk. She'll likely think, I want windows back!!


You can setup OOo to save in MSO format by default. Go to Tools->Options->Load/Save->General then you can set it at the bottom. Don't forget to set it for all documents (i.e. there are seperate settings for spreadsheets etc).

THANK YOU! I was going to look after how to do this, you saved me some work ;)

sabredog
June 22nd, 2006, 02:51 PM
Well my memory is getting worse as I run down the last weeks before 40!

It is a Canon MP360 all in one printer. What are the chances of that beast working OOB with Dapper?

FurryNemesis
June 29th, 2006, 05:16 PM
I switched to Ubuntu about four months ago after XP tried to kill my laptop by mismanaging the hard drive. (Lots-of-hang-and-ominous-ticking-noises type trouble).

I was a minor windows power user. It held no mysteries for me. I was also dissatisfied. I'm running a Toshiba 5200 1.9GHz with a GeForce4 MX460 Go and a gig of RAM. It was slow as hell, and despite ad-aware, spybot, McAffee etc etc it just kept on slowing down. Then the ticking noises started. Something had to go, and it was my OS. After several re-installs, I was fed up with the creeping degradation.

I had some time on my hands. I had two layers of backup for all the important stuff, so I decided to research alternate OSs. My family wasn't too sure what to make of it.

"But it still works, doesn't it?"
"It'll all end in tears"
"You're going to get rid of Windows? Won't that break your computer?"

etc.

So I looked around the net. Having burnt 4 seperate CD's for a FedoraCore4 install on the quiet (due to parents grumbling about me using their computer for gaming) I realised I had corrupted disks on my hands. Feh.

So I did some more rooting around and found out about Ubuntu. I installed it the same day and was amazed. It was that feeling you get when something new and shiny comes your way, and you can tinker with it and got it just so.

When I explained that I'd just replaced my old slow, buggy OS with something free and fast, the response was:

"But windows comes with my computer. It's already free."

:rolleyes:
Cue pointing out OEM fees etc etc etc.

After that I got on with configuring my system. I felt a warm glow when I finally got my Speedtouch modem installed. (Thanks to Darrell for that)

Then, due <I>completely</I> to my own fault and inexperience, I broke fstab.conf while trying to mount an external NTFS drive as writable and then shortly afterwards broke xorg.conf twice while trying to get drivers for my video card. (Thanks again to will_in_wi and Tseliot for helping me out of that hole). Then I spent a further day following howtos trying to get my wireless card to work. Eventually I got a new one and now have wireless. It turns out I had an incompatible chipset.

I spent maybe three days total sorting out those problems and was laughed at for not having a system that "just worked" and that "broke all the time". Now it works all the time, hasn't crashed at all and has thrown nothing unexpected my way. It's a heck of a lot fast than windows was too.

The point that I'm trying to make here is that things go wrong or change in XP (and 2000 too, aiee.....) almost at random. Certainly against the user's will. And the users will will only know how to deal with windows problems though tickboxes and wizards. And it's a constant fight to fend off the viruses and spyware.
Whereas if something breaks or doesn't work right or just generally goes wrong in Ubuntu and other linux-based OSs, it'll be something I messed up on. Personally.

To illustrate:we now have a macbook in our house. The parents bought it. It's very good, very fast, and demonstrates perfectly the concept of "mental vendor lock-in" that I've been trying to explain with ubuntu.

Neither of them knew how to use it. It "wasn't windows". Things were different. Whereas I, having broken my teeth on what I consider to be my first proper OS, had no trouble at all.
It wasn't windows, but the knowledge I'd gained from getting Ubuntu up and running made the mac seem like childs play.

So,

Thanks to all the helpful people on this forum for helping me out of my windows rut.

Thanks to the community for just being there.

And thanks to the developers for unleashing my laptop. Yes, it may be old, but it's got a lot of bite left in it yet.

lothar_m
July 1st, 2006, 09:18 PM
When I explained that I'd just replaced my old slow, buggy OS with something free and fast, the response was:

"But windows comes with my computer. It's already free."



So typical .......

reading this tread is great... a lot of deja vu feelings going around!

RavenOfOdin
July 1st, 2006, 09:34 PM
"You're going to get rid of Windows? Won't that break your computer?"

etc.

. . .

"But windows comes with my computer. It's already free."

:rolleyes:
Cue pointing out OEM fees etc etc etc.


Seen it all before. . .regrettably. :p

skirkpatrick
July 2nd, 2006, 02:28 AM
The funny thing was when I told her uuuh your favorites aren't there, and being asked why I answered that I had to decompress the 14 GB backup file, so yell at me when you really need them. Thank god she doesn't have the knowledge to wonder how would I recover the OS without restoring the backup image.


Something that you could have done to move everything over to Ubuntu is to install Thunderbird and Firefox under Windows and let them migrate your Outlook Express and IE information. Then copy the data files over to your Ubuntu install. I did this when converting my daughter over and she was very happy that I managed to move all of her info.

jstroot
July 10th, 2006, 05:26 PM
i got sick of fixing my family's computer, so I loaded Dapper when it came out. I did it when no one was looking, and set up all the classic icons on everyone's desktop.

I received one complaint from my out-of-work brother who still lives at home about his poker applications not loading.

Me: That's because they're written for Windows. This isn't windows.
Him: Well how am I supposed to play poker then?!? Huh?!?
Me: You don't have a job, and you still live with our parents. You need no poker. And if you have any more complaints about this OS, then tough s$*%!! You have a ton of time on your hands, so figure it out!!

I feel that the conversion should sometimes take some tough love!!

Half the people who use computers don't know what they're doing, and only use internet. So, how are they supposed to get Windows back on their machine :twisted: ? I've pulled this tactic twice with amusing, yet mostly successful results!

-jstroot

aysiu
July 10th, 2006, 05:36 PM
How about installing these applications?
gnome-games
kpoker
poker3d
sillypoker

They're all in the repositories.

metaltailz
July 12th, 2006, 03:05 AM
I think the main reason Windows users don't like linux is because it is too easy. They are used to Windows which gives them an error every five clicks. They hop onto linux
"OMFG WHERE ARE THE F'ING POPUPS SAYING IM AN IDIOT!?!?!"

Well they are not here your a person and should know what your doing that is what linux does for you. It's an easy environement, but windows users are so used to everything being complicated so they expect linux too be complicated.

teaker1s
July 12th, 2006, 03:13 AM
Well my girlfriend has had her computer converted, reason she was keen you ask? Simple when things crash in windows it takes forever to get them to quit and second she likes the no messing about boot and shut down. Every aplication I set up for her and I noticed a fresh install with automatrix was way faster than xp

user1397
July 12th, 2006, 04:03 AM
Check out my frustrating story:

I had windows xp installed, but I had seen a breezy live cd from my brother's friend. I thought it was cool, but unlike most people (or so I believe), the thing that impressed me the most was the open-source world, and that people, without getting paid, would do all of this wonderful stuff just for the hell of it. So i thought, "yea, i'm an XP power user, I know my way around xp a lot better than regular users, so I think I can tackle this 'linux' thing". So I downloaded the breezy iso, and tried to install it. {note: I had tried the live cd for hardware compatability, and everything seemed to work out of the box, (except my printer, but i thought, "oh well, i'll just download something later to make it work *silly me*)} So i got to the partitioning part, with my ubuntu wiki partitioning guide printed on a piece of paper, and thought, "there's no way i can messup, plus if out of that 1% chance i do mess things up, i backed up all of my important files *take note of 'important files', you'll see.* So i stupidly chose to create a new 10 GB partition for ubuntu, without realizing that I also chose to erase windows. And so I did, along with all the music and pics my brother had on there (gigs upon gigs).... So I call him on his cel (he's out watching a movie) and say "soooo, what's up man, what do u think about switching full-time to linux?" i explain to him the plethora of advantages of ubuntu, but i get the very expected "well I think we should keep windows and have ubuntu, therefore you can try out your linux sh&t and i can still have my xp. you told me that we could have both, right?" i said "okay, i cant lie to you, i erased windows, but i did backup most of the stuff"
He goes " most of the stuff? what didnt you backup?" i say "ummmm.....just all your music and photos, no biggie." he goes "wow....we'll talk when i get home...*he hangs up abruptly*"

he didnt beat me up, but i was pissed off at myself, because i had done such an evil thing to my brother, plus i had basically lost $$$ amount of money on all the windows software i had bought, including games. and to add to that plus, i had no windows install disc. so i decided to install breezy fully.

i spent the whole rest of that month learning a whole bunch of things and configuring my new linux box so as to make it as easy a switch as possible for my brother, i even tried to get a lot of the music back, and with my tremendous efforts, he finally accepted it, and kinda liked it.

so all in all, it turned out to be a good experience. :p

Reshin
July 12th, 2006, 04:40 AM
i got sick of fixing my family's computer, so I loaded Dapper when it came out. I did it when no one was looking, and set up all the classic icons on everyone's desktop.

I received one complaint from my out-of-work brother who still lives at home about his poker applications not loading.

Me: That's because they're written for Windows. This isn't windows.
Him: Well how am I supposed to play poker then?!? Huh?!?
Me: You don't have a job, and you still live with our parents. You need no poker. And if you have any more complaints about this OS, then tough s$*%!! You have a ton of time on your hands, so figure it out!!

I feel that the conversion should sometimes take some tough love!!

Half the people who use computers don't know what they're doing, and only use internet. So, how are they supposed to get Windows back on their machine :twisted: ? I've pulled this tactic twice with amusing, yet mostly successful results!

-jstroot
Wait, you forcibly without permission installed a different os to their computer and then insult your brother cuz his favorite game doesn't work and propably now has to find linux-version/alternatives for all his other apps and learn how to set them up and in general learn a new system all thanks to you.

nice... :-?

jatos
July 12th, 2006, 04:22 PM
I must admit, thats not the way I would convert a person to Linux.

One thing though, I think I have managed to convert my sister to Linux.

She was bought this laptop with Puppy Dog Linux installed (yuk, it sucks...), but she like the games on it. So I convince her to let me put Debian on it (unfortunately its too old for Ubuntu, it can't handle Xorg).

Well I am now trying to get it completely, this is not easy owing to the things lack of a CD-ROM, but still I have a Linux convert.

FurryNemesis
July 13th, 2006, 01:19 AM
Puppy makes a good rescue OS though. I used it over the weekend when my HD crashed out and died.

I loaded it in RAM only mode and it was perfect. Not bad for a computer with no HD.

Don't like the way it lets you run around as root though. Ubuntu's good with that.

Iandefor
July 13th, 2006, 11:54 PM
I feel that the conversion should sometimes take some tough love!! Um... no. It isn't about forcing your preferred OS on someone else.

gratefultux
July 14th, 2006, 01:47 AM
I once tried to convert my best friend to use linux. He's quite computer literate, and he decided to try without me first. Ambitious as he was ("I know my way around, i'll use linux the way it was meant to be used") he tried to set up an apache server from the command line without any previous linux knowledge. It scared him so much, there was no way to convince him to try running a desktop. BTW, he's now a happy OSX user.
Also, i have a sister who just can't use a computer. Her windows machine is brimming with so much stuff that opening her start menu takes as long as starting openoffice does for me. She just can't figure things out. After 3 years of using the computer she has no idea how it works. For people like these any conversion is a huge waste of time. If I was to convert her I would have to show her every single step for doing something. It's just not worth it. There's an operating system for everyone, most people just don't want to move away from what they're used to and try to find their match. If edubuntu was adopted by elementary schools, kids would probably grow up to be more open to new systems.
It takes a sincere effort to learn a new OS, most people just don't make the commitment

Metroid48
August 2nd, 2006, 08:59 PM
I've been using Linux for just a month and all ready Windows feels like something sluggish that I can't use anymore (except for DVD burning and CD copying..... the ones I'm copying I made myself:-\" ) but everyone else is just like "woa, Ubuntu's brown theme sucks"
Me- "You can change it"
Him- *clicks on High Contrast Inverse* "Woa, this thing sucks!"
Me- *rollseyes and grabs mouse* "Just leave on the default and change the background then."
Him- "There's nothing good here"

The conversation just seems to start pointing out all the differences from Windows. But, though he won't try Linux, he did like the screensavers! :p

Anyway, Ubuntu's WAY better than Windows. But I keep Windows for compatibility with anything that just won't work in Linux.

-Metoriod48

BTW- What's the point of the High Contrast themes? They almost always kill your eyes.

Iandefor
August 3rd, 2006, 03:12 AM
but everyone else is just like "woa, Ubuntu's brown theme sucks"
Me- "You can change it"
Him- *clicks on High Contrast Inverse* "Woa, this thing sucks!"
Me- *rollseyes and grabs mouse* "Just leave on the default and change the background then."
Him- "There's nothing good here" No wonder, if you point him to the high contrast themes.


BTW- What's the point of the High Contrast themes? They almost always kill your eyes. For the visually impaired and the tasteless, I believe.

tophatandy
December 12th, 2006, 03:45 AM
haha..


so many similar experiences..


finally converted my brother to start using Ubuntu.. even if he is dual booting..

my mum wont even run the live cd, thanks to my uncle telling her that hackers used it because it worked well for hacking and was easy to get into..

Second most faithfull user of ubuntu in my family is Father..
He has istalled on his machine:
Ubuntu 6.06
Kubuntu
Xubuntu
Windows XP pro..

used kubuntu for mostly everything except for his ipod..

has to use windows for that.

overall.. think I have done an okay job considering how stubborn my family is..

newagelink
October 12th, 2008, 04:14 AM
I'm glad to see this behavior isn't limited to my family ... (I'm the only Linux user.)

Lord Xeb
October 12th, 2008, 04:32 AM
I think I am going to kill someone *looks at her* e_e

Canis familiaris
October 12th, 2008, 04:34 AM
I'm glad to see this behavior isn't limited to my family ... (I'm the only Linux user.)

Necromancy == Evil

Giant Speck
October 12th, 2008, 04:56 AM
I don't understand the seemingly great need to convert people, especially family members.

My mother has only been using computers since 2000. She started out with a Gateway with only 256MB of RAM and Windows 98SE.

In 2001, she upgraded to Windows ME and HATED it, and proceeded to reinstall Windows 98SE.

She bought a Dell in 2002, with Windows XP installed on it. So for a while, we had one computer with Windows 98SE on it, and one with XP Pro. She became extremely proficient with Windows XP (being a homemaker with MS, she had a LOT of time on her hands and computers distracted her from her illness), and eventually successfully managed to install Windows XP Pro on our old Gateway.

After that, she decided it was time for her to build her own computer, from scratch. She not only built a computer from scratch, but she built a large elaborate, three-station desk into the wall to put all three of our computers on.

She beta-tested Vista in 2006 and didn't like it. She decided to buy a laptop with Vista Home Premium installed on it in 2007 so that she can learn how to use a laptop and Vista at the same time. She ended up giving me the laptop as a Basic Training graduation present. :)

So, my point is: my mother is very good with computers and is very used to Windows because that is what she uses day-in and day-out.

I'm going home for about a month in December. I'm going to show her Linux, as I have it installed on this laptop.

But what I'm not going to do is try to convert her. There's no reason to. She knows Windows well and doesn't need Linux.

If she gets curious about it and wants to install it herself, it'll be because she says so, and not because I tried to convert her.

earthpigg
October 12th, 2008, 05:00 AM
I'm glad to see this behavior isn't limited to my family ... (I'm the only Linux user.)

wow, 19 month old necromancy... impressive! :)

newagelink
October 13th, 2008, 05:49 AM
Yup yup. I'm fantastic.

... really, threads here don't die, they just become inactive ... and then they are retired to the archive.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Unless I forget and take a bath. Then I probably wouldn't stick to anything.

Lord Xeb
October 13th, 2008, 11:32 PM
>_> People are always curious about my computer until I tell them that is linux and they look at me weird. I just show them how easy it is to use and use a VM to show them how to install it and how easy it is. I warn them that if they are not careful installing it, it will destroy their windows install. Well, 2 of them didn't head my advice and use Wubi if they wanted to keep their Windows install and now they are mad at me. I just told them how it is and said fix it yourself since YOU made the dicision to F your windows install.

fballem
October 14th, 2008, 02:28 AM
Don't lose heart, I have converted my whole family (wife and 2 teenage kids)
They were all reared on MS.

The single *best* thing I did was mess with their windows internet connections (changing DNS etc) but ensuring Linux *always* worked.
They soon realised it was easier to load Linux to do their internet stuff, rather than windows.

As a side note, and not wanting to start a flame war, I also found Gnome was much easier for new (from windows) users.
It had options familier to them without being overwealming, like only one browser, one office suite, one messenger etc and also standard layouts (thanks to the Gnome HIG).
Remember most windows users do not have a choice of 4 text editors or 6 instant messengers - they get very little by default.

Perserverence is the key, keep focused on the goal (no license fees, viruses and blue screens of death)

-Greg

I still think that at sometime, I will seriously try KDE, but I must admit that as a long-time Windows user, I found GNOME to be easier to use. Once you get over the cosmetics, it works a lot like Windows XP. I converted a client to ubuntu, and she has the same reaction.

Not wanting to start a flamewar, but that's been my experience. One of the major things that keeps me from trying KDE is that I would have to use Open Office instead of KOffice - ability to read/write MS documents is an absolute must. I like the look of the KOffice applications, but my requirements means that I have to use Open Office.

S0VERE1GN
October 14th, 2008, 03:49 AM
That's exactly how my mom is/was

I tried to get her into linux once, and she threw a fit because she couldn't access her email from the program that was filling her computer with spyware before, and she had to use webmail. :rolleyes:

my buddy who isn't the brightest bug in the nest came over to my place when i had recently did away with windows completely, and started using my linux comp like nothing had changed.

he then asked me how he could make his desktop at home look like this lol

doorknob60
October 14th, 2008, 03:51 AM
I still think that at sometime, I will seriously try KDE, but I must admit that as a long-time Windows user, I found GNOME to be easier to use. Once you get over the cosmetics, it works a lot like Windows XP. I converted a client to ubuntu, and she has the same reaction.

Not wanting to start a flamewar, but that's been my experience. One of the major things that keeps me from trying KDE is that I would have to use Open Office instead of KOffice - ability to read/write MS documents is an absolute must. I like the look of the KOffice applications, but my requirements means that I have to use Open Office.

What's preventing you from using Open Office on KDE? It works just fine (well OOo 3 still requires some slight changes to get it working perfect, but 2.4.x works with it no problem). My mom's been using Open Office in KDE for quite some time now, from version 2.4 in Gusty and Hardy with KDE3, to version 3 in Arch KDE4 :)

Relating the the original topic though, my fridn's mom was kinda like that, although not nearly as bad. It's still dual booting, but when I leave with it in Ubuntu, next time I come back it's in XP, always. ON the other hand, my friend (same family as the mom I was talking about) loves Ubuntu for everything, and has only booted into XP once when it wouldnt' let him copy files to his MP3 player. It didn't work in Windows either, the write protect switch was on :P He transitiond really quickly and loves it, and he's what I'd considert to be no more than an verage computer user, although 13 year olds are always better than 40 year olds with computers, so that's probably why he switched pretty easily. The transition from Gnome to KDE was painless for him too, and I'm sure when Intrepid comes out and he gets KDE4, he should hapilly transition again :)

MaxIBoy
October 14th, 2008, 04:45 AM
I'm not sure exactly why some people have problems dealing with minor interface changes. I knew right from the get-go that it was going to be different (it never occurred to me to think otherwise.) The GNOME interface made enough sense that I could dive right in. The well-organized menus and well-named programs enabled me to become quite familiar with the graphical aspect of it after only a few minutes of experimenting.

I'd been "planning" to make the switch for years prior to that. It was probably a good thing I held off as long as I did (until shortly after the release of Ubuntu 7.10,) otherwise my install process could have been far worse than it was. I popped the CD in the computer, booted it up, used it for about a half hour (not very fun with 384 megs of RAM, but I'd been warned about that.) Then I decided to install it. The install went off without a hitch, except that the NTFS partition hadn't actually resized even though the installer said it had, and it borked the MBR somehow and bricked the computer. =D>

But with help from a friend of mine, I got my computer working with exactly zero loss of data. It really made an impression on me that the computer was still usable for basic tasks using the live CD (even though it was very laggy and slow-- once again, I was on 385 megs of RAM at the time,) whereas Windows was no help whatsoever. And it made an even bigger impression on me when it turned out to be no big deal to get that Ubuntu installation bootable, whereas we had to reinstall Windows three times over the same partition (being careful not to actually reformat it,) with various cracks applied before that got working again. (yes, I did in fact buy a legit copy-- that disk is still unopened, but it makes me feel better that I bought it.)

It was annoying, since I didn't have this laptop back then and I had to use my parents' computer, but it was also fun, and I got to know my friend better. I've stated before that I enjoy learning by breaking things and then fixing them. To start with, I remember being absolutely in awe of this friend's ability to dictate what looked like gibberish for me to type into the terminal (while he was doing homework on his MacBook.)

I didn't need to learn Bash for the longest time, I just copied and pasted stuff from howtos. (I almost never even needed to do that.) wasn't until after I'd already installed Ubuntu 8.04 on my laptop, and had been running it happily for a while, that I learned the terminal. I enrolled in a university C++ class, where all the computers had Fedora Core 5 and we did all our work from the terminal. Lovely. But when I figured out how to use Grep last summer, I realized just how powerful this was. Now I wouldn't be without it, to the extent that I'm trying to convince my parents to allow me to install Cygwin on their computer in case I ever have to use it.

cardinals_fan
October 14th, 2008, 04:52 AM
I didn't need to learn Bash for the longest time, I just copied and pasted stuff from howtos. (I almost never even needed to do that.) wasn't until after I'd already installed Ubuntu 8.04 on my laptop, and had been running it happily for a while, that I learned the terminal. I enrolled in a university C++ class, where all the computers had Fedora Core 5 and we did all our work from the terminal. Lovely. But when I figured out how to use Grep last summer, I realized just how powerful this was. Now I wouldn't be without it, to the extent that I'm trying to convince my parents to allow me to install Cygwin on their computer in case I ever have to use it.
...and then you realized that zsh is the best shell, right? :)

MaxIBoy
October 14th, 2008, 05:51 AM
Actually, I haven't used zsh yet. I'm still not confident that I know BASH inside and out, upside and down, and I know from experience that it's a bad idea to learn two languages at once.

brwrdrvr
October 14th, 2008, 06:04 AM
I love reading stories like these. For someone that's been using computers since the machines with Basic came into the homes, I havene't had problems learning any new OS. I actually did not see Windows until I came out of the Army back in '92. I decided to mess around with Linux several years ago and tried different distros off and on since. I found Ubuntu and have been using it exclusively at home for about 2 years.

Since I am a Sys Admin, All my family members think I am their personal computer repair shop. So I converted the wife and baby girl first. Told them I will not clean up another windows machine that they got infected. They couldn't be happier with the outcome. The machine works and i have only had to touch it a couple of times to load something they needed for school/games and one time to replace the main menu that mysteriously got deleted. HAHA.

My Dad was always listening to me talk about Linux. Especially Ubuntu. When we would talk about computers I always brought up our Ubuntu machines at the house and how well they were running. Even with old hardware. After about 8 months he called me up and told me to bring the Ubuntu install disk next time we visited. I loaded it up on his brand new (back then) Dell and it went without a hitch. Loaded everything up including the printer/scanner right on install.

A few months ago Dad made the mistake of showing Mom Mahjongg was installed. Now Dad can't get to the computer until after mom goes to bed. So he bought a Dell laptop and has been anxiously awaiting my arrival to install Ubuntu on it for him. I will have to get to that next weekend.

I say don't force anyone into a change on OS's. Their curiousity has to be peaked before they jump in with both feet. If you want ANYONE to learn Linux though, you have to take windows completely out of their world. That's what I had to do to learn Linux. That way if I needed to do something that I used to do in windows I would have to come to the forums and read and then apply that knowledge.

MaxIBoy
October 14th, 2008, 06:12 AM
A few months ago Dad made the mistake of showing Mom Mahjongg was installed. Now Dad can't get to the computer until after mom goes to bed. So he bought a Dell laptop and has been anxiously awaiting my arrival to install Ubuntu on it for him. I will have to get to that next weekend.
I made the same mistake with my mom and spider solitaire. She'd previously been hooked on standard solitaire, and she used to keep a deck of cards with her in her purse. My mom got hooked on spider, and spread the fever to my dad. I eventually had to delete it (why the crap is spider solitaire a protected crucial critical indispensable system file, anyway?) because I'd come home from school almost daily to find that my mom had commandeered my computer so she could play spider solitaire, which was in turn because my dad was using his computer to play it too.


I say don't force anyone into a change on OS's. Their curiousity has to be peaked before they jump in with both feet. If you want ANYONE to learn Linux though, you have to take windows completely out of their world. That's what I had to do to learn Linux. That way if I needed to do something that I used to do in windows I would have to come to the forums and read and then apply that knowledge.
That's actually a fairly accurate description of what happened to me.

yoda2031
October 14th, 2008, 03:47 PM
I was watching TV in the living room and then my mom says there's this new virus for Yahoo out. Since I don't know what she means I ask and she replies "Yahoo" . . .now I tell her that using Linux I really don't concern myself with those warnings. Then she's like "I tried before with the internet but its too hard."

So. . .that went down the drain and I don't think I'll try to help her again.

They should really make those CD's that people advertise for on TV for Linux. Then this crap wouldn't happen.

My mum is just like that, hopeless with computers. Thing is, she uses a Mac which means the ease of changeover was even easier to demonstrate and she STILL didn't bite. She also goes into a Mac shop and says to the sales rep "I need a laptop" and gobbles up whatever shite he feeds her. She has on one occasion refused to take me with her to buy a new computer because I'd "confuse" her. *sigh*

Sometimes it's best to leave people with what they're used to, but let them know you won't support them when what they're used to goes wrong. That way they are encouraged to switch to the more stable OS without feeling forced or being able to put up a fight. It's the ultimate blackmail when the only person in the house capable of offering technical support refuses to do so until you bend to his/her will. Hehe ^^;

I'll get mine eventually... she already avoids proprietary software, preferring open source. Not that she knows -why- open source is better, just that it is. That's the important part.

Really, though, the users we should be aiming for are not your average desktop luser. We want the highly technical users, the ones who will get the most out of Linux (by tweaking it to their individual needs) and who will put the most back (by submitting timely and detailed technical reports of bugs at the low end and by fixing, improving and in some cases rewriting existing code at the high end).

Thus, the "ideal" candidate for conversion to Linux is Linus Torvalds... hmm... *is seeing a flaw in his theory*

Dragonbite
October 14th, 2008, 05:12 PM
At our house, my wife is the Windows hold-out.

Currently, though, we've painted the walls and been re-doing our hardwood floors and it has taken a long time to finish and thus a long time the computer has been unplugged.

Meanwhile the primary Windows machine is giving me a bluescreen and SHUTTING OFF THE HARD DRIVE! So that Windows machine is out of commission but thanks to an Ubuntu LiveCD I got our files off of the hard drive and placed them on the server.

So the only computer that works is my laptop running Ubuntu.

It's on the kitchen counter which is right next to our phone, her calendar and everything that makes it her "command center".

So I made sure it was set up to open most of her files (just not MS Publisher) and she can get online and get her email. I moved her to Firefox and Thunderbird a while ago on Windows so she's familiar with those applications. OpenOffice is still a touch-and-go, she prefers the familiar MS Office.

The convenience of having the laptop next to the phone and all of her things has helped given her the incentive to get on the computer and with no alternative she's using Linux.

So I am in no rush to get the Windows machines back up and running except the desktop computer is the one the kids are using as well (Edubuntu) and she knows I have it dual-boot with Windows.

At least I can argue that I am going to update their Edubuntu installation with either Edubuntu or Ubuntu 8.04 (running 7.10) and may sneak on Windows but not tell her ;)

skintythe1andonly
October 14th, 2008, 05:50 PM
I changed my home copmputer one weekend as my mum kept saying that the computer takes ages to load everytime they start it up, (they insist on turning it off everynight and some nights my dad just flicks off the switch). The first response I got was....oh its all brown and whats that... a heron???. Once i got everything working they were happy with it, although i do remember giving "tech support" one night over the phone saying ...

Me: Ok now click places..
Her: I'M CLICKING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND NOTHING IS HAPPENING

She got used to it and then wanted a laptop.

I insisted she got a cheap netbook as she needed nothing more. I was the admin on the desktop..if she had a laptop to herself I know she is gonna click on a popup or think she got a virus or something. We settled on a acer aspire one with 1Gb of RAM and a 120Gb hard drive. After some initial confusion she is quite happy with it. I was thinking of installing ubuntu netbook remix on it but why ruin something thats working. I do think netbooks have made a big difference in getting non-techies to use a PC when all they want is right in front of them with big icons